‘Absurd’ to remove Ponting from captaincy: Nielsen

Saturday, October 16, 2010

SYDNEY - Defending the Australian skipper over the series loss to India, coach Tim Nielsen has said that the suggestion that Ricky Ponting should stand down as captain for the Ashes is ‘absurd’.

“We’ve got a selection panel of four but in all seriousness, there about 20 million out there who are on the selection panel,” Nielsen said.

“That’s what is great about our game. Everyone has their opinion. While we haven’t had some of the results we would have liked, there’s no doubt in my mind, or anybody’s mind inside the group that Ricky is the right man to lead the team. It’s interesting, isn’t it?

“We were probably one ball away from having a great Test match result at Mohali and I wonder if all these things would have been talked about if that was the case. There is nobody better in Australian cricket or world cricket to lead this side,” FOX Sports quoted Nilesen, as saying.

Former Australian bowler Geoff Lawson has led the calls for Ponting to play as a batsman only.

“There’s no one in the group that doesn’t get a little bit uppity about comments made in the media or publicly,” Nielsen said.

“It hits home a little bit more from past players. They’ve been inside the cauldron and know how difficult it can be. They know the ups and downs that can happen in Test match cricket,” he said.

“Sometimes Rick cannot control any of it. He can’t control how his players perform for him. That certainly has an impact for him. As the captain of this team and the leader of our group, he does a great job in keeping a consistent outlook on things,” he said.

“It is certainly not a time to be panicking. I can’t think of a better person to be leading a group through a few ups and downs,” Nielsen added.

Lawson wanted Ponting to step down as skipper just 24 hours after Shane Warne had questioned the Australian captain’s field arrangements on Twitter. (ANI)

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