Ponting an inspired leader and player, says ex-Victoria cricketer

Saturday, October 30, 2010

MELBOURNE - Unabashed Ricky Ponting fan and former Victoria all-rounder Brendan McArdle has said that it is time for supporters to stand up and acknowledge Ponting’s contribution to the game of cricket, both as a player and a leader.

In an article for The Age, McArdle, who represented Victoria in Australian first class cricket for three seasons in the late 1970s, said: ” The time has come for the pro-Ponting faction of the cricketing world to stand up and be counted. He is one of the greatest players to have graced the game; as captain he’s won more Tests than any other Australian, and has the second highest winning ratio behind Steve Waugh.”

“He has the highest winning ratio in one-day internationals, and has won two World Cups, having not lost a match in the past two tournaments,” he added.

While admitting that Test captaincy can’t be easy, as you have to be an exceptional player, a diplomat and a tactician, McArdle says: “Ponting has always been a leader of men rather than a subtle tactician. His courage has been inspirational for his teammates, and he has always been direct and honest with the media rather than one of those frontmen who speak in riddles.”

McArdle believes that a selection panel that has at times burdened him with injured or under-performing bowlers hasn’t always helped Ponting.

On the recent tour of India, which Australia lost two to nil in Tests and one to nil in the one day series, McArdle said Ponting made mistakes, but was also handicapped by an impotent attack.

“He has made his mistakes, but so did all of his predecessors. After the criticism and setbacks of the past 12 months, he will be desperate to get an emphatic result in this summer’s Ashes, just as he did four years ago. Maybe then he will be regarded as just as good a leader as a journeyman AFL captain,” McArdle concludes. (ANI)

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