Ponting backs Doherty to deliver in Ashes

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

SYDNEY - Despite Australian spinner Xavier Doherty’s dreadful first-class average at the Gabba (two wickets at 78), skipper Ricky Ponting has indicated he had more faith in his fellow Tasmanian handling England’s batsmen than dumped off-spinner Nathan Hauritz, who had “lost his action”.

“Seeing him up close and personal for those couple of games probably gave me a bit more of an idea of how good he was because I haven’t played much with him in the last few years,” The Age quoted Ponting, as saying.

“He’s a good solid character as well and I think he’ll handle the situation pretty well and I think we saw that in his first one-day international (taking four wickets) at the MCG,” he added.

Ponting denied that Doherty’s ascension, making him the ninth spinner tried since Shane Warne’s retirement, spelled the end of Hauritz’s 17-Test career.

“He (Hauritz) felt he’s just lost his action a little bit in the last few months,” Ponting said.

“He said to me he’s getting his action back from six months and if he does that and bowls as well as he can like the last half of last summer then he’ll give himself a chance to be picked again,” the captain added.

On the flip side, Ponting warned English off-spinner Graham Swann loomed as a major thorn in Australia’s side, interestingly dubbing him England’s new Andrew Flintoff.

“Swann’s been a revelation for them the last couple of years,” he said. “He almost does a bit of the role that Flintoff used to do for them.

“If you look at the way they use him now they generally use him when they need a breakthrough and need a wicket and more often than not he’s been able to come on and get a wicket in his first couple of overs so he’s been their go-to man,” Ponting added. (ANI)

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