Ponting determined to set the tone for Oz Ashes campaign: Roebuck

Thursday, November 25, 2010

SYDNEY - Noted cricket commentator Peter Roebuck is backing Australian skipper Ricky Ponting to establish his authority at the Gabba to “set the tone” for his team’s campaign of regaining the Ashes from England.

Roebuck highlighted that Ponting averages 66 at the Gabba, and as captain he has often been able to impose himself with commanding batting to have an average of 98.

“If Ponting could be permitted just one more epic he’d surely nominate this first Test in Brisbane. Steve Waugh was different. He saved his career and defied India with a last-ditch dig in Sydney. He thrived with his back to the wall. Ponting is more direct, bats at No. 3, hooks, speaks his mind, and tries to set the tone. He prospers when he leads the charge,” Roebuck wrote in his syndicated column for the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Over the last few months and especially these last weeks, Ponting has been working tirelessly on his game. He looks fitter than ever. Moreover, he has that glint in his eye. But can the deed be done? His successes at the Gabba are no fluke. The extra pace and bounce on offer suits him,” he added.

Roebuck also believes that the visiting England team will be hoping to exploit any hesitation in the home captain.

“Australia, and the West Indians before it, were expert at isolating and reducing opposing captains. Now Ponting faces that same withering challenge. His response will be fascinating. Can he lead his team to victory? Can he recapture his best days as a batsman or is he a fool to try? It’s going to be a dramatic first Test, and a compelling campaign,” he wrote. (ANI)

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