Roebuck urges Ponting to move to No.5 in batting order to prolong Test career

Thursday, December 30, 2010

SYDNEY - Australian captain Ricky Ponting should move down the batting order to prolong his Test career, according to noted cricket commentator Peter Roebuck.

Ponting is in the middle of one of the worst form slumps of his career, as his tally in the Ashes series so far is a paltry 113 at an average of 16.14.

The 36-year-old has passed 50 just once in the second innings of the Brisbane Test on a wicket that was tailor-made for batting.

“Ricky Ponting has his failings and his record is blotted by the loss of three Ashes series. But he has two World Cups and umpteen victories. His poor form is a concern, but that does not mean it is over for him,” Roebuck writes in his syndicated column for the Sydney Morning Herald.

“Plainly, though, the combination of captaining a struggling side and batting at first wicket down has taken a toll. He could be retained a while longer as captain and instructed to bat at No. 5. Many captains have slipped down the order or started there, including Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Viv Richards and Clive Lloyd,” he added.

Roebuck however said that the team management needs to be firmer with him, and criticized his decision to play in the fourth Ashes Test despite a broken little finger.

“The wisdom of letting him play with a broken finger is questionable. Nor is it sensible to regard his judgments as sacrosanct. He has a higher opinion of Ben Hilfenhaus and a lower view of Jason Krejza than their performances justify. And he uses spinners badly,” Roebuck said.

Australia currently trails the five-match series 2-1, with the final Test to be played in Sydney from January 2. (ANI)

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