‘Ponting must aspire to win instead of defending World Cup’, says Steve Waugh

Sunday, February 20, 2011

SYDNEY - Former Australian captain Steve Waugh has said that Ricky Ponting’s leadership will be tested during the World Cup over how he embraces life on the subcontinent.

Waugh said that if Australia shows their desire to win then they would be rewarded with their fourth-straight world crown.

“For any captain, the World Cup is the pinnacle of the sport. The atmosphere, the challenge of playing against the top sides and the opportunity to test oneself against the best is something every captain would like to embrace,” News.com.au quoted Waugh, as saying.

“I played 325 ODIs, but it was my performance at the Cups that form my most cherished memories. As Ricky Ponting goes into the Cup, it’s important that he and the team aspire to win instead of defending the Cup,” he added.

The 45-year-old also said that Australia should not be phased by having to take on favourites India and Sri Lanka on their own soil.

He emphasized that Australia’s record in the past two World Cups held on the subcontinent spoke for itself.

“We won in 1987 and made the final in 1996 so of any team we’ve probably got the best record on the subcontinent (in World Cups). It proves the home ground advantage is not that significant, particularly in the modern day where players play IPL, know the conditions and pitches are almost universally the same,” Waugh said.

“Players love going to India so the home advantage on the subcontinent is probably not the same for India and Sri Lanka as it used to be. That’s even better for Australia,” he added. (ANI)

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