SPORT NEWS

Arthur backs Ponting for Ashes tilt

by Setanta Staff , 01 May 2012

Australia coach Mickey Arthur feels Ricky Ponting still has much to offer at Test level and has backed him to play in the 2013 Ashes.


Ponting skippered the Aussies through one of the most successful periods in their history, with series victories all around the world, but defeat to England in the last Ashes series Down Under was the signal for him to step down as Test skipper.

He also resigned the one-day captaincy after last year's World Cup and was then jettisoned from the 50-over set-up after being dropped from the squad midway through the triangular series involving India and Sri Lanka back in February due to lack of form.

It was thought that the Tasmanian might hang up his bat for good but he opted to continue playing the longest version of the game after scoring 544 runs from four Tests at an average of 109 against MS Dhoni's men over the Australian winter.

He struggled on the recent tour of the West Indies, however, scoring just 146 runs as the Baggy Greens took the three-match series 2-0.

There have been calls from sections of the media for Ponting to be dropped but Arthur is having none of it and feels there is still plenty of petrol left in his tank.

"I know there was a lot of media pressure and talk around Ricky, but Ricky's not going anywhere," he told reporters. "We hope Ricky's scoring enough runs to go to the Ashes, most certainly, in England.

"Ricky's still got a lot of Test runs in him, there's no doubt about that. I thought Ricky was very unlucky (in the West Indies), he was always bubbling away.

"His form was always good, so no worries about Ricky Ponting at all."

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