The disappointing batting form of Ricky Ponting in the ongoing ODI tri-series was in sharp focus as Australia coach Mickey Arthur spoke here on Saturday.
Ponting has made just 11 runs in four innings and Australia, losing back-to-back ODIs, is feeling the heat.
Arthur said, “I would like to have him (Ponting) in the team all the time, but every cricketer's currency is his performance, because it is that which gets him in the team. But Ponting is a fantastic role model, is inspirational, still trains the hardest, and still shows so much intensity.”
In an interesting revelation, he said, “To be totally honest, I think Ricky (Ponting) is a little jaded, like a couple of our Test players who have played all summer. But that is international cricket, you still have to find a way to make your performance count and have an impact on the team.”
Arthur quickly added, “Ricky is a champion, a class act and you cannot write off someone like him. He has faced these situations before and had a fantastic Test series against India. I hope he turns it around tomorrow.”
The Australian coach believed the fatigue of playing cricket all summer and all the travelling and playing in the ODI tri-series was taking its toll on the players. “We have pushed the guys incredibly hard in terms of our intensity and our expectations around them this summer. But we know what the schedule is and we have to make sure that we manage them correctly and get them firing tomorrow.”
On the issue of David Warner not elevated to captaincy, Arthur said, “We want Dave (Warner) to grow as a leader, we saw huge potential in him. But he's not ready yet, he knows that and we have communicated that to him.”
Arthur elaborated, “We wanted him to be a part of the leadership group, learn as Michael (Clarke) and I strategise. But he is not ready to take the guys on to the field now. He could be a great leader in the years to come.”
Meanwhile, India paceman Vinay Kumar has been impressive. In four games so far in the tri-series, he has nine wickets at 20.11 (economy rate 4.89). But the hard-working Vinay wants to perform better. “I feel I could
have given 10 runs less in each of the four games. I don't worry much about what people say about my bowling. I want to go out there and give out my best, whether I am playing for India or Karnataka.”
The 28-year-old paceman said, “The faith shown by the coach and the bowling coach has really helped me. I want to keep things simple and be consistent.”
Vinay felt he was bowling at an increased pace now. “The ball is coming out of the hand at a good pace but I need to work on my consistency.” He has moved the ball away from the batsman, sent down effective off-cutters, and bowled clever slower balls.
Battered by David Warner in the Perth Test, Vinay is now showing why he is such a capable limited overs bowler.