Punter's task tougher than 1980: Border

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Sydney, Mar 3: Coming out in support of Ricky Ponting, former Australian captain Allan Border admitted that the pressure of facing West Indies' fearsome fast bowling of the 1980s was nothing in comparison to what the current skipper had gone through this summer.

''I'd take on Joel Garner any day of the week, it's what we were trained to do and probably felt more comfortable doing.
''But all the argy bargy that goes on in cricket now. Just the constant flow of that type of pressure. I'd take the West Indies any day over that,'' said Border.Ponting, who had to face the tough Indian challenge this summer, had to confront a lot of issues including the Harbhajan-Symonds spat during the controversial Sydney Test.

But Border, who accepted the captaincy after Kim Hughes resigned after the drubbings the Australian team had gone through at the hands of West Indies in 1984 said modern-day cricket demands a lot of responsibilities than what he had during career.

''When you're copping a bit of flak off-field and have issues to deal with, that can wear you down more than anything your opponents do to you on the field.

''I suppose all international captains have greater responsibilities than I did when I left off the job (in 1994).

''There are more and more pressures on the guys, particularly those at the top,'' he added.

Border, however, advised Ponting to just concentrate on cricket and leave behind all the controversies.

''Ricky Ponting's had a tough summer, but he's a very strong character,'' Border said.

''Just to keep everything on track, plus play good cricket himself, I take my hat off to him.

''He's done remarkably well. He's going through a bit of a dip at the moment, but it's just the way the game is. It's the nature of the beast,'' he said.

UNI

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