'Street fighter' Katich must replace 'soft' Ponting to revive Aussies: Ex-players

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Melbourne, Aug 30 (ANI): Australia needs a street fighter like Simon Katich to trigger a revival, after calls for sacking of Ricky Ponting in the wake of the Ashes loss under the Tasmanian's captaincy for the second time in four years

Australian cricket has lost the ruthless cutting edge cultivated by Steve Waugh that made them one of the most feared teams, according to former players.

Former Test wicketkeeper Steve Rixon said Ponting is a magnificent batsman, but he will never be regarded as a great captain, and added that Australia have lost their killer instinct under him.

Ponting became the first Australian captain in 119 years to lose consecutive series on English soil, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Rixon says the take-no-prisoners psyche cultivated by Waugh has been eroded.

"I don't relate to the brand of cricket we are playing under Ricky. We aren't playing the sort of cricket that has made us ruthless and a team that no one really likes to play," Rixon said.

"Teams aren't capitulating under pressure like they used to. We seem to have a more timid nature . . . and that could certainly have a bearing on a tight series like the one in England.

"We're struggling against sides we should be beating. England is renowned for capitulating under pressure, but we never got ruthless or flexed our muscle," he said.

"If we're going to look at change, I'd be looking at Simon Katich. Simon is a tenacious leader. I worked with him at NSW and I know what he can offer as a captain. He's tough, he won't take a backward step, he plays aggressive cricket - and that is synonymous with the Australian style," Rixon said.

Former Test all-rounder Greg Matthews also likes the way Katich leads from the front.

"Before the Ashes series, I felt the strongest man in Australian cricket was Simon Katich. His character, his intent, he bats like his life depends on every ball. It's just obvious for me. If I was in the trenches, he'd be the first guy I'd pick," Matthews said. (ANI)

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