North not the weak link of Australian team: Ponting

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Hobart, Jan 18(ANI): Australian skipper Ricky Ponting insists that struggling left-handed batsman Marcus North is not the weak link of the team.

Ponting's comment comes amidst calls from former cricketers and selectors, who have said that Cricket Australia must sack North and experiment with young players in preparations for the Ashes series, which is just 10 months away.

"He's not a weak link at all. It was only a couple of Tests ago that we were saying that he's probably our best and most in form player," The Herald Sun quoted Ponting, as saying.

"I don't see a weak link in our side and hopefully everything turns out the way we want it for Marcus and he can go to New Zealand, have a good series and then there won't be any speculation about anyone in our lineup," he added.

The 30-year-old has just 41 runs from three Tests against Pakistan at 10.25 and 207 runs this summer at 23 - figures that could end his Test career when the selectors meet next month to name Australia's touring squad to New Zealand.

North's Test average has also dropped from 56.56 to 36.70 in five months and while he has three Test tons, he has also posted nine single-figure scores in 21 Test innings. (ANI)

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