Sydney, Jan.18 (ANI): Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting can look back on the 2009-10 season with satisfaction.
According to noted columnist Peter Roebuck, the Australians were a shattered side after the Ashes defeat at The Oval, racked by poor selections and calamitous run-outs.
Before their return home, they were obliged to play seven one-day matches in England before going to South Africa to take part in the Champions Trophy, swiftly followed by a 20-over tournament in India. It was a draining program and might have undermined morale.
But, according to Roebuck, the Australians turned the ordeal into a challenge.
Within a week of their return home, they were facing the West Indians. Thanks to the leadership group, the team remained focused and inflicted a series defeat on the West Indies (2-0) and a whitewash of Pakistan (3-0).
"Ponting is entitled to feel that most of the gaps have been filled. Australia has found its opening pair... Australia had been scratching their heads about spin. Between them, Nathan Hauritz and Jason Krejza, had the required abilities but both lacked a vital ingredient. Ponting and the selectors stood by their man, and he responded with improved skills and attitude...Australia's pace attack has been consistent," says Roebuck in an article for the Sydney Morning Herald.
"Ponting can also reflect upon his achievements as captain. Although stubborn to a fault, and reluctant to admit mistakes, he has added subtlety to his manoeuvres. In his early years, he was a leader as opposed to a tactician. Not until the great bowlers withdrew did he need to put on his thinking cap. Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath could set their own fields. Ponting almost needed to retrain himself, relying less on method and more on wits," he adds.
"Suffice it to say that he (Ponting) confirmed his enduring excellence on slow tracks with searing drives and clever improvisations. His footwork was sharp, and his balance, once a weak point, was superb. Beyond argument, the campaign has contained more pleasure than pain," Roebuck concludes. (ANI)