Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting believes the Australian team and Tim Paine will be distracted due to the events that have unfolded over the last few weeks. Paine recently relinquished the Test captaincy after a texting scandal surfaced.
Ricky Ponting feels Tim Paine made an important decision ahead of a major series with the best interests of his team in mind.
The 46-year-old, however, warned the wicket-keeper that he would encounter questions relating to the scandal wherever he went and that he should be ready to face it. Speaking to cricket.com.au, Ponting said:
"I think inevitably it will (be a distraction). Yes, he's made a huge call for himself, for Australian cricket, and for the betterment of the Australian cricket team. But it's not going to go away. We're only a few weeks out from the first Test – it will bubble along."
"As much as we would all love to see it go away and there comes a point where it's never talked about, it's inevitable that it's going to be there. If he plays in Brisbane (for the first Test), the rest of the group and everyone needs to move on and do the best they can to forget about it and knuckle down.
"Unfortunately for Tim he's going to get asked about it everywhere he goes. Whenever you make mistakes and you've got to front up in front of the cricket-loving public, you have some doubts in the back of your mind for a period of time."
Cricket Australia (CA) are yet to announce a new Test skipper. They will most likely declare their decision soon enough as the 2021 Ashes is fast approaching.
I love Inglis – I think he's going to be a really good cricketer for Australia for a long time: Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting has put his weight behind Josh Inglis as the successor to Tim Paine in Test cricket.
Ponting opined that the 26-year-old wicket-keeper could potentially be a long-term prospect for the Australian team in Test cricket and shorter formats as well.
"If he (Paine) plays this series and he finishes at the end of the series, they might look at a younger guy. If he's not picked for Brisbane they might think about someone who's a bit more experienced, being an Ashes series. If Paine doesn't play in Brisbane the obvious one is Alex Carey.
"If Paine does the play the Ashes series, they might look at someone like Inglis post this summer. I'm on record saying I love Inglis – I think he's going to be a really good cricketer for Australia for a long time in whatever format they pick him in first, whether its T20s, one-dayers or Test cricket."
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The 2021 Ashes series will commence on December 8 with the first Test. The Gabba in Brisbane will host the series opener. England's players have already reached Australia and are training in the nets to prepare for the Ashes.