Australia's batting legend Ricky Ponting believes managing his own overs could be a major challenge for newly-appointed Test captain Pat Cummins. The Delhi Capitals coach opined that as vice-captain, Steve Smith will have an important role to play as he will have to direct the pacer at critical junctures.
In his conversation with cricket.com.au, the ex-Aussie captain stated that as the team's premier fast bowler, Cummins will have to bowl long spells on several occasions.
Ponting suggested that while it remains to be seen if the right-armer under bowls himself during such moments, Steve Smith should come to Cummins' rescue and guide him according to the situation.
"The only concern I have is if it's the same again, where Pat's the standout fast bowler, is he going to keep bowling himself? Because the team is going to need it," said Ponting.
"Or will he be worried about what people are going to think if he just keeps himself on the whole time? That's where vice captain's role is really important in this whole thing," he added.
Pat Cummins was named Australia's new Test captain on Friday. He will be the 47th skipper to lead the side in the longer format. Furthermore, ex-skipper Steve Smith is back in a leadership role as he was appointed vice-captain.
"I'm not surprised they have given him the job" - says Ricky Ponting on Steve Smith's appointment as vice-captain
Referring to the infamous Sandpapergate scandal of 2018, Pointing noted how everyone in their lives makes mistakes at some point. He pointed out that the batter had to bear the consequences after being involved in the ball tampering controversy.
But Ponting reckons Smith has made a thumping comeback since returning to the side in 2019 following the completion of his ban. Ponting added that he wasn't surprised Cricket Australia chose the 32-year-old as Cummins' deputy.
"We've all made mistakes. We all said at the time it was a severe penalty for all those guys – and it had to be, that's the way it was at the time. But it's a long time ago now."
"He's played some great cricket since then and has not stepped a foot wrong with anything he's done in his life since then. So as far as I'm concerned, if Cricket Australia think it's okay, then I'm not surprised they have given him the job."
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Australia are scheduled to take on arch-rivals England in the much-awaited Ashes series at home. The series will commence on December 8, with Brisbane hosting the opening encounter.
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