Ricky Ponting backs Michael Clarke's decision to retire after fifth Ashes Test
Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting is backing Michael Clarke’s decision to retire post the fifth Ashes Test. Ponting resigned as the captain and handed the responsibility to Clarke in 2011. However, he continued to play for Australia till late 2012.
Clarke will pilot the squad one final time at The Oval from the 20th of August in the final Test of the Ashes series. He will step down from the post after a completion of 115 Tests.
“Since I retired I have realised I went on too long and Michael doesn’t want to be in the same boat," Ponting told Sky Sports.
“I think it’s the right time as he has been fighting inner demons and battling his game for the last 12-18 months. He deserves to finish at The Oval and hopefully with the weight of the series off, we can see him make a big score", the 40-year-old said.
Ponting had made a shocking revelation in a television review in the UK. The former captain stated that he believed he played two years longer than he should have.
Ponting was confident that there was enough firepower in the domestic line-up to continue their good run in cricket.
“The systems we have in Australia will guarantee that we will continue to produce good cricketers and it’s only a few months ago that this Australia team was winning everything,” Ponting said.
“But we have got to get back to producing first-class wickets in Australia that are going to have our players better prepared for English conditions", he added.
McGrath on the Australian squad
"The Pigeon", Glenn McGrath was also of the view that Australia's defeat in the Ashes provided an opportunity for the young guns to prove their worth. Although. any changes made should be carefully contemplated, he added.
“I think you call time on guys only if there are better replacements out there,” McGrath wrote in a column in the Telegraph.
“Australia has plenty of fast bowlers coming through. Pat Cummins is in the wings here, James Pattinson is coming back and Nathan Coulter-Nile has potential – so there are a lot of young guys performing with the ball. The batting is the concern. Nobody is putting up their hand – the reason Voges got his opportunity at the latter part of his career was that he scored more runs back home than younger guys and deserved his chance", the spearhead said.
He also added that the Australians played well in their own conditions, but it was necessary to identify the good from the great.
He concluded by saying, “Australia play well in their own conditions but it is identifying the guys who can adapt all over the world. That is the difference between being good and being great. There is a chance now for young Australian players to make a mark and grab an opportunity.”