London: Stopping Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi would be the key in the two match Test series starting at Lord’s on Tuesday, Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes.
Ponting said Afridi plays an important role in the young Pakistani squad and it was important that the maverick all rounder is kept in control in order to check Pakistan’s resurgence.
“From an outsider’s point of view at the moment it looks as though they’re sort of running a bit off him. I think a lot of their younger blokes look up to him and he’s their leader, the bloke they go to when they need something to happen, so it’s pretty much like every captain of every side is,” The News quoted Ponting, as saying.
“We always talk about trying to nullify the captain and take the captain down early and we’ll try and do that in this series as well, there’s no doubt about that,” he added.
Expressing surprise at Afridi’s appointment as Test captain, Ponting said he would have been confused if he had been replaced by a player who ended his Test retirement after captaincy offer.
“I must admit I was a bit shocked to see some of the things happen that happened at the end of the Pakistan tour of Australia, some life bans and year bans and some pretty hefty fines,” he added.
“Who knows what happens behind their closed doors but it’s none of our business I suppose. All we can do is play the 11 players they put out there. I’m pretty confident this group of players we’ve got here will be switched on and ready to go on Tuesday,” Ponting said.