Ponting backs ‘great bloke’ Watson as ‘good team player’

Updated: Mar 15, 2013, 11:49 AM IST

Johannesburg: Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has backed suspended vice-captain Shane Watson and said that Watson had worked as hard as any other player in his team, in the midst of the crisis surrounding the touring team in India.

Dismissing Cricket Australia’s (CA) high performance manager Pat Howard’s description of Watson as a ‘sometimes’ team player, Ponting said that he had loved every moment that he had played with Watson and added, that Watson is a very good team player and a great ‘bloke’ to be around with.

Describing Watson’s disciplinary breach as a minor mistake, Ponting said that he does not think of the task given as homework, as Watson simply did not complete his tasks given to him by his coach.

Watson, who was initially thought to be considering his Test career, has returned to Australia to be with his wife who gave birth to a son on Thursday.

Watson, along with Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja, was suspended for the third Test in India, after failing to respond to a request from Australia`s management for feedback on how the team could be improved, the report added.