Ponting denies reports of infighting in Australian team

Melbourne: With less than three weeks to go for the the Ashes series, Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has dismissed reports of “disharmony” within the team and said these are completely made up stories and far from truth.

The reports of in-fighting and a split over Michael Clarke’s candidature as Ponting’s successor-in-waiting emerged in the media at a time when Australia were looking to erase their seven-match losing streak across all formats of the game.

The Australians had last won a Test in July against Pakistan. The first Test of the Ashes series begins on November 25 in Brisbane.

“There’s been a bit written hasn’t there. I had a really close read of one of the articles that was written about it and some of the instances that were referred to in there were, as far as I’m concerned, just completely made up,” Ponting was quoted as saying by the Australian Associated Press.

“I’m not sure why they were written the way they were, but me being captain of the side, it’s one of my jobs to make sure little things like that are handled in the right way. If there’s any disharmony it’s up to me to make sure I’m getting on top of it.”

“Some of those things reported were a long, long way from the mark,” the Aussie captain added.

Some senior members of the Australian team were reportedly unwilling to back Clarke as Ponting’s natural successor in Test cricket.

It supposedly stemmed from comments Clarke made about Mike Hussey and Doug Bollinger’s involvement in the Champions League prior to the recent first Test against India.