Sydney: Ricky Ponting didn`t allow his poor form in the league stage of the World Cup affect his leadership qualities, says Australia opener Brad Haddin.
After aggregating a measly 102 runs at 20.40 from six matches, Ponting fought his way back to form with a defiant century in the quarterfinal against India, but his effort went in vain as the co-hosts successfully chased down Australia`s target of 261 to end their 12-year reign as world champions.
"The best thing about Ricky Ponting is no matter how he`s going or how he`s feeling personally, his involvement in the team and his demeanour and everything around the group doesn`t change," Haddin said.
"He`s a very consistent personality and he`s a very consistent leader."
The in-form opener, who topped Australia`s batting charts with 332 runs at 55.33, said the the pain of the team`s quarterfinal exit is going to "hurt" the players for a long time.
"It`s disappointing and it`s going to hurt for a long time," said Haddin.
"The way we`ve gone out of the tournament now in the quarter-finals, all those personal milestones are good to look back on in years to come probably," said Haddin.
"It`s probably still pretty painful what happened. It doesn`t stand too good with me how many runs you made or how well you bowled or how well you caught.”
"We bowed out in the quarter-finals and in the end that`s the bottomline," he added.
Haddin is well aware of the repercussions of the team`s shocking exit back home.
"After a big tournament like this, especially a World Cup with four-year cycles, there`s always going to be speculation.
"There`s always going to be things thrown up to see what direction Australian cricket is going to take. We`ll just have to wait and see what they decide to do and what sort of road they decide to go down."
Haddin, who is expected to face pressure from back-up wicketkeeper Tim Paine, 26, for his place in the Test and one-day sides in the coming years, said he is not thinking about the next World Cup, slated to be held in Australia and New Zealand in 2015.
"It will be a while before I get over the disappointment of this one and move forward.”
"I would be only guessing or speculating to know what`s going to happen down the track," Haddin said.