Ricky Ponting must draw inspiration from legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar as far as batting is concerned, so feels former Australian skipper Mark Taylor.
The Australian cricket team is here to play a two-match Test series against India, which starts on October 1. Both, Ponting and Sachin are the leading run scorers in Test cricket, and will play important roles for their respective teams in the series.
But looking at the form of both the players, Ponting has been a bit more modest with his performance in the past one year. While Tendulkar, 37, has registered an extravagant statistics of six Test hundreds and an average of 81.84 over the past year, Ponting, 35, statistics are not that boastful with just one century and an average of 40.05 in his kitty.
Taylor, who too had a low-profile during his final years in international Test cricket, situation would be tough for Ponting as well.
“He is not getting any better,” Taylor told a newspaper. “He may no longer be the batsman he was in his late 20s but he is still a very good batsman. Honestly, Ponting’s best is behind him but he is still capable of scoring big hundreds.”
However, Tendulkar too went through a similar phase during 2006 and 2007 when he averaged 41.72 with two centuries in 17 Tests. Nevertheless, Tendulkar drastically returned back to form, and also posted his first double ton in ODIs, and it is attitude on the batting maestro that impressed Taylor.
“I think Sachin has had a rebirth,” Taylor said. “He is really batting at his best and that can be a sort of inspiration for Ponting. It might be difficult for him to overhaul Sachin’s number of centuries because the Indian master is lengthening the gap between them.
“But Ponting has this job of rebuilding the Australian side. The current Australian side is very much his. Seniors like Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden have all gone. It is a much younger side.
“I think Ponting’s focus has moved a little bit away from his personal milestones. In that sense, Sachin is fortunate. He does not have to worry about captaincy. That is probably the reason why he is making hundreds.”
Ponting’s tour of India did not start in the best of notes as he scored 42 and 9 in the warm-up match against the Board President’s XI. He will now lead a side that was held to a 1-1 series draw against Pakistan this year and Taylor believes improved consistency is the key for Ponting’s group.
“Ponting’s is a young Australian side which plays very good cricket but is not consistent,” he said. “I’m sure Ponting would be working on this area to reduce the number of bad sessions. They tend to lose five or six wickets in a session when they could do well by losing just two or three.”