Select Ponting on merit, not stature, says Mark Waugh

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2011, 17:03 PM IST

Sydney: Former Australian batsman Mark Waugh feels that Ricky Ponting`s place in the team should be based on merit and not stature.

"Ricky Ponting is a great player, he`s got a few credits in the bank. But, he`ll know he has got to score runs. Like any player, you`ve got to perform," Waugh was quoted as saying by a leading daily.

Waugh said Ponting brings in lot of experience in the team but he has to use it to score runs.

"I think he`s invaluable with his experience for the other guys in the team, I think Michael Clarke has said that. But his bottom line is; his job is to score runs. The experience he brings, you can`t really count that. He`s got to score runs," he said.

"He hasn`t been at his best. I thought there were very good signs in the last Test in Johannesburg that he was getting back to somewhere near his best. But it`s going to be up to him -- if he makes runs, he can play for as long as he likes. You don`t lose your ability overnight. I think he`s still got a fair bit to give...I think he`s just happy he`s in the 11," he said.

Waugh also feels that all-rounder Shane Watson should drop down from the opening slot to the middle order to get the most out of his game -- a move Waugh believes would make sense.

"I`d like to see Watto drop down," Waugh said. "He`s one of our best bowlers and he`s going to bowl quite a few overs and I think, physically and mentally, you need that break. It`s very hard to bowl a lot of overs and then go and open.

"I think he can bat either four or five. I think it`s just better for the balance of the team that he does drop down the order because his bowling is going to be so important for us," he said.

IANS