Sydney: Former Test captain Steve Waugh has said he would be honoured to share his record as Australia`s most capped Test player with Ricky Ponting, and also lauded the Tasmanian’s longevity and tenacity.
The knives were drawn by critics and pointed squarely in 37-year-old Ponting`s direction after he scored just 20 runs in three innings against the world`s No.1 bowling attack.
However, Waugh, who represented Australia in 168 Tests between 1985 and 2004, said he admired Ponting’s never die attitude.
“I (couldn`t) see why he wouldn`t be (playing) in Perth. Obviously, he`d like some more runs, but when you play that amount of Tests you realise how much goes into it; the time, the training sessions, the time you spend away (from family) … it is a huge commitment,” a leading Australian daily quoted Waugh, as saying.
“So, it`d be an honour to share the same amount of Tests with Ricky when he gets to 168 … being the only Australians to do it would be fantastic,” he added.
Waugh, who experienced much of the same treatment towards the end of his career, said Ponting should have expected loss in form.
“That`s only natural. He`d expect that, I expected it and anyone who plays the game realises you`re judged by your performances, and that is only fair,” Waugh said.
“It doesn`t matter what`s being written in the newspapers or what the journalists are saying, you know yourself how you`re going, and I think Ricky - after 15-or-so years of playing for Australia - knows exactly what he has to do,” he added.