Wessels blames ‘ageing’ Ponting’s ‘fading reflexes’ for repeated failures

Sydney: Former South Africa batsman Kepler Wessels believes veteran Ricky Ponting’s incessant failure against top quality fast bowling attack is down to his fading reflexes.

Ponting, who is a month shy of his 38th birthday, has amassed 568 runs at 56.80 so far in 2012, which is his best calendar year in six seasons, but there are mounting concerns Australia`s greatest Test run scorer has lost his scoring boots and struggles technically when facing express pace.

“The truth is at 35 and 36, I was just off the pace. I retired from international cricket at age 37 and I felt then I was past my best. It is difficult. I don`t think Ricky is gone by any means but it does get more difficult to score runs at his age,” News.com.au quoted Wessels, a saying.

“Personally, I felt in my late 30s I could still survive maybe on experience and know-how but the sharpness I had at the top order early in my career just wasn`t there. It wasn`t a case of work ethic, if anything I worked harder to try and compensate for what I thought wasn`t there but it`s a natural progression,” he added.

Ponting is adamant his passion for Test cricket has yet to diminish, but Wessels thinks the reality is the Tasmanian`s reflexes are slowing down.

“It`s just the reflex action that you had in your absolute prime where you pounced on anything loose. You were really quick to react at your peak, but you only need to be a fraction slower and you begin to struggle,” Wessels said.

“It is difficult for Ricky and I think for him in Adelaide, if the deck is flatter and the ball is a bit older, he might be OK. But he has to keep working pretty hard,” he added.