Ponting backs Steve Smith as `potential` Oz captain

ANI| Last Updated: Oct 17, 2013, 16:02 PM IST

Sydney: Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has revealed that he regarded young batsmanSteve Smith as a potential captain of the team following Smith`s big strides forward in this tumultuous period ofAustralian cricket.

Although Smith floundered in his debut Ashes series three years ago, he rebuilt his career after he was recalled during the so-called homework fiasco in India, after which he made his maiden Test century against England at The Oval during the summer Ashes.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Ponting said that he rated the batting all-rounder as the current player most likely to be a long-term successor to captain Michael Clarke, although he had prefaced his prediction by saying that it is not fair to name anyone for that post as he feared that the player would be pressurized unduly.

Ponting further said that Smith seems to have sorted himself well as compared to two years ago, when he (Ponting) would not even have had considered Smith as a potential captain, adding that he believes that leaders are born, not manufactured.

Ponting also said he believes that the intense environment for young players leaves little scope for leadership.