Offspinner impressed captain in Bangladesh April 30, 2006

Ponting predicts success for Cullen

Cricinfo staff

Ponting: 'He's [Cullen] going to be a good bowler for Australia for a long period of time, there's no doubt' © Getty Images

Ricky Ponting believes Dan Cullen, the offspinner who impressed in his debut series against Bangladesh, will have a successful career for Australia.

"Dan bowled beautifully but he probably didn't bowl as much as I would have liked in the Test match that he played," Ponting told AAP. "He only bowled about 13 or 14 overs in that series, but looked very much the part there. He had to work really hard in the one-dayers to get his first wicket, and didn't get his first wicket until his second spell in the third one-dayer. But he's going to be a good bowler for Australia for a long period of time, there's no doubt."

Cullen took 1 for 54 from 17 overs in the second Test at Chittagong and conceded less than four an over in all three one-day internationals. He is currently Australia's No. 2 one-day spinner after Brad Hogg.

Ponting was also impressed with Mitchell Johnson, the fast bowler, who played his first full series in Bangladesh. In his previous two ODIs in New Zealand and South Africa he had conceded a total of 92 runs in 12 overs.

"Mitchell played one [ODI] game in New Zealand and one in South Africa and hadn't really been given an extended run at all," said Ponting. "He got three more games over there [in Bangladesh] which was good. If you look at it, he improved every game he played. It was great for him to have a chance to bowl with the new ball in the third game. He got a few wickets with the new ball as well. We've always identified him as being a good prospect for Australia down the track and I think we're just starting to see some of that come out now."

"He [Johnson] will definitely benefit from the experience [of playing in Bangladesh], just something simple like playing in front of a crowd. He found that really difficult in his first two games prior to coming here," Adam Gilchrist told the Australian Associated Press. "The chance to play three games in front of, while it is not 50,000 or 60,000 [people], it is still a pretty full house and a pretty noisy crowd and I think that is one part from which he will really benefit from."