Australia in India 2010 October 16, 2010

Nielsen backs Ponting's captaincy

ESPNcricinfo staff

The coach Tim Nielsen believes Ricky Ponting remains the best man to captain Australia. Ponting's tactics during the India series, which led to Australia dropping to fifth in the rankings, have put his leadership under scrutiny ahead of the Ashes.

"There is nobody better in Australian cricket or world cricket to lead this side," Nielsen said in the lead-up to Sunday's opening ODI in Kochi. "While we haven't had some of the results we would have liked, there's no doubt in my mind, or anybody's mind inside the group, that Ricky is the right man to lead the team."

Australia suffered a desperately close loss in Mohali but were beaten by Sachin Tendulkar's heroics in Bangalore on the way to a 2-0 defeat. Geoff Lawson said this week Ponting should play as a specialist batsman and Shane Warne questioned his tactics.

"As the captain of this team and the leader of our group, [Ponting] does a great job in keeping a consistent outlook on things," Nielsen said in the Daily Telegraph. "It is certainly not a time to be panicking. I can't think of a better person to be leading a group through a few ups and downs."

The form of Nathan Hauritz was also worrying but Nielsen said there were other reasons for the series defeat. "Don't lay all the blame or all the ideas on Nathan Hauritz," Nielsen said. "We didn't bowl or bat as well as we could have for the whole series."

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  • Teague on October 21, 2010, 2:39 GMT

    I feel AUS are getting use to the feeling of of losing now. Gone are the days they had long unbeaten streaks. Now with NO McGrath or Warne, Ricky has a solid batting line up and a good but not great bowling lineups. It has brought them closer to India's position of a great batting line up and bowling attack I would try to hide behind one of those big scoreboards (of course referring to the seamers). It certainly isn't a time to panic for Aus, it is something that will become normal with time.

  • Muthuvel on October 20, 2010, 21:29 GMT

    And for gods sake please start respecting Ponting, he is a great player and was fighting alone valiantly in india, his best ashes might be around the corner.

  • Muthuvel on October 20, 2010, 21:18 GMT

    And for gods sake please start respecting Ponting, he is a great player and was fighting alone valiantly in india, his best ashes might be around the corner.

  • Muthuvel on October 20, 2010, 21:15 GMT

    Klinger,Khawaja,Siddle in - Hussey(vvgood limited bat overs though),North,Johnson out. Punter owns Poms. Simple. and stop worrying about Hauritz he is alright, doing better than Warne and Murali in india!!

  • Srini on October 19, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    Very Sad to read a comments about Ricky Ponting, As i am not a big cricket follower but whenever i saw a Australian matches against any countries he was the man leading Australia successfully for a longer period of time even now also i can't forget 2003 world cup final, i am sure this Ashes series will be the Answer for all his criticizers GOOD LUCK>>>>>>>>>>>PUNTER>>>>>>Just Bang the Ball>>>>>L_ R&C

  • R on October 19, 2010, 8:39 GMT

    I guess Aus will beat Eng 5-0 under Ponting just bcos Eng is not Ind, but will he redeem himself with that

    Is Ashes really that big anymore? Two teams at the bottom of the test pyramid (unless you wanno call NZ, WI and Pak as test sides now) fighting out to see who will be the 4th best test side in the world.

  • Dummy4 on October 18, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    As a fan of Ricky Ponting, i would like him to score more than runs for his team than loosing too many matches, which is not typical Australian cricket team i have seen in the GOLDEN Decade of Oz cricket after the Bradman's era of cricket. I am not a cricket expert but i had watched Australia's quality Test matches. This team has got good names Like Shane Warne, Mcgrath, Steve & Mark waugh, Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, and so on ... Hmm let him give a way to M Clarke in an important Ashes Series in home. Let him score runs freely as he used to it previously. M Clarke can captain the side, on paper England is much better than current Australian Ashes Squad. Captaining kids side in Ashes will add more trouble to his poor form. Let him come back as a batsman and score some runs. I am fed up and lost interest in him game...

  • Aabhas on October 18, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    The idea of handing Clarke the captaincy of the team when - 1) he is in the worst form of his life 2) Aus have just suffered 3 losses in a row and 3) the Ashes in one months time - is completely ludicrous. I am not a great fan of Ponting the person (though I must admit that he was a pleasant surprise in the tour of India) but he is the best and only option available to Australia.

  • flying on October 18, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    @shariqbabar...........shariq u r rite ,i accept that ponting is way better than afridi as a captain n batsman but u r wrong in u r views abt dhoni.........Hes a better captain thn ponting......hes winning so many tournaments dont u know that ????ponting was winning games whn world class players were thre in his team like warne,gilchrist,hayden,mcgrath,langer,gillespie.....................but after thre retirement ponting couldnt do the same magic wit youngsters(his battin is also suffering)....dhoni can win matches wit youngsters tooo...Its better u worry abt pak team coz they r now worst than zimbabwe.......

  • Mal on October 17, 2010, 23:29 GMT

    Not a bad call Peter Bourke, I tend to agree with the look of that side, particularly the dropping of Johnson & the retaining of Paine. Bollinger is the form left armer & can swing the ball & hit the seam, we cannot carry another one. I like Siddle when he's fit, he goes at it hard & gives his all. Interesting left field thinking on Kahwaja too. Sadly, I don't think the selectors will agree. The golden boy Johnson will get a run as will Haddon, just because......well, for not good reason at all really !

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