Ponting Test status in jeopardy: Hughes

Published: Monday, February 18, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Perth: Ricky Ponting, controversial choice as captain of Australia's One-day cricket side, is no certainty to retain his place in the star-studded Test team, former captain Kim Hughes said on Monday.

"Ponting is a certainty in One-day cricket which is more forgiving on technical problems," Hughes said. "But his footwork and technique have deteriorated in Test cricket." Hughes said Ponting's flaws against top-line bowling in the longer version of the game meant his future as a Test player was far from assured. This could mean that Australia might find themselves in the unusual situation of having a Test captain (Steve Waugh) who was no longer in the One-day side and a One- day leader who was not a member of the Test line-up. Ponting, 27, becomes Australia's youngest captain since Hughes was appointed in 1979 at the age of 25. Hughes said he was astonished when Ponting was appointed to the One-day job ahead of vice-captain Adam Gilchrist and champion leg spinner Shane Warne. But he predicted Ponting would be an astute leader. "Ricky has played enough cricket to know the game," he said. "He has done it tough at times, he appears to have a good cricket brain and I am sure he will have the respect of his teammates. But I would have had my house on Gilchrist getting the job. "The situation now is that Steve Waugh will lead the Test team and not play One-day International cricket, but Ponting is not guaranteed to stay in the Test team if he cannot get his technique right." Ponting has been exposed at number three in Test ranks where he has been vulnerable against top quality pace bowling.

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