Perth: All-conquering Australian One-day cricket captain Ricky Ponting on Monday welcomed the opportunity to succeed skipper Steve Waugh at the helm of the world's best Test team.
But Ponting emphasised his belief that Waugh would continue in the role for as long as he wished. Rising speculation would have Waugh, 37, dumped by selectors at the end of the Ashes series against England early next year and replaced for the four-Test West Indies tour starting April. Ponting, 28, is a strong front-runner for the prestigious job because of his ease in adapting to the demands of leadership in the One-day game, which saw Waugh relegated to the bench in the Limited Overs line-up. Ponting's side sits atop the current tri-nations series standings ahead of England, taking a third-straight win on Sunday and crushing Sri Lanka by 142 runs at the WACA ground. Ponting's talented team is to travel to South Africa in February with strong prospects of retaining the World Cup One-day crown Australia won four years ago. "Things are working out pretty well for me in the One-day arena, but Steve is Test captain now and probably will be for as long as he wants to be if he keeps playing well," Ponting said. "But if that chance did come, it would be nice to do it. I won't be thinking about it too much." Ponting said despite his lack of experience when he was bumped up to succeed Waugh as One-day team captain, he always tried to think as a captain when he was in the field. "I would like to think that I have a good enough cricket brain, and understand the game well enough, to be able to do a good job as captain," he said. "When I make decisions, I like to talk to some of the more senior players out there and get their opinions as well. I am not always going to be right, and I like to hear advice from the other guys. Ponting had not captained any senior side until just over a year ago, when he became skipper of the Tasmanian Sheffield Shield team. He took over from veteran opening batsman Jamie Cox, who stepped down specifically to give Ponting experience. "I owe Jamie a lot for doing that -- it was something he did not have to do," Ponting said. "It was his decision. I might not have got the One-day Australian captaincy but for that. I am in debt to him for that."
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