Guwahati: Australian skipper Ricky Ponting on Saturday lavishly praised his Indian counterpart Sourav Ganguly's ability as captain and One-day player saying his return to action would rejuvenate the hosts in their crucial last two games. "Ganguly is a very good leader.His return to the field would bring a spring in the steps of the Indians," Ponting told newspersons here ahead of his team's clash with New Zealand in a tri-series match on Sunday.
"He is also a great One-day player who has more than 20 One-day hundreds to his name," Ponting said. The Indian skipper, who missed the second Test against New Zealand at Mohali and the first four matches of the tri-series due to an abscess on his left thigh, would join his team for the November 12 match against Australia in Bangalore. Ponting also lauded the Indian team despite its two consecutive defeats in the tournament saying it was a tough opponent in home conditions. "A couple of losses may not have augured well for the side.
But they are a very good team," he said On Stephen Fleming's stinging comments about the scheduling of the tri-series matches Ponting said, "I think the (Kiwi skipper's) comments are based on the conditions that we (Australia and New Zealand) have had to encounter and the wickets that we've had to play on." Ponting said as per the itinerary New Zealand and Australia have always met in day games.
"In contrast, India are to play in day-night encounters only. Moreover, whenever New Zealand and Australia met each other, the wicket had a tinge of grass with the ball always doing something in the morning. But that's not the case when India takes the field," he added. Fleming had earlier criticised the tournament organisers for making New Zealand and Australia play all the day matches, saying the morning starts had ruined his team's prospects in the tri-series.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had then shot back saying the scheduling was done in consultation with New Zealand Cricket and Fleming should take up the matter with his country's Board if he had grievances on the issue.