Melbourne, Jan 20: Former England captain Nasser Hussain has said Ricky Ponting can still make runs and regain his lost form like Sachin Tendulkar if he gives up Australia's captaincy.
Ponting failed with the bat during Australia's recent Ashes humiliation, returning a dismal 113 runs at an average of 16.14, including a highest score of 51 not out in the second innings of the first Test at the Gabba.
The figures compare poorly both with his Test career figures of 12,363 runs at 53.51, including 39 centuries, and his career return against England.
"He has given so much to Australian cricket that he deserves the chance to show he can score runs again without the burden of captaincy," Hussain writes of Ponting in the February Ashes Souvenir issue of The Wisden Cricketer magazine.
"This must have taken so much out of him, not just on the field, where he went from leading one of the greatest sides of all time to captaining an ordinary team, but also off it," he said.
Hussain suggests that Ponting will be a driven man in the Test arena, FOX Sports reports.
"I don't think he would want to go out on this note. He had a bad couple of months: he failed to regain the Ashes, didn't get any runs and had an argument with an umpire. It's not how he would want to finish," Hussain writes in The Wisden Cricketer
Hussain likens Ponting's situation to that of Sachin Tendulkar, who has been in career-best form after a lean period with the bat.
"Ricky's batting record in the last year was not great, and it may be, of course, that age has simply caught up with him. But I would like to see him play on for a while and try to perform the way Tendulkar has over the past two years after his dip in form," he writes.