'Cannot write off a champion like Ponting': Arthur

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Published: Sunday, February 19, 2012, 10:45 [IST]
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Arthur backs out-of-form Ponting

Brisbane, Feb 19: Australia's coach Mickey Arthur backs Ricky Ponting as he said, the right-hander looks jaded similar to a couple of Test players, also stressing on the fact that the entire team is struggling to overcome fatigue.

Former skipper Ricky Ponting, leading the side in the absence of Michael Clarke, is yet to reach double figures in the ODI tri-series after playing four matches.

"If I have to be totally honest, Ricky is a little bit jaded, like a couple of our Test players who have played all summer. But that's the treadmill of international cricket and they have to find a way to make their performances count and have an impact on the team. I'd like to see Ponting in our team all the time but as I've said through the summer, every cricketer's currency is performance, that's what gets you into the Australian team," he said.

Though he said, it was unacceptable that Aussies lost to Sri Lanka by 8 wickets under Ponting's captaincy.

"The guys are hurting and this is an opportunity for them to atone for what happened. If they don't atone for it, they know what the consequences are," was his blunt assessment. "It (fatigue) is going to be a factor, there's no doubt about it. We have pushed the guys incredibly hard in terms of our intensity, and our expectation around them. Some guys are feeling the effects of that, but we know what the schedule is, we have to make sure we manage the boys correctly, and that we've got the guys up and firing come tomorrow."

Ponting, averages a low 2.75 in has lasted only 66 balls including the match against India today as he scored 7, his highest in the series so far. Now, he is under pressure having asked to lead the side in the absence of injured Clarke.

While asked if it was time for Ponting to call it quits, Aussie coach backed Ponting and said you cannot write off a champion like him.

"Ricky is a class act, there is no way you can write off a champion like him. He faced those same issues in the first couple of Test matches and he came through the Test series, had a great series against India and I hope he turns it around tomorrow," Arthur said.


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