Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has revealed that he still gets nightmares about veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, whom he describes as ‘arch-nemesis’ from his playing days.
“My arch nemesis when I was playing against India was Harbhajan Singh. I still get nightmares about him,” Ponting said on the sidelines of a cricket workshop at Australia Embassy.
Despite boasting a staggering batting average of 51.85, Ponting had always struggled against Harbhajan as the Indian spinner had dismissed the former on 10 occasions in Tests-more than any other bowler-including three ducks.
Ponting’s otherwise impressive average had dropped to 22.30 against the Indian offie and it was no great surprise when the Australian became Harbhajan’s 300th Test victim.
The 41-year-old, who led Australia to two consecutive World Cup titles in 2003 and 2007, also said Virat Kohli has the potential to scale greater heights and observed that consistency would play a major role in determining whether the star Indian batsman would become one of the greats of the game.
“Virat Kohli is an ultra skilled and talented player, I think Steve Smith and Kane Williamson are also in the same boat,” Ponting said.
Commenting on Steve Smith’s side’s recent 3-0 whitewash against Sri Lanka in the Test series, Ponting expressed hope that his country’s players will learn lessons from the disappointing series and will show an improved show when they travel India next year for a four-match series.
“If you look at one series in isolation, then it looks exceptionally bad but at the end of the day, the Australia have been in number one, two, and three ranked Test teams for the last 10 years and are the world cup holders in the one-day cricket. Australia have bounced back after a disappointing series against Sri Lanka to win the ODI series convincingly,” he said. “It is not all doom and gloom. We have some very talented players for Australia: David Warner, Steve Smith, Nathan Lyon, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Starc.
“We are going to play India in a Test series over here very soon. So it will be once again a great challenge for Australia players coming to subcontinent.”