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Ponting warns India on 'big hole'

The Aussie says simultaneous retirement of Sachin, Dravid and Kumble will badly affect India, reports Abhishek Hore.

cricket Updated: Jun 15, 2007 22:52 IST
Abhishek Hore

Ricky Ponting gave the Indian selectors a reality-check on how to manage the transition of players in the team. “Pick them at the right age,” Ponting said, minutes after walking in for a media interaction in New Delhi on Friday.

The Waugh brothers have disappeared from the scene long back and the Australian cricketers no longer share the dressing room with spin wizard Shane Warne, nor do they have the menacing Glenn McGrath in their ranks. But the Aussie juggernaut continues to roll on.

“I think that’s because the Australian selectors have been doing a good job while managing the transition of players in the team,” said Ponting.

“Whenever there was a group of players of the same age on the verge of retirement, they brought on the youngsters,” said the Australian skipper, in India on a promotional tour.

Ponting felt if Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman — already in their mid thirties — retire at the same time, “it would leave a huge void.”

“The Indian selectors would do well to take a leaf out of the Australian selection policy,” added Ponting.

When the media asked Ponting on the dilemma the BCCI now faces regarding hiring a foreign coach, the Australian skipper said: “I don’t see any reason why an Australian can’t coach the Indian team.”

“If our team hadn’t been playing the way it has in recent years, I don’t think Australian coaches would have been that sought after,” he said.

“But having said that, I must accept the fact that Australian coaches really have been doing a great job with not only the home team but foreign teams as well.”

The Oz skipper, who led his team to their fourth World Cup triumph in the West Indies this April, believed “a coach should be good at man-management”.

“He doesn’t need to be a superstar. He should know how to manage his players off the field.”

“A coach can’t be a magician and one can’t expect him to teach Anil Kumble how to bowl a top-spinner,” said Ponting in a lighter vein.