Ponting says Hauritz to bowl in India and Ashes
Test captain Ricky Ponting says Nathan Hauritz is his spinner of choice for Australia's forthcoming cricket tour of India and the Ashes series at home against England.cricket Updated: Aug 16, 2010 12:13 IST
Test captain Ricky Ponting says Nathan Hauritz is his spinner of choice for Australia's forthcoming cricket tour of India and the Ashes series at home against England. Hauritz has 57 wickets in 15 tests and enjoyed a breakthrough season in Australia against the West Indies and Pakistan in 2009-10, when he become the country's leading slow bowler.
The offspinner missed the recent series against Pakistan in England due to a foot injury but has resumed training ahead of October's two tests in India. "I've spoken a bit to Nathan over the last couple of weeks," Ponting during a meeting of team leaders in Melbourne on Monday. "He has started running again, which is a good sign, without pain in his foot. He started bowling again last week.
"I'll be doing a lot of work with him over the next few weeks ... considering we've got (England's Graeme) Swann and Harbhajan (India's Harbhajan Singh) to confront over the next few months." "Is he a lock-in?" Ponting added of likely selections for the tour squad. "I think so."
Hauritz could receive some competition from 21-year-old legspinner Steve Smith, who took a combined 3-82 against Pakistan at Headingley in July in the drawn two-test series and hit 77 off 100 balls in the same match.
Ponting said Australia might consider playing Hauritz and Smith as a spin duo in the Adelaide and Sydney Ashes tests. "Steven came along really well in the two tests that he played in the U.K.," Ponting said. "We saw his ability with the bat and also his willingness to be aggressive with the ball. That's not an easy thing to do for a young legspinner to maintain that aggression. He's a work in progress..."
Ponting said with allrounder Shane Watson in the Australia side "it gives us the flexibility to be able to look at playing two spinners."