IPL 2017 T20: Ricky Ponting concerned by Steve Smith’s captaincy workload
Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting says captaining four teams might be too much pressure on Steve Smith’s shoulders, who is currently leading Rising Pune Supergiants in the Indian Premier League (IPL)ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 07, 2017 14:42 IST
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes compatriot Steve Smith has done well in roles of responsibility but has expressed concern over him captaining the Australian national team in all three formats and having to lead Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). (FULL IPL COVERAGE)
Smith was unveiled as captain of the Pune franchise after former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was unexpectedly removed from the post.
While the former Australian skipper Ponting feels Smith has done a good job with the national team, he is wary of the workload that might befall the 27-year-old with captaincy in the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
“I’m not so sure,” Ponting told Cricket Australia’s website (cricket.com.au) when asked if captaining RPS would be a good thing for Smith.
“Knowing how taxing the captaincy can be, to be captain of three teams for Australia is hard enough. And when you’ve got another couple of months of captaincy and responsibility on top of that, it’s actually quite interesting to see how that will all play out,” he continued.
The workload Ponting mentioned was concerning the top players of the Australian team like Smith and opener David Warner who have been playing continuously since October 2016 and will be on the road until the end of the ICC Champions Trophy in June this year.
Responsibilities of T20
While Ponting has previously suggested that Smith give up captaincy of the Australian T20I side to balance the workload, he is of the opinion that Smith has held his own thus far.
“I came out more than 12 months ago now and (said) ... for Steve Smith’s best interests, I thought to stand down from the Australian T20 captaincy and have a little bit of a break away from all the extra stuff that you have to do might be a good thing for him mentally. But he seems to be coping pretty well with everything at the moment. But we’ll wait and see how that plays out,” Ponting said in the interview on Thursday.
The 42-year-old cricketer-turned-commentator — who played for Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians — feels the RPS captain will do well because of his ability to think ahead of the game.
“The art of captaincy in the T20 game is staying an over or two ahead of the game and I think he does that particularly well. That’s why he’s had the success that he’s had as a player. Even with his Test batting, he’s thinking ahead of the game. That will hold him in great stead ... if he keeps thinking like that then he’ll have great success (as a captain),” Ponting said.
Supergiants win opener
Smith was in action for the Supergiants on Thursday, taking on Mumbai Indians in their first game of the season.
The match played at Pune’s Maharashtra Cricket Stadium ended in favour of the home side as Smith guided them to a seven-wicket victory.
The skipper led from the front with a half-century on his captaincy debut for the IPL franchise. He scored 84 runs off 54 balls, including seven fours and three sixes.
After the match, Ajinkya Rahane praised Smith for captaining the side very well and said that Dhoni was still a very important leader for the team.
When asked to compare the captaincies of Smith and Dhoni, Rahane said it was too early to do so since he had only played one match under Smith.