Lee and Hussey get Ponting’s Ashes vote

June 10th, 2009 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 10 (IANS) Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has backed Michael Hussey and Brett Lee to perform in the Ashes after their mediocre stint in World Twenty20.
Australia made an early exit from the World Twenty20 after losing both their league matches.

Ponting, however, said he was satisfied with Hussey’s efforts.

“Batting in the position he bats in one-day cricket and probably in Twenty20 cricket for us, sometimes you’re on a bit of a hiding to nothing,” Ponting was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald.

“He goes out late in the innings today and misses out, he went in late in the innings against the West Indies and did a reasonable job.

“You can be judged pretty harshly batting late in the middle order in this form of the game.”

Hussey’s Test average has slid from 80.58 at the start of 2008 to 55.29 following the series in South Africa, which ended in March. He has two tons from his last 18 Tests - the last against India in October - but a handful of half centuries.

It is a similar story in one-dayers, with five scores over 50 and two 49s in 15 matches since the start of the year. In that time, he also has six scores of 12 and under.

“I know how good a player Mike is and has been for Australia over the last few years and I know that he’s going to be an integral part of our Ashes campaign going forward as well,” said Ponting.

“As a batsman, everyone goes through their ups and downs through their career and knowing Mike the way I do and how hard he works on his game, he’ll certainly give himself every opportunity to have a big Ashes campaign.”

Lee, who took some punishment in the World Twenty20 while making his way back from foot and ankle problems, too got a support of the captain. Against a rampant West Indies, he conceded 56 runs for just one wicket off four overs and claimed 2-39 against Sri Lanka.

“We all know how good a bowler Brett can be and will be when he gets some more bowling under his belt,” Ponting said.

“He’ll be a little bit disappointed probably with these last couple of games, but it’s a really fine line when you’re bowling as quick as he does with the new ball on these sort of wickets and these grounds.

“Definitely he’s still working back into it, but I’m sure when the first Test comes around he’ll be firing on all cylinders.”

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