Time to rebuild and regroup in Australian cricket, says Ponting

January 29th, 2009 - 3:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Roger Federer

Perth, Jan. 29 (ANI): Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting is confident that his team will come up trumps in 2009, but adds that he knows that now is the time to reflect, rebuild and regroup. In an article for The Australian, Ponting says As I look around the sporting world, there are all sorts of encouraging signs for the future which give me heart that we will soon be consistently back on the winners” list again.
He says that members of the team, current and those likely to come in, can take inspiration from sportspersons like Lance Armstrong, who was racing in the Tour Down Under in his comeback event after three years in retirement.
No one can argue that the 37-year-old is one of the greatest sportsmen who has ever lived. As a multiple winner of the Tour de France his achievements have been phenomenal. His comeback was huge news and the Tour Down Under was unofficially labelled the “Tour de Lance”, such was the publicity and expectation of his return to road racing, says Ponting.
Ponting says tennis player Roger Federer is another sportsman one can take inspiration from.
He had a difficult 2008 battling glandular fever and losing his No1 ranking. After losing the semi-final of the Australian Open and the final at the French Open and Wimbledon there was speculation that he was past his best and on the slide. However, he came back later in the year to win the US Open and after a crushing quarter-final victory yesterday, it would be a brave observer who believes Federer cannot win a record-equalling 14th Grand Slam title, Ponting says.
I believe that these sporting analogies apply to the Australian cricket team. We have not been at our best and unfortunately this is partly due to a string of retirements and a spate of injuries. But this has given us a great opportunity to start playing and preparing for the future. We have played a whole lot of new players, including some pretty young guys who will continue to develop into good cricketers, Ponting says.
With a new generation coming through, and some of our more experienced guys returning from injury, I firmly believe that Australia can regain its aura, Ponting says. We have used 26 different players in all three forms of the game since the start of the India Test series in October and there have been seven debutants, including David Warner, who is still yet to play a single first-class match.
A little more experience from the young blokes and a few more senior players returning to the team, such as vice-captain Michael Clarke for Friday’’s match against South Africa in Perth, can be the difference between success and failure in big matches, he concludes. (ANI)

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