Let’s not hang Ricky, says Warne

November 12th, 2008 - 8:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan SinghSydney, Nov 12 (IANS) An under-fire Australian captain Ricky Ponting has found support from spin legend Shane Warne.After the 0-2 loss in the Test series in India, Ponting was severely criticised for his bizarre decision-making during fourth-Test defeat in Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Former captains Allan Border and Ian Chappell led a chorus in slamming Pointing but Warne has come out in support of the Tasmanian.

“I feel for (Ponting) as he has been copping it from all angles and all because he went away from what he does best - attack,” Warne wrote in his column in The Daily Telegraph.

“But one of Rick’s strengths as a person is to admit when he has made a mistake and I’m sure on the way home he re-lived every moment of the final Test and every decision he made throughout,” he added.

Critics felt that Ponting allowed the Indians to run away with a huge victory despite putting them in trouble at 166/6 in the second innings in Nagpur. Australia were running behind in the over rate and in order to escape a ban, Ponting replaced his fast bowlers with slow bowlers, who were milked by the Indian batsmen.

His decision allowed seventh-wicket pair Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh to mount a recovery, sharing a 108-run stand to dig their side out of trouble.

Warne also felt that Ponting didn’t put his interest above the team by introducing the slow bowlers.

“The reason he is under pressure is that it looked like he put himself in front of the team, and that just isn’t Ponting. Having played with him for a long time, he was one of the guys that put the team first - always,” he said.

Warne said that the timing was only wrong and Ponting would only learn form the mistake.

“Let’s not hang him. Let’s encourage and support him. Hopefully Ricky understands where everyone’s criticism is coming from, takes it on board. I’m sure if he thinks it through, he could do worse than ask Ian Chappell or Allan Border out for dinner and chat about it. He might just pick up something,” he said.

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