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Ponting adviced to take a break

March 05, 2008 17:54 IST

A day after Australia's humiliating tri-series defeat against India, Ricky Ponting's continuance as captain came under scrutiny with critics bluntly telling the beleaguered leader to take a break from the game and sort out his batting woes.

Also read: Ponting praises Ishant

The critics blamed Ponting's poor form for the defeat and said the team could have benefited if the captain had stood aside following the prolonged lean patch.

"The last thing Ponting needs is more cricket," asserts well-known cricket writer Robert Craddock in an article in The Daily Telegraph.

Craddock said Ponting should back out of the Indian Premier League and stay away from the game for a while to recharge his batteries.

"Over the next days, Ponting would do well to tear up his contract with the Indian Premier League and book some time at his favourite Sydney golf club.

"The contract fee of $ 400,000 he would have to surrender would be worth it for the peace of mind he cannot get at the moment," he said.

Number three is a vital position in a cricket line-up and Ponting's failures hurt his team massively this summer - an accusation Ponting acknowledges.

"The batting has been very inconsistent and my own form has been awful right through the series," said Ponting in Brisbane after the nine-run loss to India last night.

"When you are batting at number three you need to take up a lot of responsibility and be a consistent scorer that I haven't been in this series," Ponting pointed out.

Also read: No excuses from Punter

Critics also felt that Australia are on the verge of losing their dominance in world cricket.

One of the game's most dominant batsman, Ponting scored only 191 runs from 10 innings at an average of 19.10 from the series - and 124 of these runs came in just one innings.

Ponting is on the cusp of scoring 10,000 Test runs - he has 9778 at 58.53 from his 116 Tests with 34 hundreds - and his captaincy record is still numbing - 31 wins out of 41 games -- but Australia's glory days, it is feared, are over.

Craddock says one of the major problems for Australia is to find younger players - something which India has done with ease.

"Indians had just one player over 30 - Australians in contrast had only three under 30. Earlier this week, India won the Under-19 world cup. They are a nation on the rise.

Australia are not tumbling into any sort of abyss but they are in slight decline.

"For much of the tri-series, Australia had little spark. They were something short of the rampant, hostile beasts we are used to," he said.

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