Melbourne: Legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne feels Ricky Ponting was lucky to survive the axe despite his average batting as the selectors chose to drop an 'easy' prey in Simon Katich.
The Australian selectors invited criticism from former players and fans after dropping a very consistent Katich from the players' contracted list.
"Simon Katich is an easy guy to drop, if that makes sense, I don't think anyone is easy but Simon Katich is a lot harder than Ricky Ponting who averages 25 at the moment,"
Warne was quoted as saying by 'The Australian' - Katich was averaging 50 as an opener and 45 from his last 14 innings, despite being injured for the last four of those. Warne said after Katich, Ponting would be under pressure to perform.
"I think what they are trying to do with Ricky at the moment is say 'well let's take the captaincy off him and see how it goes'," Warne said.
"I think they will give him a bit of a trial but hopefully if he is not performing he will put his hand up and say 'I will retire'.
"It's one of those tough situations where if he's not performing it's pretty hard for a selector to come up and say 'Ricky don't you think it is time to retire, we are going to drop you'," he added.
Ponting while appearing on a TV show said Katich's axing shocked him.
"It's fair to say he (Katich) didn't hold back in his press conference and rightly so as well. To be omitted from the contract list was a great shock to him.
"It was a shock to me. I was surprised that he wasn't named. His performance in the last two or three years has been almost as anybody's in the world," Ponting said.
Ponting admitted that his and Mike Hussey's performance would now be under scrutiny.
"I would have liked to have another old bloke around the group with me, yeah. It puts us 36-year-olds on notice now, Mike Hussey and myself. It's going to make us work that little bit harder," he said.