Ponting an ordinary captain: Thomson

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/p/pontingap.jpg' class='caption'> Ricky Ponting may be considered a premier batsman in contemporary cricket but as a skipper he is pretty ordinary, feels bowling great Jeff Thomson.

Updated: November 11, 2008 07:39 IST
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Ricky Ponting may be considered a premier batsman in contemporary cricket but as a skipper he is pretty ordinary, feels Australian bowling great Jeff Thomson.

Thomson said he was never convinced of Ponting's leadership qualities and the resounding 2-0 series defeat against India only vindicates his view.

"I always thought he was an ordinary captain and this proves it," said Thomson who formed a lethal new ball partnership with Denni Lillee in the 1970s.

"His captaincy calculator isn't that brilliant, is it? Don't get me wrong, he's a great batsman but an ordinary captain," the former tearaway pacer told 'Herald Sun'.

The sluggish over-rate in the Nagpur Test could have earned Ponting a one Test ban but the Australian captain used part-time bowlers and got away with a fine of 20 per cent match fees.

But the decision to keep strike bowlers out of action and operating with the part-timers dashed whatever hopes Australia had of winning the Test and levelling the series and Ponting continues to draw flak for putting himself ahead of team.

His predecessor Steve Waugh said only the captain should not be blamed for slow over-rates but felt Ponting did make a mistake in Nagpur.

"I am sure Ricky would regret the decision," he told the same daily.

"Winning the Test match is what mattered. You have just spent six weeks in the subcontinent. You just don't take your foot off the gas," he added.

Waugh felt too many drink breaks were slowing down the game and the authorities should look into the issue.

"...there are far too many stoppages. I remember when I played it was considered a badge of honour not to have a drink in a session (apart from the allotted break). And no one died from dehydration.

"These days there are far too many drinks breaks. It's ridiculous," Waugh said.

Another former captain, Ian Chappell, said Ponting cut a sorry figure in Nagpur but he still was the best man to lead the side.

"The Australians will be disappointed by what happened. But in essence they never had an attack that was going to work enough for them to work in India," Chappell told a cricket website.

"...his tactics after tea on the fourth day -particularly because it was such a significant moment - will always remain a query. He will certainly be questioned quite severely about it when he goes back home.

"But Ponting is still the best bet as captain for Australia. I think he is a good captain but for god's sake, he has got to stop getting himself into trouble with the over-rates and putting himself in a position where he cannot bowl the bowlers that he wants," Chappell added.

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