Melbourne:Former Oz captain Mark Taylor has sought to bail out Ricky Ponting, saying the issue of slow over-rates was a worldwide epidemic not specific to any captain.
Taylor says the finger-pointing at Ponting should cease and captains and Test-playing nations across the world need to take responsibility for the slow over-rate issue.
"This is nothing new and it's been a real issue for years but it's got progressively worse to the point where every skipper around the world must make a stand to do something about it," Taylor said.
"It's Test cricket's big problem and it's every captain's problem, not just Ricky. It's stifling Test cricket and slowing it down and it needs addressing collectively, not just one individual," he was quoted as saying by the 'Daily Telegraph'.
Taylor also dismissed former Australian captain Greg Chappell's call for a new blueprint via a mid 1980s-like watershed think-tank, following the series loss in India. He said Cricket Australia has always been reviewing team performance and there was no need for a new one now.
"I respect Greg is entitled to an opinion but I don't agree on this one as we are constantly looking at ways to improve performance on and off the field," Taylor said. "After we lost the 2005 Ashes series, we put processes in place to get us back on track."
Current Australian team opener Matthew Hayden echoes Taylor's view, saying the problem with over rates, that cost his side dearly in a critical part of the Nagpur Test, was not just his side's fault.
"We've had trouble with our over rates for a long time now. It's not just us in international cricket that seems to struggle with it for whatever reason," Hayden said. He said some of the blame must be taken by batsmen and sight screen officials.
"They (opposition batsmen) are very difficult to get to face up as well. Often we find ourselves with hands on hips waiting for someone to either face up or someone in the sight board to move away; all the little frustrations that happen in Third World countries and the heat as well," he said.
Hayden pointed out that sides have no trouble bowling 96 overs in Sheffield Shield but international teams struggle to bowl 90.