Hauritz can be a Test mainstay: Ponting

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/p/ponting31_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Australia skipper Ricky Ponting feels Nathan Hauritz has got all the qualities to fill in the void left by Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill.

Updated: January 08, 2009 16:38 IST
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Ricky Ponting thinks Australia's long-ending search for a quality spin bowler is finally over and feels Nathan Hauritz has got all the qualities to fill in the void left by Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill.

Ponting has put his weight behind Hauritz to take up the responsibility of Australia's spin department which lost its sheen after Warne and McGill's retirements.

The 27-year-old off-break bowler's solid performance in the last two Tests against South Africa, where he picked five wickets at 50.80, also earned him a place in the one-day and Twenty20 squads.

To add to that, Cricket Australia's decision to include him in the central contract came as icing on the cake for Hauritz.

"Yeah, I think he can (be a mainstay in the Test team). He has got all the skills to be able to do that," said Ponting.

"The thing about Nathan is he has got such a good cricket head on his shoulders. He knows how to get guys out. He knows a more defensive type mindset when required as well. "I think he has definitely got what it takes to hold down that spinning spot," noted the Australian skipper.

Ponting also praised Hauritz for playing a part in Australia's consolation win at the Sydney Test.

"He was probably a little bit disappointed with the way he bowled in the first innings of this game," he was quoted as saying by the 'Daily Telegraph'.

"We sat down and had a good chat about the way he needed to approach things in the second innings and what we wanted to do with fields and how he wanted to bowl to different players.

"He did that really well for us. (Hashim) Amla's dismissal was a big one in the context of the game," he added.

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