Melbourne:Former Australian captain Steve Waugh on Monday lashed out at his embattled successor Ricky Ponting for opting to rest during the one-day series against New Zealand, saying the decision puts a question-mark on his commitment to the team.
"There's never an easy time for a captain to rest," said Waugh, who is Ponting's predecessor.
"In these days, with so much cricket happening and the players choosing to play IPL and choosing all these other opportunities, I guess there's got to be question-marks thrown up when people say they want to rest because they're committing to playing more cricket and you are playing for your country," he was quoted as saying by a website.
Ponting, who has not taken a break since Australia's tour of India in October last year, has been rested by the Cricket Australia to rejuvenate him for the tour of South Africa.
South Africa recently defeated Australia in their own backyard in Tests as well as ODIs to topple them from the number one position.
"It's a tough one to answer and really Ricky's the only one who can answer that. Is he mentally and physically fatigued? Is he better off having a couple of games (off)? Will he come back fresher and stronger for the team? They're the questions that people in and around the side have got to answer," Waugh said.
Waugh also felt it would be a gamble to take controversial all rounder Andrew Symonds, who is also out-of-form following his knee surgery, to South Africa where the team will play three Tests immediately after the Chappell-Hadlee Series.
"He gives that side that x-factor and that's something special that can win a match.
"But he's got to be very clear in his head and he's got to be concise in his thinking and right now he doesn't seem to be playing his best cricket," he added.