Bowling legend Shane Warne has called Ricky Ponting the "right man" to lead Australia for the Ashes series against England.
Bowling legend Shane Warne has called Ricky Ponting the “right man” to lead Australia for the Ashes series against England despite raising pressure on the captain by criticising him on Twitter.
Warne said the fall-out of his tweet was “staggering, but not surprising” and accused the media of trying to create a rift with Ponting, who faced calls for his head after the 2-0 Test series loss to India.
In a statement on his website, Warne said his tweeted description of “terrible” field settings in Bangalore for spinner Nathan Hauritz was simply an honest observation.
“Ricky, to me, is the right man to lead Australia for the Ashes,” Warne wrote. “It’s a great opportunity for him to show his leadership and captaincy skills.
“He also looks in super touch with the bat; I am sure he’s going to fill his boots this summer. This Ashes series is going to be the biggest of his and the Australian team’s career.”
Former Test fast bowler Geoff Lawson also called for Ponting to step aside after leading Australia, now a lowly fifth in the Test rankings, to their first three-match losing streak in more than 20 years.
“Ricky was disappointed with my tweet and expressed his disappointment via SMS to which I replied ‘Should I take you off the Christmas card list?’,” Warne said.
“I get a sense that people are after Ricky, they are trying to use my tweet as a camouflage to their own views and hang him; that’s not on!” he added.
Australia are now ranked below England, currently fourth, as they bid to regain the coveted Ashes trophy after losing it last year. The five-Test Ashes starts in Brisbane on November 25.—Sapa-AFP