Ashes Will Be The Biggest Challenge For Steve Smith, Says Ricky Ponting
Taking the attention away from the Champions Trophy failure, former Australia skipper has stated that Steve Smith now needs to focus on the upcoming Ashes series.
The Ashes begins later this year but Australia is undergoing a pretty lowly time.
Their most recent outing in a Test series ended in a 1-2 drubbing against India before they were knocked off the Champions Trophy in the group stage.
“Smith has got his biggest challenge coming up,” Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Ponting, who led Australia to 48 Tests wins – the most by any Australian, also pointed out the importance of the Ashes, especially for an Australian captain.
“An Ashes series as an Australian or England captain is the biggest thing that you play for and the biggest thing of your captaincy life,” he added.
The Ashes has truly been the hallmark of captaincy success for Australian as well as English captains. The losses inflicted in the traditional rivalry between the two teams is far more critical than the failures in the ICC tournaments. Ponting also made a point that Smith’s career as captain will be judged on his Ashes record.
“Fortunately or unfortunately, it’s those series that you are remembered for as a leader and as a player as well,” he asserted.
The 28-year-old’s track record at the Test level as the captain is good. In 24 Tests as skipper, he has 12 wins, seven loss and five draws to his name.
Ponting seems impressed with his captaincy so far and concedes that Smith has done a terrific job while leading the team.
“I think Steve Smith has done a terrific job captaining the Australian team,” Ponting said.
Last few months have been quite underwhelming for Smith. The humiliation at the hands of South Africa last summer where the hosts secured the Test and wrap up the series with a match to spare. They failed to dominate the visiting Pakistan as well. Later the tour to India ended in a loss despite showing full capability of winning it.
The legendary cricketer, however, was confident that the 28-year-old will bounce back from the lean patch.
“He’s got a very level head on his shoulders, he’s obviously playing the best cricket of his life right at the moment, which says a lot about how the responsibility sits with him,” he added.
The five-match Ashes series will begin on November 23 at the Gabba, Brisbane followed by matches at Adelaide Oval (December 2-6), WACA (December 14-18), MCG (December 26-30) and SCG (January 4-8).
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