South Africa are just not the same cricket team without Graeme Smith at the helm.
Christo Buchner writes for Beeld that, that was the opinion on Thursday of Ricky Ponting when he was asked whether he noticed a difference in the South Africans without Smith leading the side.
“Oh yes, definitely,” said the Australian captain. “It’s only natural that they won’t be as intense with their captain absent. He commands respect and is a strong leader.
“The difference in the field is visible with a new captain. It was particularly evident in Brisbane the other night when there were about four or five captains by the end and everybody had something to say.
“However, it’s their problem and we just observe it from afar. It’s not my job to give them advice,” he added with a smile.
Australia last played one-day cricket in September and Ponting was not even part of the squad then. He said it would be a new experience with the rule changes that have come in since last season.
“We spoke about it this morning and it’s quite a strange situation with the senior players in the Australian team having to get advice on tactics from the younger guys that have come out of the provincial set-up,” said Ponting.
“We’ll discuss the tactics because everything is a little new to us. There are some exciting changes (such as the power play for batsmen).”
He added the energy and enthusiasm from the new players has been important and is making a difference to the Aussies.
When he was asked whether he thought one-day cricket and Twenty20 both have a right to existence, he said one of the two would have to be scaled down over time.
“I think both versions can survive because there is a market. The cricket authorities will have to remain switched on to keep stimulating interest in both,” he said.Tweet