NEW DELHI: Australia’s former World Cup-winning skipper Ricky Ponting said on Monday that loads of one-day cricket may put the 50-over version in danger of losing its relevance.
Speaking to the media a day after Australia consolidated their top ODI spot with a 4-1 series win against Sri Lanka, Ponting seemed underwhelmed by his country’s achievement. “One-day cricket is the game at the moment that is lacking the most context,” Ponting told reporters at a promotional event in New Delhi. “You just have a one-off series like the Australia-Sri Lanka series, it doesn’t really matter, it doesn’t mean anything.
“Both teams want to win the series, but there is nothing else riding on it. Maybe each ODI will have some sort of relevance for the World Cup rankings, but nothing more than that,” Ponting said.
Ponting, though appreciated the Australian team for their bounce-back ability after the visitors overcame a 3-0 Test drubbing last month to outplay the hosts in ODIs. “Australia have bounced back from a disappointing Test series…so trust me, it’s not all doom and gloom,” Ponting, who led Australia to two World Cup triumphs in 2003 and 2007, said.
The batting great also lauded Aussie pace spearhead Mitchell Starc, who stood out with with 24 wickets in three Tests and 12 in five ODIs to make an impression on sluggish sub-continent pitches. “Mitchell Starc is arguably the best fast bowler in the world at the moment,” Ponting said of the lanky pacer who had returned to Test matches in Sri Lanka after an ankle injury.
“We have seen and unearthed some very talented players in the last two or three seasons. David Warner, Steve Smith, Nathan Lyon and Usman Khawaja has been good,” Ponting said of the current lot of players.
Ponting, who scored 13,378 runs in 168 Tests during his 17-year-long glittering career, also had his opinion on the growing clamour for day-night Test cricket. “We have seen it once in Adelaide. It was a great success, albeit the game went for just three and a half days, so you can argue there, was it a great spectacle for Test cricket or did it have an adverse effect?” Ponting said of the first day-night Test between Australia and New Zealand last year.
“But once again, I am all for what administrators and fans believe is right for the game. If the fans are calling out for day-night Test cricket then as players and administrators we will do whatever we can to deliver that to them,” he added.