Select Ponting on merit, not stature, says Mark Waugh

Sydney : Former Australian batsman Mark Waugh feels that Ricky Ponting’s place in the team should be based on merit and not stature.

“Ricky Ponting is a great player, he’s got a few credits in the bank. But, he’ll know he has got to score runs. Like any player, you’ve got to perform,” Waugh was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Waugh said Ponting brings in lot of experience in the team but he has to use it to score runs.

“I think he’s invaluable with his experience for the other guys in the team, I think Michael Clarke has said that. But his bottom line is, his job is to score runs. The experience he brings, you can’t really count that. He’s got to score runs,” he said.

“He hasn’t been at his best. I thought there were very good signs in the last Test in Johannesburg that he was getting back to somewhere near his best. But it’s going to be up to him — if he makes runs, he can play for as long as he likes. You don’t lose your ability overnight. I think he’s still got a fair bit to give…I think he’s just happy he’s in the 11,” he said.

Waugh also feels that all-rounder Shane Watson should drop down from the opening slot to the middle order to get the most out of his game — a move Waugh believes would make sense.

“I’d like to see Watto drop down,” Waugh said. “He’s one of our best bowlers and he’s going to bowl quite a few overs and I think, physically and mentally, you need that break. It’s very hard to bowl a lot of overs and then go and open.

“I think he can bat either four or five. I think it’s just better for the balance of the team that he does drop down the order because his bowling is going to be so important for us,” he said.

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