Ricky Ponting to coach Team Australia after Lehmann? Right move ahead of 2019 WC?

The 2018 Australia’s tour to South Africa will always be remembered for the ball-tampering episode occurred during the third day of the Cape Town Test. The aftermath was even worse, which not only resulted in bans for Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft but also forced head coach Darren Lehmann to vacate his post. After the conclusion of the Test series against the Proteas, Lehmann will no longer continue with the team.

Cricket Australia (CA) will look forward to rope in someone who could fit in Lehmann’s shoes. Speculations have already been made for the same including former Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting among the options.

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Why Ricky Ponting for Australia Coach?

According to a report in news.com.au, CA has been trying to get Ponting for this post for quite some time. However, the former skipper has been ‘reluctant to spend time away from his young family in recent years’.

In January 2017, Ponting was appointed as the interim coach of the national side for a three-match T20I bilateral series against Sri Lanka. Australia lost that series 2-1.

Ponting In IPL

After associating first with Kolkata Knight Riders and then Mumbai Indians as a player, Ponting coached Mumbai Indians from 2014 to 2016. Recently he has been included in Delhi Daredevils team as the head coach.

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Ricky Ponting is the most decorated Australian captain so far. He is the all-time highest runs scorer from his nation (13,704 runs in ODIs and 13,378 runs in Tests). While representing Australia, he has set several unbelievable records too:

  • Part of a team with most ODI wins – 262
  • Most capped ODI captain – 230
  • Most world cup matches played – 46
  • Most number of matches as captain in ICC World Cups – 29
  • Most catches in world cups – 28
  • Most catches in a single world cup – 11
  • First batsman to score centuries against all Test playing nation
  • Most matches as captain in ICC Champions Trophy – 16
  • Highest T20I individual score on debut – 98

As further learned from the report, former English skipper Michael Vaughan has suggested that CA should focus on getting either Ricky Ponting or Justin Langer for this post. In his article written in The Telegraph, Vaughan wrote:

“Australia should now pay whatever it takes to get Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer to take over and sort out the mess. Both are hugely respected, have great cricket brains and passionate about their country. They will be desperate to help, I am sure.”

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On the other hand, CA CEO James Sutherland has assured of getting an eligible coach soon in the near future.

“We don’t play any international cricket for a few months. Thus, we’ve got plenty of time to work through that. I know there’s a lot of talent in the coaching ranks back in Australia. Among international cricket, there are a lot of Australian coaches that are performing very well,” news.com.au quoted Sutherland as saying.

Apart from candidates from Australia, several few names from other countries are likely to be considered for this post. The list carries the name with the likes of New Zealand’s Mike Hesson and former Indian legendary spinner Anil Kumble.