Johannesburg: Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has voiced his concern over compatriot Steven Smith‘s captaincy workload as the latter prepares leads Rising Pune Supergiant in the ongoing tenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Smith, who recently replaced MS Dhoni as the captain of the RPS, already leads Australia in across all three formats of the game. When quizzed whether the RPS captaincy would be something positive for Smith, Ponting said, “I’m not so sure.” Full Cricket Scorecard: RPS vs MI
“Knowing how taxing the captaincy can be, to be captain of three teams for Australia is hard enough. And when you’ve got another couple of months of captaincy and responsibility on top of that, it’s actually quite interesting to see how that will all play out,” Sport24 quoted Ponting as saying. Ponting admitted that although Smith has been managing the workload pretty well so far, the 42-year-old could recall that he wanted the current captain to give up T20I captaincy a year back.
“I came out more than 12 months ago now and (said) … for Steve Smith’s best interests, I thought to stand down from the Australian T20 captaincy and have a little bit of a break away from all the extra stuff that you have to do might be a good thing for him mentally,” Ponting said. “But he seems to be coping pretty well with everything at the moment. But we’ll wait and see how that plays out,” he added.
Ponting, however, backed Smith to be successful while leading the RPS side in the IPL, saying that the 27-year-old has the ability to think ahead of the game. “The art of captaincy in the T20 game is staying an over or two ahead of the game and I think he does that particularly well. That’s why he’s had the success that he’s had as a player. Even with his Test batting, he’s thinking ahead of the game,” Ponting said.
“That will hold him in great stead … if he keeps thinking like that then he’ll have great success (as a captain),” he added.