Watson, along with three other players, was dropped for the third Test, in Mohali, after failing to respond to a request from Australia's management for feedback on how the team could be improved.
Cricket Australia high performance manager Pat Howard described Watson as "sometimes" a team player but Ponting, one of Australia's most successful captains, begged to differ.
"Shane worked as hard as anybody around his cricket, there's no doubt about that," Ponting was quoted in Australian media.
"He's obviously made a blue here ' I don't like to refer to it as homework because it wasn't homework ' not getting his tasks done that were given to him by the coach.
"... I've never known him to be anything other than a very good team player and a great bloke to have around your team. I loved every moment that I played with Watto."
Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja were also dropped for the same reason.
Meanwhile, former England captain Michael Atherton said he could scarcely believe the news coming out of the Australian camp.