Richards tips 'critical' Gabba Test as decider for series result

Sydney, Nov. 4 (ANI): Legendary South African batsman Barry Richards has said that the first Test between Australia and South Africa at the Gabba on November 9 will shape the remainder of the three-Test series.

While Richards rates the battle for the mantle of the No.1 Test-playing nation "too close to call", the 67-year-old believes who ever wins the Brisbane Test would eventually win the series.

"If there's going to be a result, there's every chance that will be it. Either side can produce that and if they get 1-0 up, you go to Adelaide, which is usually draw material because the track is always pretty good there," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Richards, as saying.

"And then you've got Perth, which is up in the air and anything can happen. If one team is chasing then the other is likely to get a 2-0 [result]. Brisbane is a critical Test match and the side which wins that will probably win the series," he added.

Richards, who will arrive in Australia this week to commentate on the cricket for ABC Grandstand radio, also feels Ricky Ponting can still make a contribution to the Australian side

"Is there somebody better? Is someone putting their hand up, averaging the same as him or better in the level below? If there is, I haven't seen it," he said.

"Last time I saw him he looked pretty fit. As his eyes go he may have to work a little harder for his runs but he's a smart operator. He might not dominate like he did but I think he's still got a lot to offer Australian cricket," he added. (ANI)

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