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“It seems like he has sorted himself out and he is playing well”
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting recently revealed the man he has earmarked to become the national team’s next leader.
“I’ve got a feeling on someone it could be if everything keeps falling into place the way it has,” Ponting told Fairfax Media. “It’s probably not fair that I mention who that person is because then they will be in the paper and that person will be under all sorts of pressure, but someone in the side now who has come in and improved themselves as a person and improved themselves as a player in the last 12 or 18 months.”
Despite trying to hide behind his poker face throughout the interview, the ex-skipper finally relented and revealed that he believes all-rounder Steven Smith will succeed Michael Clarke as captain of the national team.
“Yeah, Steve Smith is the one I think that could find himself in that role,” Ponting said. “But if you had asked me two years ago, I would have said absolutely not. It seems like he has sorted himself out and he is playing well. Otherwise, the next captain mightn’t be playing. He might not be playing first-class cricket yet, who knows?”
Sticking on the point of captains, Ponting also admitted that he had never thought of leading his country until the legendary Steve Waugh mentioned that he had the makings to become a brilliant skipper.
“I’m not a believer in manufactured leaders, I think leaders are born,” Ponting said with a big grin on his face. “When I took over the captaincy, there might have been a few guys; everyone talked about Warnie and he could have been a good captain, but was he a good leader? Gilly obviously could have done it and would have done a terrific job but Marto couldn’t, JL was probably too intense and Haydos couldn’t have done it because he was off with the fairies most of the time, so maybe there’s just not that many who come along.
“The current generation is just so used to having people do things for them rather than getting out there and looking at the bigger picture.”