Australia must continue to be aggressive, says Ricky Ponting

"If they're not playing in the aggressive way they did last summer then they're not actually playing in what I believe is the spirit of Test match cricket"

“If they’re not playing in the aggressive way they did last summer then they’re not actually playing in what I believe is the spirit of Test match cricket”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Following the tragic death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes, legendary captain Ricky Ponting has announced that the national team have to continue being aggressive throughout their upcoming Test series against India.

In his column for ESPNcricinfo, Ponting noted that he would “love to see Mitchell Johnson run in and bowl a bouncer [on the] first ball of the Test match”.

“I don’t want to see anyone get hurt,” he wrote. “But the bouncer’s part of the fabric of the game, and if they’re not playing in the aggressive way they did last summer then they’re not actually playing in what I believe is the spirit of Test match cricket.”

Ponting added that Australia would be foolish to start playing a more mellow brand of cricket, especially after the amount of success they had last summer when they whitewashed England 5-0 in the Ashes series.

“If I was batting against them (Johnson and co in the nets) I’d want to be bounced, because you’re going to get that in the Test,” Ponting wrote. “Australia can’t lose sight of the fact that last summer they established a brand of cricket that will be very hard to beat at home.

“What Michael Clarke, Darren Lehmann and the players put together against England stands as a real blueprint for how they want to play their Test cricket, especially in home conditions.

“They forged an identity for themselves as a team and the way they wanted to go about playing their cricket. It’s important they build on that and continue to play the hard-nosed, aggressive Australian way.”

Ponting also lauded Cricket Australia for putting together numerous tributes to Hughes in an attempt to distract the players from remembering what happened on that tragic day.

“Little things like being addressed by the Adelaide legend Barry ‘Nugget’ Rees at their first training session on Friday help a lot,” Ponting wrote. “Anything that can stop the boys thinking about what happened at the SCG.

“This is especially true for the guys who were right at the coalface when it happened: David Warner, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin and Nathan Lyon. Having someone like Nugget around is great for them.”

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