Former Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting delivers a VERY pointed message to Pat Cummins’ haters after the ‘faultless’ captain led Australia to World Cup glory
by: Hani Kamal El-Din
Ricky Ponting has declared it’s time for Australian cricket fans to fully embrace Pat Cummins as the national captain after a ‘faultless’ World Cup added to a World Test Championship and successful Ashes campaign in the space of six months.
Tim Paine, the man Cummins replaced as Test captain, also said there was not ‘a thing’ the now World Cup-winning skipper got wrong in an epic final win over India that consolidated his place in the game’s history.
Despite his successes since taking over the team’s leadership, Cummins has endured criticism over his role in former coach Justin Langer’s sacking and for his views on environmental issues and tactical nous both during the drawn Ashes series and even early in the World Cup.
Cummins (pictured celebrating the World Cup win in Australia’s dressing room) was ‘almost faultless’ during the World Cup, according to Ricky Ponting
The former Aussie skipper (pictured left with Marnus Labuschagne during Australia’s World Cup campaign) says there ‘no real basis’ for negativity when it comes to Cummins
But Ponting was adamant the criticism had always been misguided and the World Cup triumph was as much due to Cummins’ leadership as the on-field efforts of his team.
‘I think that’s been almost faultless, to be honest,’ Ponting said in the wake of Australia’s six-wicket win.
‘I thought his leadership actually has got better and better right through the tournament.
‘I don’t know where the negativity’s come from because there’s been no real basis for it.
‘You look at their overall Test record since he’s been captain is outstanding. And now he’s a World Cup-winning captain, a World Test Championship-winning captain and a captain who retained the Ashes, so that negativity needs to be put aside now because there have been a number of moments – think back to the first Test of the Ashes – where he stood up and actually got the job done himself.
The Test and one-day skipper (pictured centre while celebrating with Josh Hazlewood, left, and Mitchell Starc, right) enjoyed one of the biggest wins of his career in Ahmedabad
‘Under extreme pressure with bat or ball, it’s generally been him when his team’s in trouble who’s changed the course of the game, so he thoroughly deserves every plaudit that comes his way as far as leadership is concerned.’
Paine was effusive in his praise for Cummins, who took it upon himself to bowl long spells in the final while rotating his other bowlers, having also made crucial runs in the miracle win over Afghanistan in the pool matches as well as the semi-final victory over South Africa.
‘I don’t think there was a thing last night that Pat Cummins got wrong. He was outstanding and he deserves a lot of credit for that,’ he told SEN.
‘I thought Pat Cummins had one of the great games as the captain and then when he bowled, that’s as good as I have seen him for a while.
Ex-Aussie skipper Tim Paine (pictured) believes Cummins was perfect in the World Cup final both as a captain and a bowler
‘He hasn’t had his best World Cup, but last night, and we’ve spoken about this a lot, Australia has players who stand up in the big moments because they’ve been there before and Cummins did that not just with his leadership but with the ball.
‘When he went full speed, he was hitting the wicket hard and I thought he set the tone. His captaincy was brilliant, his bowling was outstanding and we were brilliant in the field as well.’
Cummins has captained the Australians to the World Test Championship, the Ashes and the World Cup in the same calendar year.