Ponting starts mind games, UK paper says - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ponting starts mind games, UK paper says

26/09/2006 11:45:16 PM Comments (0)

Ricky Ponting believes his England counterpart Andrew Flintoff may struggle to combine the roles of captain and all-rounder in the upcoming Ashes series in Australia, a British newspaper reported Tuesday.

Ponting told The Guardian newspaper he found the pressure of leading Australia and performing as a batsman demanding during the last series, won 2-1 by England on home soil.

"Freddie is going to have a lot on his plate now," Ponting was quoted as saying.

"Even for me, last year in that Ashes series, we were kept pretty busy as captains. He's got to do extra training because he's an all-rounder as well, so it will all mount up on him.

"But he seems like a fairly relaxed and laid-back character so he might be able to deal with it all."

Ponting expressed surprise when Flintoff, who is recovering from an ankle injury, was named skipper of England's squad, which begins its defence of the urn in Brisbane on November 23.

The Australian had expected Andrew Strauss to be named captain after leading the side in Flintoff's absence.

England named an injury-hit squad, prompting Ponting to suggest their selectors should consider benching players for next month's ICC Trophy in India.

Nine members of the one-day tournament squad are among the 16 called up for Ashes duty.

"If I was them I would be looking for some ways to give some of those guys a bit of a breather," Ponting said.

"They've played a lot of cricket and as we know with all their bowlers, they're going to be vital for them when the Ashes comes around."

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