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09-29-2010, 12:54 AM #1
Ponting should look to Tendulkar - Taylor
Ricky Ponting should seek inspiration from Sachin Tendulkar's batting renaissance, according to the former captain of Australia, Mark Taylor. Tendulkar and Ponting are the two leading run scorers in Test history and they will be key men in the upcoming two-Test series in India.
But whereas Tendulkar, 37, has shone over the past year with six Test hundreds and an average of 81.84, it hasn't been as easy for Ponting, 35, who has scored one century and averaged 40.05. Taylor, who endured a memorable lean period during his final years of Test cricket, said life would not get any easier for Ponting.
"He is not getting any better," Taylor told DNA. "He may no longer be the batsman he was in his late 20s but he is still a very good batsman. Honestly, Ponting's best is behind him but he is still capable of scoring big hundreds."
Ponting's form is not unlike that of Tendulkar during 2006 and 2007; during those years Tendulkar averaged 41.72 with two centuries in 17 Tests. Taylor said he was impressed by Tendulkar's return to form, which has also included the first double-century in one-day internationals.
"I think Sachin has had a rebirth," Taylor said. "He is really batting at his best and that can be a sort of inspiration for Ponting. It might be difficult for him to overhaul Sachin's number of centuries because the Indian master is lengthening the gap between them.
"But Ponting has this job of rebuilding the Australian side. The current Australian side is very much his. Seniors like Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden have all gone. It is a much younger side.
"I think Ponting's focus has moved a little bit away from his personal milestones. In that sense, Sachin is fortunate. He does not have to worry about captaincy. That is probably the reason why he is making hundreds."
Ponting did not make the best start to his tour of India - he scored 42 and 9 in the warm-up match against the Board President's XI. He will be leading a side that was held to a 1-1 series draw against Pakistan this year and Taylor believes improved consistency is the key for Ponting's group.
"Ponting's is a young Australian side which plays very good cricket but is not consistent," he said. "I'm sure Ponting would be working on this area to reduce the number of bad sessions. They tend to lose five or six wickets in a session when they could do well by losing just two or three."...being a human...