Sydney, May 1: Australian coach Mickey Arthur said Tuesday that former captain Ricky Ponting was very much in the reckoning to play in next year’s Ashes series in England.
Ponting was dropped from the One-day side after failing to impress in the Commonwealth Bank Series involving India and Sri Lanka. He had to fight hard to keep his Test spot during the Australian summer.
The Australian veteran’s future was once again brought into the limelight following a lukewarm Test tour of the Caribbean that yielded just 146 runs at 24.33.
A fighting half-century in last week’s third and final Test in Dominica was the only saving grace for the 165-Test veteran.
Australia does not play another Test until next summer’s home series against South Africa, but Arthur feels there won’t be any major changes to his side before November’s first Test in Brisbane.
That would suggest Ponting is likely to retain his place and will possibly the Ashes in England.
“I know there was a lot of media pressure around Ricky, but Ricky is not going anywhere,” Arthur was quoted as saying by Daily Telegraph.
“We’re hoping that Ricky is scoring enough runs to go to the Ashes.
“Ricky is in no way considering retirement. I wouldn’t have thought from my conversations with him.”
Arthur denied Ponting, who scored a Test double century against India in January, was out of form.
“It was a difficult tour for our batters, it was tough to score (in West Indies),” Arthur said.
“Other than Wadey (wicketkeeper Matthew Wade), we didn’t have a hundred from any of our top six, but it was that kind of wicket.
“You always say when you get to 30, you get in, but it almost became harder when you got to 30 because the ball got very soft and they went very defensive and you had to come in and play against spin, which was tough.”