Cricket

Ponting backs Hauritz

2010-08-16 09:59
Nathan Hauritz (AP)

Melbourne - Test captain Ricky Ponting on Monday backed Nathan Hauritz as Australia's number one spinner for the coming Indian tour and the home Ashes series against England.

The off-spinner, who has snared 57 wickets at 31.82 in 15 Tests, is returning to full fitness after a foot injury forced him home during Australia's one-day series in England in June.

Hauritz, 29, has resumed bowling in training ahead of October's two-Test series against India in Mohali and Bangalore.

"I've spoken a bit to Nathan over the last couple of weeks," Ponting told reporters at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"He has started running again which is a good sign, without pain in his foot. He started bowling again last week.

"I'll be doing a lot of work with him over the next few weeks. I'll be facing a lot of him (in the nets), considering we've got (England's Graeme) Swann and Harbhajan (India's Harbhajan Singh) to confront over the next few months.

"Is he a lock-in? I think so. What he's done over the last 12 or 18 months as our number one spinner has been of the highest quality.

"With him back to full fitness I think he'll get himself back into the side again."

Hauritz will face competition from his New South Wales teammate, legspinner Steve Smith.

Smith, 21, made his debut in the two-Test series against Pakistan in England last month, taking a combined 3-82 and smashing 77 off 100 balls at Headingley.

Ponting said Australia might consider playing Hauritz and Smith as a spin duo on the Adelaide and Sydney wickets in the Ashes series.

"Steven came along really well in the two Tests that he played in the UK," Ponting said.

"We saw towards the end of the Headingley Test his ability with the bat and also his willingness to be aggressive with the ball.

"That's not an easy thing to do for a young leg-spinner to maintain that aggression.

"He's a work in progress but the more games that he can play is obviously going to be better for him and he'll learn all the time.

"With (all-rounder) Shane Watson in our side it gives us the flexibility to be able to look at playing two spinners."

Ponting also backed under-performing middle order batsman Marcus North but admitted the West Australian left-hander needed to improve after amassing just 36 runs in the two Tests against Pakistan.

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch has said North will retain his place in the Australian team for the two Tests in India despite being dismissed 12 times in single figures in his 28 Test innings.

Read more on:    nathan hauritz  |  ricky ponting
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

What was the No 1 reason for the Proteas losing their ICC World Twenty20 semi-final to India?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.