Melbourne - New Australia captain Steven Smith will seek counsel from former
skipper Ricky Ponting on how to lead the team and be its best batsman in a
period of transition.
Smith will take the reins of the one-day team for the first time in a
one-off match against Ireland on Thursday before taking charge of the Test team
for a series in Bangladesh in October.
With the retirements of former skipper Michael Clarke and opening batsman
Chris Rogers, Australia will have a different batting line-up going forward but
Smith will be expected to be the rock in both teams.
"I'm looking forward to hopefully being able to get him on the phone
and talk a few things about him and just continuing to try and learn," he
told Australian media ahead of the ODI match in Belfast.
"I was lucky enough to play under him as a player. He's certainly a
little bit different to Michael (Clarke) in a few ways that he's run things,
both good and bad, each of them to their own (style)."
A member of some of Australia's finest teams in the late 1990s and early
2000s, Ponting led the team as a generation of greats came to the end of their
Though Australia struggled to regenerate following their retirements, the
hard-bitten Tasmanian continued to lead the way at number three in the batting
order before giving up the captaincy to Clarke after a poor series in the
2010-11 Ashes defeat on home soil.
Smith batted at three in the recent Ashes series defeat, bookending a string
of failures with a pair of centuries in the second and fifth Tests.
He will bat at three in the one-day team but is undecided where he should
bat in Tests, despite most pundits urging him to stick to the slot that Ponting
owned for most of his career.
"Hopefully first and foremost I can keep making runs, that's pretty
important to me," Smith said.
"To make sure I'm leading from the front."