Ponting leaps to Smith’s defence


Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has defended current skipper Steve Smith after coming under fire following their close victory against Pakistan at the Gabba.

With a mammoth target of 490 runs, Pakistan came agonisingly close as they reduced the chase to just 39 runs before losing all their batsmen.

Smith was criticised for some of his decisions by former Aussie captains Mark Taylor and Michael Clarke, but Ponting explained some of the criticism was harsh and that the 27-year-old will continue to learn and grow.

“We are always quick to be critical of people and at the end of the day they’ve won by nearly 40 runs which is a significant margin really in a Test match,” Ponting told Melbourne radio station SEN.

“ I know it got a lot closer than what Smith would have hoped, and certainly, the Australian public would have hoped, but it’s a Test victory.

“Smith will learn from it, guys he probably calls senior players out on the field will learn from it and hopefully might be able to give him some advice going forward.

“So much of the captaincy stuff happens off the field and behind closed doors where you’re trying to spend as much time with the guys, and get to know them little better and find out what makes them tick and what doesn’t. That’s the great challenge for captains.”