India vs Australia: Ponting ‘shocked’ by interviews of Smith and Bancroft

The pre-recorded interviews were the major talking point on day one of the third Test between Australia and India.

Ricky Ponting of Australia with his son Fletcher Ponting after being inducted into The Hall Of Fame on Wednesday.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Batting great Ricky Ponting was “quite shocked” by the airing of interviews with Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft, but said he doesn’t believe the current side will be distracted by the ball-tampering saga dominating the headlines again.

Ponting has backed Smith to return to the Australian Test captaincy once his leadership ban is over, saying “he’ll come back a much better leader because of what’s happened“.

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Smith and Bancroft were interviewed separately by Ponting’s former vice-captain Adam Gilchrist in interviews broadcast on Fox Cricket on Boxing Day, the pair opening up about the events during and after the controversial Cape Town Test earlier this year.

“From a wholly journalistic approach, you can understand the reasons why it was aired today,” he said.

“You’ve probably got a big percentage of the population watching the cricket today and they’ll be reading about it tomorrow. I can understand how that could happen.

“I’m not sure how happy the players would be about it or Cricket Australia, because it’s a pretty special moment in Australian cricket on a day like today. So, we’ll see what the reaction is.”

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The pre-recorded interviews were the major talking point on day one of the third Test between Australia and India.

“I’ve seen a couple of headlines (since the interviews), which I’ve been shocked at, I must admit. Some of the things that have been said have been quite shocking to me.

“We’re nine months on from this stuff and there’s still a lot being spoken about what happened in Cape Town.”