Ricky Ponting: IPL captaincy will help Warner return to form

The former Australia captain feels extra responsibility always gets the best out of the dashing opener.

Ricky Ponting...“I think Davey will be Player of the Tournament.”   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has tipped David Warner to be one of the contenders for Indian Premier League’s ‘Player of the Tournament’ award as he feels extra responsibility always gets the best out of the dashing opener. Warner didn’t have a good Test tour of India and will be aiming to get back to form with some good scores for defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.

“On the back of a slightly disappointing Test series, he’s back at a championship-winning team and he’s captain,” Ponting told cricket.com.au. “I think he loves that responsibility. And he’s an opening batsman. You’d think the Player of the Tournament is going to be a spinner or an opening batsman. That’s the way the T20 game is right now, so I think Davey will be Player of the Tournament,” the Aussie legend said.

Ponting is confident that Warner will not be affected by his dry spell during Test series as he remains in a happy space while playing for Sunrisers. “You always like to go into any tournament with a lot of runs under your belt, but to me Davey is the sort of guy that it won’t bother too much. He’s back into a really comfortable environment.”

“The flat tracks in India are ideal to get back into form, especially while playing white ball cricket. And I think the fact that it’s T20 cricket, against the white ball and on very good pitches that you get in India. I am sure he will have another good tournament,” Ponting said.

Warner had a fruitful IPL last year, scoring nine half-centuries in 17 games. It takes a strong character to be an IPL captain and Ponting reckons that Warner can bring in the overseas and Indian players on same page.

“You need those Indian players and everyone else to be on the same page and heading in the same direction and I’m pretty sure Davey would have demanded that of his players last year. And if he gets more of an opportunity to captain Australia like he has done, I’m sure he’ll do a good job as well,” Ponting said.

Having coach Mumbai Indians for two seasons, Ponting was highly impressed with Warner’s performance last year. “The way he played last year, having coached against him a few times, he was just about the standout performer. Virat was unbelievably good, but Davey wasn’t far behind. And to be fair, Sunrisers will need him again to play the way he did and lead the way he did.”

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