Bhajji:Ponting is an average skipper

India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has slammed Australia skipper Ricky Ponting, calling him a "very average captain" and attributing his winning record to the great players he had as team-mates.

Ponting has been severely criticised for his tactics in the recent Border-Gavaskar series which India won 2-0.

Former Australia players have accused Ponting of putting his individual concerns ahead of his team by using part-time bowlers at a critical stage of the fourth and final Test in Nagpur to keep up with the over rate.

India went on to win the Test and inflict Australia’s first series defeat since the 2005 Ashes series.

"Ponting was winning matches because he had great players like (Adam) Gilchrist, (Shane) Warne and (Glenn) McGrath," Harbhajan told DNA.

"They won him matches and he took the credit. Now that they are gone, we can see that he is not an inspirational leader.

"He made mistakes in the Border-Gavaskar series. He is a very average captain. And he is a very average player too, especially here in India."

Ponting made a century in the first Test in Bangalore which ended in a draw, but made little impact with the bat in the rest of the series.

Harbhajan said Ponting, who managed 277 runs from seven innings at an average of 38.0, needed to learn how to play spinners.

"Ponting had a lot to say about our players and about the way we play our cricket," added Harbhajan

"In fact, it is Ponting who first needs to go and learn to bat against spin bowling.

"He got a hundred in the first Test match in Bangalore but I don’t think that is enough, he needs to come back and score some more before he can claim to be a complete batsman."


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