Ian Chappell backs 'beleaguered' Ponting's 'cricketing spirit' despite horror show in Adelaide Test
Cricket legend Ian Chappell has heaped praises on Ricky Ponting, saying that besieged batsman possessed characteristics that would have ensured him being slotted straight into Chappell's legendary World Series Cricket team in the late 1970s.
It comes after the 37-year-old was dismissed cheaply in both innings of the Adelaide Test, prompting sharp criticism over his form and calls for him to retire, but Chappell said that decision was Ponting's prerogative.
"Ricky is a fierce competitor and you'll always find guys who play at that [elite] level have enormous pride in their performance,'' the Sydney Morning herald quoted Chappell, as saying.
"He's always been honest and that's a reason why he's a good player ... he can look at himself in the mirror. [Before the current series] he said [to me], 'Mate I'm a realist and I'll know when the time is right and I'll be out before that' and I hope he's true to his word," he added.
Chappell said that Ponting's retirement was a far-away issue as he still has spirit and confidence in his ability to play good cricket, which, he believes, is most important thing for a player to consider before he hangs his boots.
''He does have that pride in his ability, and I think that's another thing with the retirement issue: if you have that pride you'll have a level [you tolerate] and you're prepared to drop to that level. However, once you reach another level [below acceptable] you know it's time to go. The difficult thing is not so much knowing when you've hit that level, but admitting it," he said.