Ricky Ponting has described Australia’s leading cricketers as the Michael Jordans and Wayne Rooneys of the sport in articulating his support for the controversial rotation policy.
Fans, broadcasters and former players have criticised the strategy of resting top-tier stars during the summer as the Australian selectors seek to manage workloads during an increasingly congested schedule.
Skipper Michael Clarke, opening batsman David Warner, wicketkeeper Matthew Wade and paceman Mitchell Starc are amongst those who have been rotated in and out of the Test, one-day and Twenty20 squads over the past few months.
Retiring from international cricket last month after a glittering 18-year career, Ponting said on Monday night that it’s impossible to expect the best players to be at their best every game given the packed calendar that includes the T20 big bucks on offer in the IPL and Champions League.
“I’m totally for it,” Ponting said emphatically when asked what he thought of the rotation policy on Fox Sports show Inside Cricket.
“The people that are making these decisions are making them for the right reasons.
“They’re making them for the betterment of the team and the individual players.
“I can understand that the public sometimes can be a little bit disappointed that our best players aren’t playing every game.
“But I really think it’s impossible to expect the best players to play every game.
“I mean … Michael Jordan probably didn’t start in every game that the Chicago Bulls played; Wayne Rooney doesn’t play every game for Manchester United.”
The 38-year-old is adamant the current approach is the best one for Australian cricket and will hopefully win over the public over the next 12 months following a draining four-Test series in India, the ICC Champions Trophy and 10 Ashes Tests.
“There are arguments out there at the moment suggesting that what we’re doing is not working and we should go back to the way it was 10 or 15 years ago,” he said.
“I’ve been around and seen it all and the track that we are on is definitely the right one.
“We need to be giving every one of our young players in Australia every possible opportunity to become the best players they possibly can be.
“Hopefully on Wednesday you’ll see the one-day team bounce back and then when the boys get to India for the Test series you’ll see them play some great cricket and then see them win the Ashes back as well.
“If they do that, a lot of the critics will be silenced.”