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Monday, November 22, 2010

Ponting backs uncapped spinner Doherty

SYDNEY: Australia captain Ricky Ponting on Monday backed uncapped Xavier Doherty to best England batsman Kevin Pietersen during the Ashes series, saying the spinner was ready for the tourists’ top order.
Doherty was included in Australia’s Ashes squad over Nathan Hauritz — a decision retired spin legend Shane Warne slammed on microblogging site Twitter as “very very harsh on Hauritz” who he said “deserved first crack at poms”.
But Ponting said left-arm orthodox spinner Doherty, 28, had been impressive in recent Sheffield Shield domestic matches for Tasmania while Hauritz had “lost his action”.
“Seeing him (Doherty) up close and personal for those couple of games probably gave me a bit more of an idea of how good he was because I haven’t played much with him in the last few years,” Ponting said. “He’s a good solid character as well and I think he’ll handle the situation pretty well and I think we saw that in his first one-day international at the MCG.”
Doherty took four wickets at his ODI debut against Sri Lanka at the MCG on November 3. “I think he’ll be ready for what the English batters try and do,” Ponting said.

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