Mumbai: Australia's two-time World Cup-winning captain and current Mumbai Indians (MI) coach Ricky Ponting on Sunday heaped praise on the Indian Premier League (IPL) side's skipper Rohit Sharma, describing his captaincy for the last two seasons as "spot on".
Rohit took over the captaincy from Ponting midway in the IPL 2013 season. The right-handed batsman eventually helped the team clinch their first trophy beating Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
"Rohit's captaincy has been spot on. In 2013 when we won the title, he took over the captaincy from me and the way he controlled the players on the field is fantastic," Ponting said at the team's pre-season press conference here.
"He understands the game really well and communicates with the players well."
Mumbai Indians' 2015 cricket World Cup playing players like Aaron Finch, Rohit, Corey Anderson, Mitchell McClenaghan and Lasith Malinga come straight into the 20-over format.
When asked if the switch in format would affect the players, Ponting said: "These guys are all experienced. They have changed formats before in a matter of days.
"We have trained really well and hope they will deliver on the given day."
Speaking on the new inclusion -- Shane Bond as bowling coach, he said, "Having Shane with us will be terrific. Surely he has had great impact specially on the New Zealand bowlers.
"Improvement in Trent Boult and Tim Southee is an example. I hope he can have the same impact on some of the younger guys here."
Pointing pointed out that Sri Lanka's fast bowler Lasith Malinga is best suited to Twenty20 cricket at this point of time.
"I believe now where Malinga is in his career, he is best suited to T20 cricket. The skills that he has, the way he uses his slower balls and yorkers in T20 cricket is amazing.
"But with just four fielders outside the circle in 50-over cricket, bowlers go for runs nowadays," the 40-year-old, who represented Australia in 375 One-Day International (ODI), said.
With as many as 26 players in the Mumbai squad, Ponting feels it will be difficult to manage such a big group.
"It's difficult -- and there is no doubt about that -- to manage 26 players. It's a challenge for me and the captain needn't worry about that," Ponting, who played 168 Test matches for his country, said.
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