'Ponting will take Sydney in his stride' Gaurav Kalra

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'Ponting will take Sydney in his stride'

Gaurav Kalra | January 16, 2008, 1:46 PM IST

Perth: Justin Langer didn't get as much media space as Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne when he retired along with them from international cricket last year. But he remains one of Australian cricket's most decorated players with over 100 Test matches against his name. Langer spoke exclusively to CNN-IBN's Sports Editor Gaurav Kalra in Perth.

Gaurav Kalra: I'm standing with someone who is probably thirsting to play for Australia. This is a home Test match, how does that feel?

Justin Langer: Obviously it's a great occasion being back at the WACA. It's going to be different watching from afar, but I'm pleased that I'm going to be watching and enjoying the contest.

Gaurav Kalra: Justin, what do you make of all the talk that's been of the 17th straight win? If that is achieved, then will this be the greatest team to have ever played for Australia?

Justin Langer: It's a great achievement. If you look up over that team, there's a lot of people who have made up from the same Australia that won 16 straight Test matches before. There were only four of us who played all 16 games.

So a lot of people make up that team as a lot of people have made up this team. It's always hard to compare different teams. It is a great credit to Australian cricket that they keep getting better, they keep improving. That's their philosophy, they keep getting better all the time.

Gaurav Kalra: Ricky Ponting has been under fire a little bit with the press. You have played a lot of cricket with him. Do you think he's deserved any of that?

Justin Langer: No. He's an outstanding leader. He's a brilliant person. He's a very humble and a very honest person. And I think it's been very harsh personally. He's a great leader, and this will be a development in his leadership.

He is now the age where probably Steve Waugh started with his captaincy. So, this is another big challenge for him, and I have got absolutely no doubt that he will take it in his stride and become an even greater leader if possible.

Gaurav Kalra: Do you reckon if we will see less chirp from the Australians after all these controversies?

Justin Langer: Well, it depends. I often see this whole sledging thing, they never walk out to deliberately sledge people. It just happens in the heat of the battle. I don't know if there will be less chirp, but they have been playing the game like they always play. And these incindences on the field, that's part of the game we play.

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