Boxing Day bash … the Hurricanes' Ricky Ponting. Photo: Getty Images
FORMER Australian captain Ricky Ponting has backed the controversial rotation policy and hit out at its critics.
While paceman Mitchell Starc was left ''absolutely shattered'' after being told he would be rested from the Boxing Day Test, Ponting said he had no qualms with the decision.
''There are a lot of people talking about it that don't need to be talking about it, to tell you the truth,'' Ponting said. ''A lot of people talking about it, past bowlers in particular, have got no idea of the workload of some of the guys. I don't want to get into it too much - it annoys me a little bit. Everyone around the Australian set-up is trying to do the best thing for Australian cricket.
''They aren't trying to harm the team or make it weaker, it's about putting the best and fittest bowlers on the park. People from the outside can have opinions on it all they like but until it starts coming from within people should mind their business.''
Ponting was not part of a Boxing Day Test in Melbourne for the first time since 1998 but he still managed to pile on the runs on Wednesday.
The 38-year-old, who averaged 58.17 from 15 Tests at the MCG, guided the Hobart Hurricanes to victory with a man-of-the-match 63 not out, clearing the boundary three times in the seven-wicket win against the Sydney Sixers at the SCG.
''It's a lot different,'' Ponting said. ''Normally I'd be at home on the couch, ordering room service, getting ready for day two of the Test match. I've known for a while what my last half of the summer was going to look like. I watched a little bit [of the Test match] but I didn't watch a lot. My wife was out for most of the day so I was on kid duty by the pool.''
The match-winning knock was Ponting's second consecutive half century in the BBL. While he had little reservation about exiting the international arena, Ponting refused to confirm that Wednesday night would be his SCG swansong.
''I don't know,'' Ponting said. ''I haven't said I am hanging them up altogether at the end of the year. We'll wait and see. I've got some Shield and Ryobi [One-Day Cup] games to play, so I'll see how I feel at the end of the season. I'm more than comfortable with the decision I've made. This format is a little different than facing the world's fastest bowlers in a Test match.
''But scoring runs is always nice and it's good to be contributing for the Hurricanes … I've had my time in the sun.''
The Hurricanes have now won their past two games and are on track to to make the semi-finals, as they did last season. They all but ended the Sixers' hopes of consecutive premierships. It was the Sixers who ended the Hurricanes' Big Bash League dreams last season.
''We played a reasonable game and are happy to sneak away with a win,'' Ponting said. ''It probably got closer than it should have.''
Hobart's next assignment is a clash with the Scorchers in Hobart on New Year's Day.