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Cricket legend Ricky Ponting fears that being captain of Australia in all three formats of the game will eventually catch up with Steve Smith.
Ponting's concerns over Smith
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes newly installed T20 skipper Steve Smith will find it tough juggling roles
Smith was announced as Australia's Twenty20 captain on Monday after selectors ended Aaron Finch's 17-month tenure in the role ahead of next month's world cup in India.
But, speaking from personal experience, Ponting was worried that so much responsibility resting solely on Smith's shoulders could take its toll on the 26-year-old.
"With T20, more than anything, you have to look a couple of overs ahead of the game and make sure you're a fair way ahead of the game," Ponting told SEN on Tuesday.
"The thing where it might start taking its toll on Steve Smith is just how constant that role is now for him. He's only new into the Test captaincy really, and a bit of one-day cricket here and there, but now he's captain of all three formats. I think it will start catching up with him pretty quickly - it did with me, anyway."
With Peter Nevill, Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar all being added to Australia's 15-man squad for the Twenty20 World Cup and Matthew Wade, Nathan Lyon and George Bailey being left out, Ponting said he was surprised with some of the selectors' decisions.
Australia's greatest ever run scorer didn't expect Finch to be stripped of the captaincy, either, and was concerned that the Victorian's hamstring injury was more serious than first thought.
"He did the same with us in the IPL last year, had to return home from the Mumbai Indians over there for surgery, I think, on that occasion so I think it's the same hamstring again," Ponting said.
However, Ponting understood the rationale behind usual white-ball wicketkeeper Matthew Wade being dropped in favour of Peter Nevill.
"They only ever try and pick the best team that they can possibly pick," Ponting said of the selectors. "There's no agendas, there's nothing else.
"Matthew Wade going out and Peter Nevill coming in, I'm sure the selectors will be questioned about that as well but when you think about it, they're obviously looking for their best wicketkeeper on Indian pitches considering that that keeper will probably be standing up to the stumps to a lot of spin bowling through that tournament."
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Ponting said the rapid growth in popularity of the shortest form of the game in recent years has meant that the Twenty20 World Cup has become an important tournament.
"We've seen how big the Big Bash has become in Australia over the last couple of years and T20 cricket is not what it was when I first started playing," Ponting said.
"When I first started playing I thought it was just going to be a marketing tool for the other formats of the game and now it's really taken over. Young people want to watch it, young people want to play it so it's as big now as any other format of the game, that's for sure."