Punter backs Strauss in ODIs
Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes Andrew Strauss is the best man to lead England's one-day side.
Last Updated: 18/06/10 9:55pm
Andrew Strauss remains the best man to lead England's one-day side, according to Australia skipper Ricky Ponting.
Strauss' position as 50-over captain has come under scrutiny after Paul Collingwood led England to the ICC World Twenty20 title in May - England's first success at a global ICC tournament.
While that breakthrough title has built up a bank of goodwill for Collingwood, Strauss will retain the captaincy for the upcoming five-match series against Australia which begins at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday.
And Ponting, who saw his side battle to a 39-run win in their tour-opening one-day international against Ireland on Thursday, is in no doubt that Strauss should stay in charge.
"If Strauss is going to be playing in the one-day side then I think he should be the captain," he said.
"It's hard to swap over from captain to captain through the different formats of the game. Even the players like a bit of continuity as far as their leader is concerned.
"The less change you can have in those leadership roles the better.
"Strauss has had a good couple of years in both forms of the game so I imagine he'll be at the helm of the one-day team for some time yet."
Ashes build-up "already started"
Meanwhile, five months ahead of the Ashes, Ponting said England's visit Down Under this coming winter is already on the minds of his players.
"Whenever there is a big series coming up the build-up starts a fair way out - and for the Ashes it's already started," he said.
"The Ashes is probably on all of our minds a little bit. It's exciting for the game - there's nothing bigger as far as I'm concerned than an Ashes series.
"When it's in Australia as well and we need to win it back, it adds a little more to it.
"I'm expecting the guys to be in exactly the same frame of mind as they were for the return bout last time.
"Pretty much from now until the Ashes are over and done with in the middle of January, everything we do will have some sort of focus on the Ashes series.
"There will be no excuses for us come late November."