Sport

Coach Mickey Arthur open minded about Ponting's replacement

Australia's Captain Michael Clarke (L) and Head Coach Mickey Arthur.
Australia's Captain Michael Clarke (L) and Head Coach Mickey Arthur. AFP Photo / Ian Kington

RICKY Ponting reckons four players are in the mix to fill his role in the Australian Test batting line-up.

But coach Mickey Arthur is keeping his cards close to his chest when it comes to naming Ponting's replacement.

Ponting said Rob Quiney, Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja were frontrunners to replace him but fellow Tasmanian Alex Doolan also had a hope.

Arthur said while national selectors might have someone in mind, nothing had been decided.

"We haven't even discussed it yet," he said.

"So I am obviously putting a personal opinion and without wanting to name names, it will probably be a guy who can come in and bat three, possibly a move for Watto (Shane Watson) to four, it just looks right and just gives us a little bit of stability.

"But again ultimately Michael (Clarke) and I, once we see who that guy is, and we have got it in our minds who we think the guy is, we still need to discuss that as a selection panel and then sit down in Hobart next Monday when we arrive there and make a decision on what our preferred batting order is going to be."

Whoever comes in for the former captain in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Hobart starting next Friday has enormous shoes to fill.

But Arthur said it was important the new man helped provide a platform to allow the likes of skipper Clarke and veteran Michael Hussey to continue to shine in the middle order.

"(Ed) Cowan and (David) Warner have showed us glimpses in this series (against South Africa) but we need a lot more consistency from our top four because we know at five and six we have the best batsman in the world and Mr Cricket," he said.

"We know that we are really well covered at five and six.

"We just need one, two, three and four to be giving us a really good platform.

"And that's something we will have a look at.

"But when you're looking at Cowan and you're looking at Warner and whoever comes in again and then Watto, there's not a massive amount of Test caps there.

"Obviously take Watto aside we have got to give those guys some time to grow and be a little bit consistent."

Next week is the one-year anniversary of Australia's Test loss to New Zealand at Hobart but Arthur reckons following on from another devastating defeat in Perth, the Australians had come a long way.

"As a Test unit we can take a lot of pride in what we have done in the past year," he said.

"I certainly think we are in a far better place than we were this time last year.

"We have got to keep building. We have got a big series against Sri Lanka then a really tough series in India followed by the ultimate and that's the Ashes.

"We have got to make sure we have got a settled unit and we are ready for the big Tests ahead but I am very happy we are heading in the right direction."

Topics:  australia cricket michael clarke mickey arthur ricky ponting



Body found during search for missing fisherman

SES and Police search for a missing person at Wivenhoe Dam.

A 38-year-old man went missing while swimming last Sunday

Lightning lands at Amberley

TOUCHDOWN: The first of the RAAF's F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike fighters landed at Amberley on Monday.

5th gen fighter arrives

Father fights for recognition for Grantham flood victim wife

Gary Jibson (previously Danny McGuire) is fighting to have his late wife recognised as a rural fire fighter.

Llync-Chiann Clarke-Jibson and children swept to their death in 2011

Local Partners

'I wasn't naked': Blanca Blanco speaks out

BLANCA Blanco made headlines around the world after 'accidentally' flashing, but she says she was actually wearing a nude bodysuit.

‘IT’S A LITTLE SAD’: Trump makes Oscars bungle all about him

US President Donald Trump claims Hollywood's elite were too busy mocking him to pay attention on Oscars night.

Donald Trump ‘explains’ Oscars stuff up.

Lama and Sarah’s ‘epic’ MKR fail

My Kitchen Rules contestants Lama and Sarah.

Tempers flare as Lebanese feast turns into an epic fail.

Oscars 2017: How did biggest award get stuffed up?

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

'Guys in headsets starting buzzing around. They took the envelope.'

Lisa Curry can't marry her fiance

Lisa Curry breaks down in the jungle.

Lisa Curry says she can’t get married to her fiance

The true cause of the Oscars bungle

Faye Dunaway, left, and Warren Beatty present the award for best picture at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Oscars ended with a moment that left everyone speechless.

HUGE OSCARS FAIL: Wrong film handed Best Picture award

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

IN A monumental stuff-up, La La Land incorrectly named Best Picture.

Pahlke votes against "sardine city" small blocks

BOLD: Cr David Pahlke followed through on his opposition to smaller block sizes in the general council meeting.

David takes stand in council against State's housing density move

Casino boss loses $4m on waterfront Sunshine Coast home

The owner of this stunning Noosa home accepted much less than he had initially wanted for the home.

When illness struck owner forced to try and cash out of property

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

Mackay's property market climbing like a Rocket Man

Renewed confidence in Mackay means more homes are being snapped up by those eager to plant their roots in the region.

There's movement in the real estate sector and it's all positive.

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!