Sydney, Jan 9 (IANS): Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has taken a liking to the game and more importantly, the attitude of England opener Zak Crawley in the second innings of fourth Ashes Test.
Ponting's comments come after Crawley's 77 played a crucial role in England putting up a defiant final-day show to force a draw at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday.
"One innings like that for a struggling English team that are devoid of what looks to be a lot of batting talent, he probably locks himself in for another couple of years of Test cricket on the back of one innings. He showed the mettle, he showed the fight, he showed the intent. He was happy to try and put a bit of pressure back on (Pat) Cummins and (Mitchell) Starc," Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"If they overpitched, he whacked it down on the ground and if they were a fraction short, he was good enough to pull them through midwicket. I liked what I saw and, more importantly, I liked the attitude. If you put him next to Hameed - the attitude that Hameed showed and the attitude that Crawley showed, I know which one I'm picking as a future England player," added Ponting.
At the same time, Ponting cautioned that Crawley has to make more progress in his game because after making 267 against Pakistan in Southampton in 2020, Crawley took 18 innings till Sunday to make the same number of runs he did in one innings.
"He'll have some technical things he's got to work through. The fact that he made 267 in one Test against Pakistan and then it's taken him another (18) innings to get his next 267 runs in Test cricket says that he's had struggles. As long as you know what your limitations are and know what you can and can't do (he will be OK). If that's the way that he's going to bat then he's just got to understand that the off-drive is going to be a really hard shot for him to play."
"He's going to wait for bowlers to get straight and get them through midwicket or when they err on length, he stands up tall on the back foot and hits through the off-side. That's what understanding your game is … You only learn that by experience and doing it against the best bowlers."
The 47-year-old signed off by saying Crawley, 23, looked the part for being a good Test batter in Sydney. "But he did it against some really good bowlers today and looked every bit of a top Test match player. He knows if he sticks to his game that he's got a game that can survive against some of the best fast bowlers in the world."