IPL 6: Ponting, India's great adversary, now leads Tendulkar, Harbhajan

Ricky Ponting

It almost sounds bizarre when you hear Ricky Ponting being introduced as the skipper of a team called the 'Indians', and see him decked in a blue jersey with the Mumbai Indians logo on his bicep. Few could have imagined that he would return to India one day and captain a team that included Sachin Tendulkar, of all people. And Harbhajan Singh. And as he faced the media for the first time since taking over the reins of the Mumbai Indians, Ponting himself seemed to be getting used to the idea of skippering his old foes.

"That is what is really exciting for me. To think that I am the captain of Mumbai Indians and I will be playing alongside Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh and some other guys with whom we (Australia) have some great battles over the years," he said.

And it's sure going to take the fans in Mumbai some time to get accustomed to Ponting at the helm. Even two months of the frantic IPL might not be enough.

What will help of course is if the new Mumbai skipper lives up to his billing and turns around the fortunes of a franchise that has always possessed great talent but failed to produce equivalent returns. Few teams in the IPL have witnessed such fickleness with regards to their leadership group despite boasting some lofty profiles. The fact that both Tendulkar and Harbhajan have washed their hands of the job only epitomises this.

"Mumbai Indians have a very proud tradition in the IPL, finishing at the top (of the league table) and being in the semi-finals. The only thing they haven't cracked is winning the tournament yet and hopefully this year they will," said Ponting.

Minimal IPL experience

... contd.

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