Under-performing batsman Ricky Ponting has received unexpected support from Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh, who predicted the former Australia captain will make a strong comeback.
"I do not think Ponting is finished and I think people are making a big mistake by writing him off," Harbhajan said amid calls for Ponting's removal for the upcoming Test series against India.
"Guys like Ponting, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar know what they are doing and people should stop questioning them," the off-spinner was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.
Harbhajan has been involved in several fiery on-field verbal spats with Ponting in the past.
But he said Ponting should be respected for his achievements in the game and needed to be backed if he felt good enough to play at the top level.
"Australian fans should not put pressure on Ponting. He is only one innings away from finding his top form," said the Indian.
Ponting, who turns 37 next month, has scored 12,656 runs in 158 Tests at an average of 52.29 with 39 centuries. But he has been without a Test century since January 2010.
Harbhajan, whose 406 wickets in 98 Tests make him the most successful international bowler still playing at the top level, has not been selected for the Australian tour due to poor form.
The highly anticipated four-Test series between India and Australia opens in Melbourne on December 26.