Oz skipper wants Ponting to shape his career like Tendulkar

Oct 05, 2011, 12:44 IST | ANI

Australia's Test captain Michael Clarke has said that his predecessor Ricky Ponting's best years as a batsman could still be ahead of him, and expects him to score big during the South Africa series.

Australia plays two Twenty20, three one-day and two Test matches against South Africa starting in mid-October.

South Africa currently sit second in the world Test rankings, behind only England and two places above Australia.

"He has been fantastic, he was brilliant in Sri Lanka and he's not far away from a good score. Ricky's a huge help to a lot of the young guys in our group, passing on experience and knowledge. I still do a lot of work with him on my batting," he said.

"Would love to see him make a huge score in South Africa. Once he makes that score, he'll go on like Sachin [Tendulkar] and the next few years of his career could be his best."

Clarke is also adamant that Shane Watson will continue to open the innings in South Africa, a tour he believes is as tough as any in international cricket, The Daily telegraph reports.

Watson hasn't scored a 50 in any of his seven Test innings this year and his average of 17.4 in the recent three-match series against Sri Lanka was the lowest of Australia's specialist batsmen.

"My mind hasn't changed since Sri Lanka. Right now I think he's best for the team opening the batting and that's certainly where he'll bat in South Africa," Clarke said in Sydney on Tuesday at the unveiling of the Australian team's new apparel.

Australia enjoyed a 2-1 win in their last series in South Africa in 2009, but Clarke suggested they would face a more experienced and very skilled team this time.

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