The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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I rely a lot on gut instinct: Ponting
- For the Captain of the Year, cricket isnít a fight between captains

Bangalore: The ICCís Captain of the Year, Ricky Ponting, is battling a hamstring injury, but is far from feeling low. In fact, he was rather upbeat during a somewhat brief interaction with The Telegraph at the Grand Ashok on Thursday.

The following are excerpts

On captaining a team which is always expected to win

(Grins) Throughout my career, weíve been expected to do well... However, where Iím concerned, itís not something which adds to the captaincy-related pressures.

On what has he learnt most in almost four years as captain in both Tests and ODIs

That itís important to draw a distinction between my captaincy and my batting...

On his approach to captaincy

I rely a lot on gut instinct... Itís all about trying to stay one step ahead of the opposition.

On whether he has admired any contemporary

Not really... Youíve got to be part of team meetings to really know how a captain plans and motivates his players... Iím fortunate that I played under great captains like Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh.

On whether captains are only as good as the team at their disposal

Yes... The players make a team... Theyíre the ones whoíve got to implement whatever is planned... One could devise a great strategy, but it must be implemented and implemented well.

On India's newest captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Canít comment much as I donít know what he does in team meetings... However, from what Iíve seen of him at press conferences, he handles himself well. While heís new to the job, he has started with a bang.

On whether if heís available for all seven ODIs and the solitary Twenty20 International, his experience will give him an advantage over Dhoni

Cricket is never a fight between captains, but betwween teams... Itís XI versus XI... The team with the most number of contributors wins.

On the state of his injury, suffered during the World Twenty20

The support staff is regularly assessing it... Thereís still time for the series to begin.

Finally, on Indiaís World Twenty20 triumph

The Indians played great cricket and deserved to come back as champions, but I think too much is being made of the Twenty20 win... Itís over and weíre the world Test champions and the champions in 50 overs cricket... The pressure is really going to be on India, particularly on some players... Today, Iím excited about what lies ahead in the next few weeks. Iím also aware weíve got a very good record (34 wins from 56 matches overall, a success percentage of 60-plus) in limited overs cricket in India.

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