Australia`s T20 game has a lot of hurdles: Ponting

Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, likened a match of the Indian Premier League to the AFL Grand Final and said he is looking forward to another stint in the Indian T20 competition. Having earlier served as the coach of Mumbai Indians, Ponting was recently appointed chief coach of Delhi Daredevils. "It`s a huge tournament, you`re working with the best players in the world and you`re unearthing and seeing some incredible Indian talent.

I think the best way to describe the IPL to people who haven`t been there or seen it is you talk to the young Aussie guys who go and play and they say every game is like an AFL Grand Final. the atmosphere that`s created around a lot of these venues is unbelievable," Ponting told the Cricket Australia website. Ponting feels the structure of the tournament is such that he doesn`t need to spend too much time away from home on coaching duties, "For all those reasons it`s great to be part of, and the other thing is that it`s eight or nine weeks.

"It`s not a huge time commitment so it fits in really well with where my life`s at," he added. Ponting, Australia highest run-getter in Tests and ODIs with more than 13,000 runs in both formats, feels coaching is the best way to give back something to the game which has been an integral part of his life. "I`ve just got that cricket bug.

Cricket`s not all that I know, but it`s a big part of what I know, a big part of what I enjoy and a big part of what my life`s been for so long. "I`ve been around a lot of great people, I`ve been around a lot of great people. I think I understand people really well.

I think I understand the tactical and technical side of the game really well, so I feel I`ve got a lot to offer back to the game. I`ve almost got that itch to scratch when I`m not around competition. "I`ve lived my life as a competitive person for so long, competing as a batsman, competing as a player and when your career`s over that all stops and you`ve got none of that in your life any more.

In the last couple of years, I`ve started to feel and understand that I need to have a certain degree of that in my life, let alone the fact that I love helping young blokes out. "At the end of the day that`s what coaching is for me, having the feeling that you`ve actually improved someone and had an impact on the way they go about their cricket. And you`ve made them better as a cricketer and a person.

I think that should be the motivating factor for all coaches anyway. It`s no different for me," he said. Ponting had served as the interim batting coach for a second-string Australia side during their T20 series against Sri Lanka last year as most of the regulars were preparing for the Test tour of India.

He pointed out that Australia`s failure to make an impact in the T20 format, having yet to win a major tournament, has to do with constant changing of the team and the lack of sufficient T20 game time together. "The T20 game in Australia, I still feel, has a lot of hurdles to get over. Historically, we haven`t performed well in international T20 tournaments and I think the reason for that is we don`t get much continuity with our playing group.

Quite often, from one tournament to another we have a different captain (leading) the side because of what`s coming up and what`s just been. "Until we start paying more attention to the T20 game..

.I don`t think we`ll ever improve. Yes, we have the Big Bash but we don`t play much other T20 cricket in Australia so - unless you`re playing in the IPL - our players aren`t playing a lot, and they`re not playing a lot together," Ponting observed.