Australian batting coach and former Test opener Justin Langer has welcomed the end of a selection culture that he believes rewarded mediocrity, and now has called on the next Ricky Ponting to reveal himself.
He believes that the selectors have been right to drop Ponting from the national one-day squad on grounds of poor form, and adds their decision to keep him in the Test squad is also a correct one, as there is a dearth of quality young batsmen making runs in the domestic Sheffield Shield.
"The thing about Ricky Ponting being dropped this week, if there is a positive to it, it's that the selectors are saying performance is everything," Langer said
The Sydney Morning Herald further quotes him, as saying that: "The selectors have shown their hand; it doesn't matter if you're Ricky Ponting or a 21-year-old, you've got to perform. That's the system we want to get, a real cutthroat, tough system through Australian cricket."
"The next guys have to be smashing the door down, not just knocking on the door because they've got some talent and a fancy haircut and an earring, they've got to be knocking it down," Langer said.
Langer is of the view that with New South Wales batsmen Usman Khawaja and Phillip Hughes going off the boil this season, the players in contention for a national squad berth for the West Indies tour are 27-year-old Liam Davis of Western Australia, Queensland's Peter Forrest and Tasmanian skipper George Bailey.
"I'm looking forward to seeing who has got the steel and the resolve and the technique and the desire to become our next high-performance player," Langer said.