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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 March, 2004, 11:47 GMT
Ponting enters new era
Ricky Ponting
Ponting inspects the pitch for the first Test in Galle
Ricky Ponting has likened taking over the captaincy of Australia's Test side to starting a new career.

After two years as one-day skipper, he will finally succeed Steve Waugh in Monday's first Test against Sri Lanka.

"I'm really proud of what I've been able to achieve thus far in my career, but it's all about to start again. It's another chapter, if you like.

"I have thought about this Test match for a long time now and I am pretty excited," the Tasmanian said.

"It's pretty important to remain one of the boys most of the time, but there's certain times when you've got to distance yourself a little bit from that sort of stuff."

Waugh retired from Test cricket at the end of the home series against India, having led the team in 57 of his 168 matches, winning 41 of them.

Ricky Ponting
It is a huge patience game in the sub-continent and you have to grind out Test wins

Coach John Buchanan believes there are similarities in the way Waugh and Ponting approach the job, but also some significant differences.

"They are the same in that they lead by example, read the game very well and have great respect from all their team-mates."

"They are different in the sense that Ricky brings his own brand of tactics, humour and leadership."

Ponting takes over the captaincy after scoring 5,821 runs at an average of 55.9 in his 75 Tests so far.




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