Ponting defends Smith over criticism

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Ricky Ponting defended Steve Smith after criticism of the Australia captain during the first Test against Pakistan.

Smith was questioned over his tactics on day five at the Gabba on Monday, as the hosts closed out a nervy 39-run win.

But former skipper Ponting said the victory was still comfortable enough for Australia, as he defended Smith.

"We are always quick to be critical of people. At the end of the day they've won by nearly 40 runs, which is a significant margin really in a Test match," he told SEN.

"I know it got a lot closer than what Steve Smith would've hoped and certainly the Australian public would've hoped, but at the end of the day it's a Test victory and all of those players will learn.

"Steve Smith will learn from it, some of the other guys that he probably calls senior players out in the field will learn from it as well and hopefully they'll be able to give him some advice going forward."

Ponting believes others also needed to take responsibility for the tactics, including coach Darren Lehmann.

"You'd like to think with the way the Aussie boys started yesterday that it was a collaboration of a few ideas," he said.

"I'm sure [assistant coach] David Saker's opinion would've been thrown in there as well. You'd like to think that's the way it works.

"I don't think I ever played with a coach who said this is the way it has to be because at the end of the day the captain is the one running the ship out on the field."