Former Australia captain and Prime Minister's XI skipper Ricky Ponting has tipped ACT opener Jono Dean for future stardom after the young opening batsman smashed 51 off 40 balls in his side's 23-run win over the West Indies.
Dean, who plays for the ACT Comets, was in wonderful form with the bat to notch a half-century and leave Ponting in no doubt that he has the ability to play at the highest level.
"He played beautifully," Ponting said. "I'd never seen him play before but I saw him batting in the nets this morning and he was hitting them well and he obviously carried that on into the middle and got us off to a flying start."
Despite the glowing endorsement from one of the game's greats, the experienced campaigner also had words of warning for Dean, who perhaps needs to temper his natural instincts after accumulating substantial runs only to lose his wicket to a rash shot.
"It was a bit disappointing when he got out," Ponting said.
"He just needs to learn to perhaps pull it back in a little bit at that stage. When you have got 50 or 60, and are doing it that easily, you've got to be able to get 100.
"But he'll learn that from the game. He struck the ball beautifully. Some of the shots he did today, I'm sure there'll be a number of people on the phone to him in the next few days."
Ponting himself enjoyed the challenge of captaining the Prime Minister's XI to victory, making 15 off 22 balls and receiving a huge ovation from the partisan Canberran crowd when walking to the crease to begin his innings.
But, as is his usual modest way, Ponting refused to let the limelight be shone entirely on him.
"Today wasn't about me, it was about some of the younger guys and it was about us trying to come together as a team and win the game," he said.
"I said to the boys this morning that I was confident we could win and I tried to make them all believe that we could win the game and it was good to see the younger guys at the top of the order get some runs.
"James Faulkner had an outstanding game and the experience they will get is excellent.
"It's a long time since I've captained a side but it was great to lead a young group and good to see them enjoying themselves and win the game.
"That's a pretty good West Indian side that we have beaten today and some of the batting we have seen has been superb.
"Andre Russell batted well and had us worried but, by the same token, I didn't think he could keep doing it all night and he had to mishit one eventually and fortunately he hit it straight at a fielder we had placed there."
The West Indies begin their one-day series against Australia in Perth on Friday and Ponting is adamant the tourists will prove a tough nut to crack.
"I've no doubt that they will be competitive at full strength out here. They have some match-winners in that side and with Chris Gayle to come back in they will be hard to beat," he said.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 30 January, 2013 2:24PM AEST