Melbourne:Spin legend Shane Warne on Tuesday urged the Australian public not to vilify Ricky Ponting but admitted he too was surprised by some of the skipper's decision during the 0-2 Test series defeat to India.
"His tactics surprised me -- and everyone else -- because he is naturally an attacker. The reason he is under pressure is it looked like he put himself in front of the team and this just isn't Punter.
"Having played with him for a long time, he was one of the guys that put the team first -- always. If it meant throwing his wicket away in the chase for quick runs, he would do that. And there have been previous captains who would not.
"I just think he got it wrong this time and I'm sure he will be a better captain for the experience. Let's not hang him. Let's encourage him and support him. I think the Kiwis are going to feel the wrath of the Australian team and, in particular, the skipper next week," the leg-spin great wrote in his column in the 'Herald Sun'.
"Hopefully, Ricky understands where everyone's criticism is coming from, takes it on board and does not wipe people. I'm sure if he thinks it through, he could do worse than ask Ian Chappell or Allan Border out for dinner and chat about it and he might just pick up something."
Warne also had some tips to offer about the high pressure job of leading a team.
"Captaincy is about getting the best out of your players and understanding what makes them tick -- when to give them a rocket and when to throw an arm around them and make them feel important. This comes from understanding your player and which strategy to use."
And in this, Warne considers Mark Taylor as the master. "Mark Taylor was an expert at this and was the best captain I played under. He was a great tactician, too."
Regarding the India series where the Aussies came up second best, Warne said he was worried with the manner of defeat.
"We all know that outside of Australia, India is the toughest place to tour because the conditions are so different from anywhere else you play. To me, it is not that we lost the series but more the way we lost which is a concern for many of us former players.
"The Australian side to me looks like it's lacking a bit of spark. But having said that, India can have that effect on you."