Adam Gilchrist believes Australia skipper Ricky Ponting's current dip in form is a result of the added pressure on his shoulders from a controversial summer.
Ponting made 25 in Australia's CB series win over Sri Lanka on Friday, following scores of nought, nine and nine in the previous three matches.
Gilchrist says that Ponting's struggles with the bat have probably come as a result of the intense pressure he has been under as the Aussie skipper.
Ponting was embroiled in the race row that flared following Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Symonds' clash in the Sydney Test against India last month, and the skipper himself was criticised for his part in the saga.
A row between Cricket Australia and the Indian Premier League, along with the continuing uncertainty over Australia's planned tour of Pakistan has also not helped.
Gilchrist says that Ponting should be given credit for the way he has handled himself and the team during their problems, and backed him to come good in the end.
"I'm sure he, like all of us, will have been worn down by a lot of the focus, a lot of the issues that have been around," said Gilchrist, who will bow out of international cricket at the end of the CB Series.
"It seems just to jump from one thing to the other, whether they're highly controversial or just issues that need to be dealt with.
"Things like the Pakistan tour hanging around, the uncertainty about that, the IPL [Indian Premier League], the Indian Test series and all the issue there in the hearing, he's had to take the brunt of most of it.
"So I think we've got to acknowledge that he does that and he stands up and wants to do it, he acknowledges that that's his job.
"He is still running the team beautifully, captaining. Still very much Ricky Ponting.
"So [we] try to rally around him and keep him going, but he's a class act, he'll be fine."