India in Australia 2011-12 December 7, 2011

The No. 3 mutual admiration society

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When the whole world - it seemed so at the time - was asking Ricky Ponting to retire, the man who had just overtaken him to become the second-highest run-getter in Test cricket was rooting for him to do well against South Africa. Rahul Dravid relates to what Ponting has been going through. Admittedly Ponting's lean run has been longer - 22 months without a Test century - but Dravid has been in that boat, in 2007 and 2008, when he felt the pressure to just hold on to his spot in the side.

"In some ways, having gone through it myself, I found myself cheering for him, wishing for him to do well in South Africa this time," Dravid told ESPNcricinfo before departing for Australia, where he will surely have more notes to exchange with the man himself. Dravid is one of the seven members of the squad to leave before the rest of the side, in order to get acclimatised to the conditions better. "I have been through all that myself, and can easily relate to him. I was watching those Test matches and was in some way hoping that he would score runs. I hoped he would score runs in this next Test match and then take a bit of a break against us."

Interestingly, Ponting himself had asked Dravid to shut out his critics and stay put when he was struggling. "I actually went and found him at the end of the series and said 'don't you even think about retiring' because I just saw some stuff in a few of his innings that suggested he was still a very, very good player," Ponting had said of his meeting with the opposition's No. 3 before the series in India last year. "I just said 'don't let them wear you down, don't let them get you down'."

Dravid faced similar calls for retirement during his struggle - Tony Greig famously and rhetorically asked on live TV if Dravid's final dismissal on the Sri Lanka tour last year was his last. However, he has fought through the period and has scored the small matter of five Test centuries since his 38th birthday, numbers that are a throwback to the era of Graham Gooch if not Jack Hobbs.

Like Dravid, Ponting hasn't looked completely out of sorts. He was in pretty good form on that tour to India, only failing to convert fifties into hundreds. India is a country Ponting has never truly mastered as a batsman but he threatened to do so in Mohali and Bangalore. Dravid agrees. "I think he is still a great player," Dravid said. "He showed in the couple of Test matches that he played against us in India that he is still - I'd say he is still - the best Australian batsman. And when you read his name on the sheet he is still one of the most feared. There is no doubt about it."

Ponting's slump has in a way been similar, albeit longer, in that Dravid used to get starts in those two years but get out before converting them. Ponting has had a rope longer than any other former Australian captain of similar age could have expected. In fact captains hardly get to stay on just as players in Australia. While it says a lot about the quality of replacements available, it also points to how much Ponting is still in love with the game. He is willing to risk getting dropped as opposed to "letting them wear him down".

What Dravid has to say about his period of struggle could just as easily apply to Ponting. "Sometimes it is a confidence thing," Dravid said. "Sometimes things don't go for you. You get a bit of a bad run, you get a couple of good balls, and then you lose a bit of confidence. Maybe your mindset changes.

"However much you know you need to change it, sometimes it just doesn't happen until you can get confirmation through actual scores on the ground. As much as you can hit the ball in the nets and say you are feeling good - and it was the case, I felt really good in the nets a lot of times or even at the start of an innings and I would get out - until you get that confirmation with actual runs on the board, even if it is an ugly hundred, an ugly big score, you can't turn it around."

Except that Dravid is hoping that the confirmation, that big score - ugly or otherwise - doesn't come Ponting's way this summer. "From our perspective I hope he can start a golden run after our series."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 10, 2011, 2:20 GMT

    Ponting gone again LBW. Is he taking leg-stump guard? If not, he should try it so that he can negate his falling to the off-side problem and reduce the chance of bat having to go around his front pad to meet the ball. He'll be saving some time also and most importantly he'll reduce the chance of getting dismissed LBW. May be he should watch how Dravid played in England to get an idea about what I'm saying. This is very sad. But, India has a reputation to bring out of form batsmen back to life. Hopefully, India will live up to its reputation and we get to see some nice scores from Ponting.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 9, 2011, 23:36 GMT

    @RandyOz, you seem to respect Bradman the most. But, you mean to say that you know more than Bradman? Sachin is not better than Ponting as per you. You may continue to think that Ponting is the second best after Bradman. But why do you have to include Dravid also as the second best after Bradman? You are doing lot of injustice to many greats of yesteryears by including Dravid there. For Eg, Sir Sobers comes to my mind very easily and he is definitely better than Dravid. I don't want to argue with you about Ponting/Sachin and what you want to believe. But don't push Dravid as one of the second best since Bradman. Mr. Bradman would be turning in his grave. I consider myself as probably the biggest fan of Dravid on this planet and I still find your compliment for Dravid as very funny, misplaced and undeserving.

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    Dravid and some great Indians are just so generous and Ponting may have to leave cricket 1 day but i hope that he can play against india

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 9, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    @RandyOz, you seem to respect Bradman the most. But, you mean to say that you know more than Bradman? Sachin may not be greater than Ponting as per you. You may continue to think that Ponting is the second best after Bradman. But why do you have to include Dravid also as the second best after Bradman? You are doing lot of injustice to many greats of yesteryears by including Dravid there. For Eg, Sir Sobers comes to my mind very easily and he is definitely better than Dravid. I don't want to argue with you about Ponting/Sachin and what you want to believe. But don't push Dravid as one of the second best since Bradman. Mr. Bradman would be turning in his grave. I consider myself as probably the biggest fan of Dravid on this planet and I still find your compliment for Dravid as very funny and undeserving.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 9, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    @vbkrish, that's contradictory. Dravid fans love him because he isn't a mean person or a mean cricketer. Dravid fans are happy and proud the way he is.

  • POSTED BY thomaswinter85 on | December 9, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    @RajKumarGoyal: I dont think so

  • POSTED BY ashlatchem on | December 9, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    @RajKumarGoyal where's Lara?

  • POSTED BY RajKumarGoyal on | December 9, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    My dream team for tests(Only players after 2000)with my cricket knowledge.. some body please suggest me if some body deserved a place in this.. 1. Sehwag 2. Hayden 3. Dravid/Ponting/Kallis/Sangakkara (:( why all these guys play @ no3.) 4.Sachin 5.Inzamam 6.VVS 7.Gilchrist 8.Wasim Akram / Walsh 9.Warne/Kumble 10.Murali 11.McGrath. Oh my god.. can any team beat this team.. can this be an all time best test team???

  • POSTED BY vbkrish on | December 9, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    Dear Dravid has just overtaken Pointing and now he no.2 next to Sachin. Why he wants Pointing to score more runs. First thing is that Pointing is no more no.3 player.Secondly he should fail against us in the coming series. Kallis is also playing well. To maintain number 2 position, Dravid has to maintain the present excellent form by scoring more runs and centuries,and pray for the failure of both Pointing and Kallis,who are also great players.Dravid shoiuld be selfish atleast in this matter, just for the sake of his innumarable fans.

  • POSTED BY bMike on | December 9, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    @jijop & some others: Sangakkara has 50+ overall batting averages both in Aisa & outside Asia. Eventually Sanga become world number one test batsmen only after giving up wicket keeping in test. Since giving up wicket keeping Sanga has averaged 72.02 in test matches whereas his average in outside Aisa is 70.48 & his average in Aisa is 72.83. Only Bradmen has better records than this. Pointing has averaged 57 in Australia whereas his average in Asia is only 39.99. Sanga is a real gentleman & he has no involvement with that Randiv's no-ball case. At the toss in wc finals both captains had thought that they had won the toss at first time as Dhoni hadn't heard( becoz of the noise) Sanga was saying "head". There was no way to toss again if match referee had heard it. But unfortunately match referee or Ravi Shastri hadn't head it either. So no doubt there was no intension of cheating by any one there. In fact Sanga was a law college student by the time he was selected to SL team in 2000

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 10, 2011, 2:20 GMT

    Ponting gone again LBW. Is he taking leg-stump guard? If not, he should try it so that he can negate his falling to the off-side problem and reduce the chance of bat having to go around his front pad to meet the ball. He'll be saving some time also and most importantly he'll reduce the chance of getting dismissed LBW. May be he should watch how Dravid played in England to get an idea about what I'm saying. This is very sad. But, India has a reputation to bring out of form batsmen back to life. Hopefully, India will live up to its reputation and we get to see some nice scores from Ponting.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 9, 2011, 23:36 GMT

    @RandyOz, you seem to respect Bradman the most. But, you mean to say that you know more than Bradman? Sachin is not better than Ponting as per you. You may continue to think that Ponting is the second best after Bradman. But why do you have to include Dravid also as the second best after Bradman? You are doing lot of injustice to many greats of yesteryears by including Dravid there. For Eg, Sir Sobers comes to my mind very easily and he is definitely better than Dravid. I don't want to argue with you about Ponting/Sachin and what you want to believe. But don't push Dravid as one of the second best since Bradman. Mr. Bradman would be turning in his grave. I consider myself as probably the biggest fan of Dravid on this planet and I still find your compliment for Dravid as very funny, misplaced and undeserving.

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    Dravid and some great Indians are just so generous and Ponting may have to leave cricket 1 day but i hope that he can play against india

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 9, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    @RandyOz, you seem to respect Bradman the most. But, you mean to say that you know more than Bradman? Sachin may not be greater than Ponting as per you. You may continue to think that Ponting is the second best after Bradman. But why do you have to include Dravid also as the second best after Bradman? You are doing lot of injustice to many greats of yesteryears by including Dravid there. For Eg, Sir Sobers comes to my mind very easily and he is definitely better than Dravid. I don't want to argue with you about Ponting/Sachin and what you want to believe. But don't push Dravid as one of the second best since Bradman. Mr. Bradman would be turning in his grave. I consider myself as probably the biggest fan of Dravid on this planet and I still find your compliment for Dravid as very funny and undeserving.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 9, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    @vbkrish, that's contradictory. Dravid fans love him because he isn't a mean person or a mean cricketer. Dravid fans are happy and proud the way he is.

  • POSTED BY thomaswinter85 on | December 9, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    @RajKumarGoyal: I dont think so

  • POSTED BY ashlatchem on | December 9, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    @RajKumarGoyal where's Lara?

  • POSTED BY RajKumarGoyal on | December 9, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    My dream team for tests(Only players after 2000)with my cricket knowledge.. some body please suggest me if some body deserved a place in this.. 1. Sehwag 2. Hayden 3. Dravid/Ponting/Kallis/Sangakkara (:( why all these guys play @ no3.) 4.Sachin 5.Inzamam 6.VVS 7.Gilchrist 8.Wasim Akram / Walsh 9.Warne/Kumble 10.Murali 11.McGrath. Oh my god.. can any team beat this team.. can this be an all time best test team???

  • POSTED BY vbkrish on | December 9, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    Dear Dravid has just overtaken Pointing and now he no.2 next to Sachin. Why he wants Pointing to score more runs. First thing is that Pointing is no more no.3 player.Secondly he should fail against us in the coming series. Kallis is also playing well. To maintain number 2 position, Dravid has to maintain the present excellent form by scoring more runs and centuries,and pray for the failure of both Pointing and Kallis,who are also great players.Dravid shoiuld be selfish atleast in this matter, just for the sake of his innumarable fans.

  • POSTED BY bMike on | December 9, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    @jijop & some others: Sangakkara has 50+ overall batting averages both in Aisa & outside Asia. Eventually Sanga become world number one test batsmen only after giving up wicket keeping in test. Since giving up wicket keeping Sanga has averaged 72.02 in test matches whereas his average in outside Aisa is 70.48 & his average in Aisa is 72.83. Only Bradmen has better records than this. Pointing has averaged 57 in Australia whereas his average in Asia is only 39.99. Sanga is a real gentleman & he has no involvement with that Randiv's no-ball case. At the toss in wc finals both captains had thought that they had won the toss at first time as Dhoni hadn't heard( becoz of the noise) Sanga was saying "head". There was no way to toss again if match referee had heard it. But unfortunately match referee or Ravi Shastri hadn't head it either. So no doubt there was no intension of cheating by any one there. In fact Sanga was a law college student by the time he was selected to SL team in 2000

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | December 9, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    The two greatest batsmen since Bradman.

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    To those wondering why Aussies are baying for Ponting to retire, as an Aussie I can't say that I'm sure myself. A lot of Aussies haven't liked Ricky as a captain and we have a saying, people like to "cut down tall poppies". People grow a dislike for someone and then anything they do isn't good enough. They want Punter to retire simply because they don't like him. I, for one, love the guy's cricket, am not sure about what he's like as a person...again, some people seem to have an insight into the man that he probably doesn't even have himself. I have been a fan throughout his career, and like Warnie, I've been disappointed in their falls from grace, but I still appreciate their great cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2011, 2:02 GMT

    What a nice gesture from Rahul Dravid. I think Dravid is the greates cricketer produced by India.Unlike others he is clean and honourable. Even the sacred cow Sachin , had controversies relating to his Ferrari car.

    As for Ponting , he is still a very good player , though Michael Clarke has replaced Ponting as the best batsman down under.

  • POSTED BY dms1972 on | December 8, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    @Harmony111 How many Test matches has Tendulkar played more than Ponting? If you're going to tell me that even on my criteria, Tendulkar has scored 1500 more runs than Ponting, you might as well tell me that Tendulkar has scored nearly 10,000 more runs than Bradman. I respect and admire Tendulkar as one of the all time greats, I just get sick and tired of the likes of you, telling me that Ponting is not one of the greats, when quite clearly he is. You cannot tell me that Ponting had greats all around him and then ignore the fact that Tendulkar has had players like Sehwag, Dravid, Ganguly, Kumble, Harbhajan, and Laxman playing with him.

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | December 8, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    The likes of Dravid, Sachin, Ponting, Kallis are the last of their kind. We will never see such technically sound batsmen again. Respect \m/

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    There is sympathy for each other as both are overshadowed by one sachin ramesh tendulkar.. ponting's onfield behaviour was far from satisfactory during his peak days..not so long time back

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    Ponting is having confidence on himself....so no one else can tell him to retire unless he feels he is no more capable of giving his 100%....

  • POSTED BY ozlover4mnepal on | December 8, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    every1 seems to b cheering for their retirement when u'v no 1 to feel their boots! Y shud they hang up their boots when they're still @ their best. Punter u'v to go on and seal the lips of ur critics!

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    india india

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    Hey guys, some could be touchy about their names! Spelling Ponting as Pointing was amusing initially, but a little annoying now. Unless you are pointing at Ponting that there is no point in pointing out that he doesn't see the horse to ride into the sunset. Some have started misspelling the name of the next Aussie Captain too. Clark and Clarke may not be as different as chalk and cheese; but definitely as different as Stuart from Michael. One is part of the past and the other is THE present. And THE present doesn't look the type, who would love to be bracketed with the past.

  • POSTED BY BMayuresh on | December 8, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    Ricky is an awesome entrainer, no matter the controversies... My own favourite atfer SRT, Dravid & Don. Said that I would like to say that RD is right in saying that he will be the next Phoneix after SRT and himself... he has got the class and the ability too... I am dying to see him rise from the Ashes, this time against India...( I'm an Indian.... still... )cause that is the only thing that will make the Indian tour interesting or else it would be cake walk for India.... we wont understand if it was Aus or WI ;) Never mind, I really wish the guy comes back in form and works out like he did in the WC 2003 final.... thats what he is and he should be remembered as.... he belongs to the era of SRT, Rahul Dravid, Laxman, Kallis and he should prove that.... best of luck mate

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 8, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    @Harmony111, I agree completely that one aspect of Ponting's conduct, as a responsible Captain, made me very sad as his huge admirer. Suddenly I saw myself rooting for his failures and wanted him to get a very bad name internationally. I couldn't believe I started to have such feelings for Ponting. I sincerely hope he at least mentions in his book or whatever that his behaviour during the Sydney Test was at least less than ideal if not aweful for the sake of the other global fans who might not have forgiven him still. Even a neutral observer could see that Kumble was towering over Ponting not just in height but also in stature. All the goodwill that Ponting had earned over more than a decade has been reduced to rubble in a matter of 2 to 3 sessions of mean cricket. Champ Ponting is definitely made of stuff better than that. As Ponting's career started to deteriorate, I felt very sorry for him; am praying for his success because it's hard to forget the moments he mesmerised many of us.

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    andy mack absolutely rite mate aussies respect sachin only guys like randy oz dont know about cricket

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 8, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    I agree with one member who said it's the aussie crowd who is thankless and are not seeing the obvious that Ponting still has lot of cricket left in him. This fact is obvious to the whole world and to many Indians on board here and we don't have any idea about the internal wranglings and motives of the aussie posters - wanting players from their region or state.....If that be the case, the aussie crowd don't deserve this great servant of Aussie Cricket - RT Ponting. He plays hard, got you guys three world cups and seems to be a very good person as well, contrary to popular perception. Otherwise why would he have such goodwill from his opponents and his team mates, Clarke and of course the selectors too, who gave him a long enough rope? I guess the Aussies baying for Ponting's blood are the most thankless and ungrateful. Shame that.

  • POSTED BY barshon on | December 8, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    what a head line! fantastic article by Mr. Monga. really appreciate that.

  • POSTED BY dwivedy on | December 8, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    one should never forget that FORM IS TEMPORARY, CLASS IS PERMANENT. have anybody has got any doubt about the ability of ricky ponting ? without doubt he is still one of the best batsman around. age of about 37 is noway a matter of concern for him. he is fit and agile enough. he is just one innings away from his.........peak. so to say. folks just wait watch n enjoy.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | December 8, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    we are lucky to be alive to be watching these legends. why would we want it to end? thats just madness

  • POSTED BY Dhoni_fan_from_a_dada_era on | December 8, 2011, 13:34 GMT

    A deep hollow awaits international cricket. I seriously don't see a great aussie batsman in the horizon neither a great indian talent. Who'll be the role models for our children? I shudder to think.

  • POSTED BY IndianaJones79 on | December 8, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    @AndyMack, since when does aussie points facts? if they were not illusionist, they would accept the fact that Ricky is great batsman..But not as great as Lara and Tendulkar

  • POSTED BY IndianaJones79 on | December 8, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    @ian_ghose...Pointing is not scoring runs for 3 years, still did he ever kept quite? Completely disgraceful sportsman...

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | December 8, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas:-

    I have commented in some other article that this coming series reminds me of The Matrix Revolutions and the final clash between Neo and Agent Smith. Of course I am not assigning any negativity to any player here but I anticipate a clash of that level where each one gives a record performance and comes out with the reputation enhanced. Another example would be Sherlock Holmes Vs Prof Moriarty. There, Holmes mentioned that "never have I risen to such height. Deep did Moriarty cut and yet each time I cut a little deeper". I hope you get my point. I am not a Ponting hater but some of his acts have left bitter memories (and no, it doesn't include that WC 140*). I realize just how great a batsman Ricky is and I feel that for us mortals, he is a better idol than Sachin since Ricky has shown that you can rise to great heights even if you are flawed provided you are committed and stay focused. I would find an Ind win & Sachin's tally at 500+ and RP's 350+ pleasing. Ha Ha.

  • POSTED BY ian_ghose on | December 8, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    @Gupta - It really doesn't matter what you think about Ponting's abilities. At the end of it, you'll be eating out of the water closet, just like you did after your tour of England. Better stay quiet before the deed is done.

  • POSTED BY AndyMack on | December 8, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    @Kiran and @Adhithya.... Sorry, its not the aussies always bringing up Sachin in these discussions to denegrate him, its generally Sachin-loving Indians who bring him into the conversation. A handful of Aussies (and others) may then respond pointing out some facts and figures, hardly jealousy or hatred (vast majority of Aussies have a very healthy respect and appreciation for Sachin, just wait for the applause he gets when he goes out to bat in Melbourne and Sydney).

    On the article, love Punter and Dravid, two of the best, and the most enjoyable to watch. Lets hope there are a few more years of these guys gracing the stage.

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    @Sajish Thomas: yes Ponting is a fantastic cricketer...but please dont tell me that he is the best captain ever in international cricket...he lived on the talents of the gr8 individual talent tht he inherited from Steve Waugh...wht happened once he started loosing those talented players like Hayden, Gilly, warne, McGrath...his teams just couldn't win consistently...i agree he is a good captain...but not the best the cricket world has ever seen...

  • POSTED BY Gupta.Ankur on | December 8, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    Its very humble on Dravid's part to back a player who has always thrived when there were others to win the matches for australia....

    Ever since "those" players have retired........his form has "retired" as well.........in short..i don't think ponting has the talent to make a comeback...

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    @ Kiran Narendran Thats not hatred dude . Thats pure jealousy . They don't have someone like Sachin performing for their team and what will they do ? Degrade Sachin itself . Simple as that

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    When each man gets an opportunity to play for and against other great players through tournaments like IPL, familiarity and respect builds up. Mutual appreciation comes from respect. Kudos that the cricketers are encouraging and rooting for each other's success. I hope that some of the Ex-cricketers, sitting in the commentary box can demonstrate similar maturity.

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Some guys from Australia always want to prove that Sachin is a 'failure' on Cricinfo. For that they comment badly about Sachin on each and every article, even if the article is about Dravid or Ponting or about an old player's demise. Why are they so much scared????

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    Ponting has an amazing record as a cricketer and form is always temporary. The series will lose some shine in his absence. We need characters like him in this sport. Irrespective of nationality it's lovely to watch when people like Ponting, Sachin, Lara, Dravid play in full flow.

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    As great the article is............ equally gr8 comments........... @dravid_Gravitas i m fan of u r writing............ and Respect for gr8 like punter.......... tho hes having a arrogant image........ i love the way he bat and dominate the bowling......... I pray he scores dbl against kiwis and 2 fifties and 1 ninety against india!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cant wait for Christmas.........

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Its really heartening to see most great players of our generation, having a healthy respect and admiration for each other ! Kudos to the Dravids, Tendulkars, Kallises, Laras, Kumbles, Warnes, Gilchrists and Pontings of our generation !

  • POSTED BY Farce-Follower on | December 8, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    @Gravitas and gang : Yes, the Oz team looks formidable. And given the long boundaries, they are better at running 3 and 4's as well. All in all trouble. I saw Pup debuting with a century in Bangalore. Class Act, as with all the present # 3s.

  • POSTED BY raja9787 on | December 8, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    @Hodra99: Raina?? Really?? he is one of the few guys who brings liveliness to the pitch !! i have never seen him badmouthing opposition players.. if you have mentioned kohli, well no one is gonna deny that ;)

  • POSTED BY VinodGupte on | December 8, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    @ mr ali - hahaha. do you know that SRT has scored 6 centuries against SA in the last year and a half? two in ODIs (200* and one in the world cup) and four centuries in tests! two in IND and two in SA. four centuries in five tests is a failure? hahaha. and it might thrill you to know that SA has two bowlers in ICC top 10. Steyn is # 1 and morkel is around 5-6. how about experimenting with statsguru?

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    Dravid is a gentleman cricketer. It is very nice to see that he is backing Ponting to get back to form with a century. The best two No.3 in the World Cricket. Their records shows that. Ricky Ponting plays cricket very hard and he is very gentle in nature and supports fellow cricketers. He is one of the best captain cricket ever produced. All captains world over has to learn many things from him. If Ricky leaves the International Cricket Stage, we will lose one of the greatest cricketers ever played the game. I still believe he is the best Australian Cricketer and it is a matter of time for him to bounce back with a Cenury.

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | December 8, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    @ muhammad ali ,mate last time Sachin went to Africa , he scored two centuries against Steyn and morkel. please check the facts before commenting.

  • POSTED BY Vilander on | December 8, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    These guys dont just have similar stats, Punter did the same for Dravid a couple of years ago. Punter will have a second wind, hope not against India.

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 7:43 GMT

    Sachin has failed in South Africa??? He has a respectable average of 46+ against SA in SA. Scored 5 Hundreds. That makes it an average of One Hundred Atleast per Tour. I remember he scored 2 Hundreds during the last tour over there. The Hundred in the Final Test where he scored some 140 odd...there was a riveting contest between him and Steyn. And you still call that as a failure. The master averages 40 almost everywhere. The lowest average he has is in Pakistan and Zimbabwe which is '40'. I don't think he is a failure anywhere.

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    @Muhammad Ali Do you even know statistics of Sachin . He ha scored one century at least in every tour of SA . Remember the 169 at Centurion . Oh and also the 50th Test hundred last time in SA . I hardly call that a failture and anyone with a sane mind wouldn't except if he is a blind hater like you .

  • POSTED BY Claydo78 on | December 8, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    zico123, dont you think a baggy green should be earnt instead of just given away? ponting has earned his place in that team through a mountain of runs, currently there is no one in state cricket that has earnt the right of taking ponting place! the statements you are making mate, proves how little you know about cricket!

  • POSTED BY ali00 on | December 8, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    It is good to see the two legend of No.3 batting encouraging each other to do well and to make their country proud and also themselves.

  • POSTED BY Hodra99 on | December 8, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    @roversgate...mate I was talking about attitude and sportmanship....Sehwag, Dravid and Laxman are 1st class...GG, well remember the elbow into Watson's ribs in 2008??...Zaheer...the jelly beans incident along with his general mouthing off at batsman..Raina...his mouth his bigger than his batting average.

  • POSTED BY muski on | December 8, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    When Dravid speaks the rest of the cricketing world has to just listen. He is the most articulate cricketer around ( Sanga Included). So when the Great Wall of India speaks of his admiration of the Bad man from Australia, we need to really understand that Ponting is a greater batsmen that what his great statistics reveal. Even though most cricket fans love to hate the Punter, it is pure human psychology that gets great men the support when they are down and out. I certainly hope he does well against India and re-invent his once fearless batting.

  • POSTED BY cenitin on | December 8, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    This incident again proves how these gr8 players respect each other but still there fans criticize other legends to prove that there favorite player is best....I remember same mutual respect between Sachin and Lara as Sachin considered Lara as his favorite player and Lara told that he would prefer his son to be like Sachin rathar than himself. I remember Dravid gives credit to Sachin for his second wind as Sachin adviced him not to think about too much about future and concentrate on present and each match one by one. Also Sachin considered Dravid as unsung hero of Indian team . Simialrly when Laxman was asked any regret about his avg less than 50 then he said that his team mates know his value better than anyone else and he got gr8 respect from players like Sachin, Dravid who themself are like living legend and from whole team. He is satisified with that treatment and this thing encourages him to do his best.

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Punter or Jamy...Jamy The wall...forever in no. 3

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Better for Dravid to concentrate on his game...

  • POSTED BY IndianaJones79 on | December 8, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    @Muhammad Ali..Look @ stats then blindly expose your lack of knowledge..In last 2 series in Aussie, he was still harbhajan's bunny...he got out in nt so great ball. He just pushed too much, and got out in silly point and slip and short leg..get ur facts right

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    why talk abt Ponting's retirement, when other young Aussies are not putting up any mejestic shows. Its always good to have a senior player in team. Already the ACB has done a mistake by not giving katich a contract. Khweja may be talented and always gets good starts but never converted them to big scores. Hussey is not in the best of the forms....shane watson cant stay long...he perishes after a 50 odd score...hughes is inconsistent....clarke scores big or doesnt score at all....haddin scores when there are talks for looking at an alternate keeper....... So don't just pin-point at ponting. The same goes to people who talk abt sachin-laxman-dravid retirement. let's remember still ganguly's place is not yet occupied permanently even after 2yrs?

  • POSTED BY amitmeghraj on | December 8, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    Dravids support is very well recieved by us all !! And i truly believe that in some way this will help ponting get a bit more confidence coz its nice to know theres someone who still trusts in ur abilities other than urself !! I am sure many of us trust in pontings abilities but a man of dravids stature coming ahead and supporting surely is a feel good factor for punter . Kudos to all the gentlemen playin the game ! Lets gear up for one heck of a series AUSSSS vs INDDDDDD

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    Dravid and Ponting are very alike not just in the texture which the article says but also the Unsung heros of their teams.. Dravid has been a relentless team man. As Harsha bhogle says,ask him to walk on water for the team;he'll ask how many miles." Ponting on the other hand has been a great captain throughout the last decade.. He doesn't mind abt his critics and just seeks for a retirement in style.. All the best RsD and RTP!! We just admire your style and class alwayss!

  • POSTED BY here2rock on | December 8, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Good to see good honest comments from one great to another. We have been real lucky to have batsman of this calibre. It will be really good to see them battle once again. Boxing day test can not come soon enough!

  • POSTED BY Kishore_11 on | December 8, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    @Muhammad Ali - Do you have any sense of what you are taking. He scored 2 hunders against SA in SA. He has total 5 centuries against SA in SA.

  • POSTED BY travelunlimited on | December 8, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    You Cant Compare Ponting with dravid. Ponting is more agresive player than dravid. Ponting was more sucessfull as a Captain than dravid was captain for India. Anyway Like to See Ponting fire in 2nd test against NZ . And Against India he has better record playing in Aus. So Ponting is the player to watch against IND

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    thumbs up 2 d gr8 no. 3 s f our genratn...

  • POSTED BY naveenpnayak on | December 8, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    It would have been nice if Ponting had backed Hayden and Gilli also the same way.. We cannot find a player like Haydo and Gilli again..

  • POSTED BY naveenpnayak on | December 8, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    Its so nice to see players from opponent teams supporting each other like this.. There is no doubt Dravid and Ponting are the class.. Great Sportsmanship must say :)

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 8, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    Guys, can we stop this comparison between Ponting and Sachin for a while and enjoy these lovely thoughts of sportsmanship and comraderie between Dravid and Ponting? Read the article heading - "The No.3 mutual admiration society". There is no place for silly comparisons with Sachin or with Dravid or with Lara or Kallis or Sanga. Just mutual RESPECT please. Don't let the sanity of these great thoughts from Dravid lose its purpose in the insanity of these dubious comparisons. Cricket was and is never just about numbers and will never be. Yes, numbers are important as Dravid himself said how and why a hundred, ugly or otherwise, is important. But that's about it. If you can't understand this, log off and get some rest instead of hijacking these lovely thoughts from a Legend who is looking out for another Legend, who is slightly losing it at this time.

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    There is no doubt that Rahul Dravid is a complete gentleman and an excellent judge of other players in the circuit. It is hardly coincidental that the four oldest players in test cricket are the our top test batsmen at present. I have been harping on the fact that Ricky Ponting has substantial aura when it comes to the way the opposition views him. Listen to what Graeme Smith has to say about him and his last two innings have demonstrated that he still has the courage, the perseverance and the ability to take his batting to even more success against the Indians. Note what Dravid says about Ponting being the best batsman in the current Australian side. It is obvious to everyone except Aussie fans who are in my view a thankless lot, only guided by their own preferences for players from their own state. I hope Ponting once again scores heavily for his own sake and for the faith that other great players like Dravid have on his ability. sridhar

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | December 8, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    One person is a gentleman and the other one is arrogant...he will play as 4th umpire in the field and claim catches, argue with opposition and thrash windows, TV in the dressing room...

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 8, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    @jijops, Sanga sledged Pollock bigtime. Does that make him a rude cricketer. No! The toss was just some confusion. I guess we Indians are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

  • POSTED BY atthipatti on | December 8, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    As an Indian Cricket fan, I'm not a fan of Ponting at all!! I want him to struggle even to open his account and if he does, don't want him to be scoring even in those double figures. I want him to be blinded when Ishant Sharma bowls those quickies like last time. And want him to exit after continuously failing in those 4 tests, when we tour down under later in the month......But as a true Cricket fan, I feel sad for Ponting for his last couple of years. Why should it be like this?? Why somebody of the his stature is required to undergo such batting-convulsions?? What a shame if he still exits carrying his present form...Legends like him deserve a little more than that. So who cares what if I'm not a fan of Ponting at all!!!!!

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 8, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    @Farce-Follower, but you do realise that Pup is batting brilliantly now. Doesn't augur well for us at all. He is the best player of spin bowling in the Aussie team (sorry not Ponting) and is as gifted and talented as any Indian batsman in negotiating spin bowling. We need to keep Pup under control. He is such a skiddy customer. You never realise when he crossed 20s and 30s and soon he is all over you. Indians will do well to remember his debut. Somehow, Watson seems to be another Flintoff in the making (injuries). Watson is my favourite player's (Dravid's) team mate in IPL. So, no ill-will there against him from my side. Don't know much about Hughes (really). I don't think he is in the class of Haydos and Langer. I'll learn more about him on this tour. @ICC-BCCI, disagree with you completely. @3liteindia, very well said about Sanga. He is a gem of a person and an absolutely brilliant batsman.

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | December 8, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    Kind of sad in a way. In 2007 after Ajantha Mendis destroyed the Indian batting lineup, Dravid was in all sorts of trouble and in a horrible form. The one person who told him to keep going was Ricky Ponting and Dravid later admitted that was a big key in his not retiring. Now, Dravid returns the favor to Ponting by telling him not to give up. I do hope Ponting listens and keeps going, he is a legend. Some ignorant comments here about Ponting. To all the Indian fans bashing Ponting and praising Dravid for this "gentleman like behavior", just remember that Ponting extended his helping hand to Dravid first. Please give him the proper respect he deserves

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    Hodra99 - Indian cricket has been gentlemanly through all the decades and the Indian fans like the aggression shown by people like GAmbhir, Raina, Virat And compnay. If you dont like them its your problem We love them the way they are

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 8, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    @Manush, @Sudheer Deoli, I completely agree with you. Sanga is right up there. He'll soon join these Greats. @Hodra99, agree with you. One of the reasons I disliked Ponting very deeply for a while was his behaviour during the Sydney Test of Jan '08. But I have since forgiven him and moved on and many Indians moved on too. They genuinely like Ponting and they would love him more if he can be a little more measured. It doesn't dent his greatness if he is measured in his approach. It only helps. After all, these are not just great cricketers but great ambassadors for cricket. @Rajesh Rao, it'll be hard to believe that Indian youngsters don't respect Dravid, Sachin and VVS. True. But, how can you easily say that Aussie youngsters don't respect their best batsman since Bradman? @Meety, big up to you too mate. Cheers! We are going to decimate your team, grind them to dust...LOL.. I don't think I ever waited for Christmas so eagerly :). Days seem sooooo long....can't wait...

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | December 8, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    Punter no matter what he scores or how long he plays, will remain a legend.. I would love the fans from either side to have friendly chat and not boast of each team and completely degrading other team just because they lost.. We are not the ones who play and don't have the rights to comment foul on any player.. Wish the discussion board doesn't fall like as it was during England tour and the results too :-)

  • POSTED BY jijops on | December 8, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    Sangakkara, a Gentleman? Well I doubt that.. Remember the Randiv no-ball to Sehwag.. And the toss call at 2011 World Cup Final.. But I should admit that his speech for the cricketer's rights a couple of months back was outstanding..

  • POSTED BY BULTY on | December 8, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    A fine exhibition of statesmanship coming from none other than Rahul Dravid sharing his experience with another great player like Ricky Ponting,shows cricket is still a gentleman's game. In this league, I can think of only one other Indian cricketer, the captain of the first ODI World Cup winning team Kapil Dev, who was & who is still a "no Nonsense" man, who appreciated good achievements by other cricketers, whether Indian or foreign. Incidentally both Kapil Dev & Dravid have been treated shabbily treated by the BCCI at one point or the other. It will be interesting to note how Dravid & Ponting will fare against each other in the upcoming IND-AUSSIE tour starting this month end. WISH BOTH OF THEM GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS, EVEN IN THE FACE OF FIERCE COMPETITION.

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 4:50 GMT

    @NATMASTAK.....who says punter CANT play spin???look at his record against murali,vettori,saqlain,kumble....and who is this stupid harbhajan in front of those legends???harbhajan always takes wickets in india only..by the way punter has smashed harbhajan badly in austrlia.in india,punter hasnot done i admit.but one off area doesnot count much...if this is so then sachin is big failure against pace as he failed in south africa badly??????......

  • POSTED BY on | December 8, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    Dravid as usual is fullsome in his praise of legendary Ponting. He deserves the admiration. For a man on whom greatness was not naturally bestowed upon him and throughout his career had to earn through hard work, I wish he outscores Ponting by the time both the greats hang up the boots. People without batting their eyelid say Ponting is the best in the business and Dravid never figures in the pantheon on batting greats. To me he is as good as Ponting Kallis Sanga etc if not better. He may not be as gifted as them but he has produced staggering numbers and has contributed at vital times. He is the unsung hero, may he does not draw public attention, as he cannot dominate like other greats. Tecdhnically he is superior to others, but cannot force the pace and at times tend to bogged down. He is selfless and is a class act. The qualtites of Dravid both as a player and human being cannot be replicated

  • POSTED BY roversgate on | December 8, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    @Hodra99: Did you just put Gambhir and Zaheer in the same boat as Sreesanth and Harbhajan? What could GG and Zak possibly have done wrong to deserve being compared to those two clowns? Lastly, I am not sure why Raina is on that list either, he doesn't deserve respect from other teams? Ya he ain't great with the short ball and therefore will never be in the same list as Dravid, Tendulkar or Ponting but I dont see why he doesn't deserve the respect he has earned in T20 internationals and ODIs (not counting this series).

  • POSTED BY spiritwithin on | December 8, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    @dms1972..when u give stats u better double check them before posting here,tendulkar has 13445 test runs at 53.14 and ponting has 12085runs @51.87..even excluding BD and Zim sachin averages 53+ compared to pontings 51+..dont forget sachin also had to play against the superior Aus bowling attack of Mcgrath,Warne,gillespie and co which Ponting did'nt faced..

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 8, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    @Harmony111, I know I'm being too generous in my wishes for Ponting. What you suggested is not at all a bad idea. Ponting gets his 2 centuries and enters the 40 century club, but they may not be big enough to win them any matches. But, guess what, there's something about all these guys (Ponting, Sachin, Ganguly, Dravid, Gilly and VVS) that you never get enough of them when they are on song. And also, the kind of suffering Ponting must be going through I genuinely feel very sorry for him and I would be very glad if his innings can bring joy to him. And we all know that Ponting has a big appetite for big scores. If that's what makes him happy, let him get it, a big double. After all, he gave so many brilliant innings for fans across the world to cherish. But don't worry. Let's hope one of our oldies gets a big one too. Remember how Ponting's double was nullified by Dravid's 233? Let these oldies have a ball, for one last time. That should be a sight for Gods! Aah Bliss!

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 8, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    @Paras Rishi, I disagree very strongly with you. Ponting is undoubtedly one of the all time greats, if not the greatest. I just want him to tour India one last time and set his record straight before he retires. Honestly, I always wondered what more should he do, to be included in Cricinfo's Legends of Cricket. I want to say Dravid also deserves it. But I'm worried that some of my 'dear' friends on cricinfo would pounce on Dravid, for something that I said in his favour, and start bashing him unnecessarily. So, I better leave it at this.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 8, 2011, 4:09 GMT

    I can't help but wonder why is it that our two teams can't have a proper 5 Test Match series? BCCI and CA seem to be run by some chicken-heads. They never forget to have lots and lots of ODIs and meaningless t20s. They could have easily prolonged this series by just another 7-10 days. Isn't this the last time that all these Titans are going to lock horns against each other in Australia? Shame!

  • POSTED BY FoollyFedUp on | December 8, 2011, 3:57 GMT

    Yes, currently the # 3's rock. And a certain Jonathan Trott is not doing too badly either. Punter is unpredictable. As a captain he was a disgrace. One cannot forget the Sydney Test, when Kumble towered over him.

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | December 8, 2011, 3:35 GMT

    @Major_Hammad Please don't use statistics to compare players. That way I can point out that Sangakkara averages over 70 when he has not kept for Sri Lanka throughout his entire career. Surely he is the greatest batsman since Don and not Viv Richards (or Garry Sobers). Everyone will ridicule me.

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | December 8, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    @dms1927, even your stats highlight how Sachin is way better than punter.

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | December 8, 2011, 3:22 GMT

    to all people who compare sachin and punter,please understand that you people are not better judge of cricket than bradman.

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | December 8, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    sachin always murdered aussie attacks home or away.punter was ishamt's bunny at his home.

  • POSTED BY suksub on | December 8, 2011, 3:06 GMT

    Happy to see the comments wishing for Ponting's return to form. I understand the overall theme is the mutual admiration for these two great batsmen, but I fail to see how Dravid's "slump" can be compared with Ponting's. Punter's scores in the last 1 year read: 0,9,12,1,10,20,44,4,48,28,8,0,0......62,78. Notice all of them have been complete innings, spread across 4 series. The worst for Rahul reads: 5,39,11,11,0,3,3,4......136, across 2 series, both at home. Tony Greig might have famously wondered about Dravid's retirement, but several Australian players have demanded Ricky to be left out. Dravid has simply been generous in stating that in some ways he has gone through it himself. 3 Ashes, loss at Lords in over 100 years....Ricky has a much heavier baggage and hope the rivarly with India brings out the best in him.

  • POSTED BY inefekt on | December 8, 2011, 2:55 GMT

    Ponting's last two test innings, though scratchy, have all but ensured he will be playing at least the first two tests against India. A century in Hobart will give him the whole summer even if he has a mediocre series against India. As a person, Ponting has gone to great lengths to rebuild his reputation among cricket fans, he is often seen signing autographs and posing for photo's with fans after matches. I don't think he wants to finish his career with the reputation he had during the height of his captaincy. If Border was known as Captain Grumpy I think Punter would be known as Captain Arrogant so it's good to see him trying to temper that image. Some fans will never forgive him though which is unfortunate.

  • POSTED BY cricket4ever6 on | December 8, 2011, 2:54 GMT

    @dms1972 - regarding Tendulkar 13,507 Test runs @ 52.97 and Ponting 12,085 Test runs @ 51.87 without Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Tendulkar spent most of his career on a weaker team, with poorer infrastructure, playing opposition of a higher quality *overall*. It's easier to play your natural game and score big when you have strong support around you, and Ponting never had to face the dominant Australian attack of McGrath, Gillespie, Lee and Warne! Look at Ponting's recent performance on a weaker Australian team facing better opposition attacks. Sorry, but you will need to make a much more comprehensive analysis to support your argument.

  • POSTED BY Realhotshady on | December 8, 2011, 2:53 GMT

    Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag Vs Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Watson.............What a series its going to be....

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | December 8, 2011, 2:45 GMT

    @dms1972 :-

    Even with that special criteria that you have used, Sachin is still ahead of Ponting by about 1500 runs and averages more. Was this not clear to you when you were typing your comment?

  • POSTED BY samincolumbia on | December 8, 2011, 2:22 GMT

    "India is a country Ponting has never truly mastered as a batsman".

    Sums up nicely why the aussies blame the Indian pitches as 'flat'!! Since Ponting has been owned by the Indian bowlers, find fault with something else to distort the truth that he is exactly great as the aussies would love the world to believe.

    It's also funny that people consider Bangladesh and Zimb. as minnows, but New Zealand is not when it comes to tests!! And Australia play NZ almost every year!! lol.

  • POSTED BY farkin on | December 8, 2011, 1:46 GMT

    how long do you carry some one out of from to the determent of the team . lets count some of the Australian ones , g.chapple r.ponting thee 2 off the top of my head how many do you know of ?

  • POSTED BY rko_rules on | December 8, 2011, 1:30 GMT

    Just remember, Ponting last played against India and he scored a century in WC quarter final. No to worry at all. He will get lots of runs against us Indians and at the same time I will hope India will win its first test series in Australia

  • POSTED BY Imz25 on | December 8, 2011, 1:29 GMT

    Great to read these. Admiration and respect between two of the greatest no.3s since Don Bradman! All hail Ponting and Dravid!

  • POSTED BY AidanFX on | December 8, 2011, 1:18 GMT

    Ponting has been bashed by media and others; I certainly don't think the guy is above reproach or without due criticism, but I have often felt Ponting has at times been a bit misunderstood and some of his good traits (as a person, not just player) have been ignored. This is nice sportsmanship between to renown players. I was worried when Clarke first took over and he was saying he still wanted Ponting's input - because I thought Ponting must stay in the background now and not choke the side anymore. However I have been deeply impressed with the vibe Ponting has showed under Clarke in recent times.

  • POSTED BY unregisteredalien on | December 8, 2011, 0:40 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas, you're being quite the gentleman yourself! Thumbs up and I hope for the same this series.

  • POSTED BY playitstraight on | December 8, 2011, 0:35 GMT

    As an Indian, I think that this is some true sportsmanship between these two greats. They cheer each other on but at the same time hope that they perform well against other teams. The only other great that I can think of who is an excellent no.3 in Tests like these two and who has true sportsmanship is Kumar Sangakkara.

  • POSTED BY Farce-Follower on | December 8, 2011, 0:33 GMT

    One legend looking out for the other. @ Dravid_Gravitas : Yes, hoping for another Adelaide special from RSD. And would welcome a 200 from Punter than from Pup or Hughes or Watto.

  • POSTED BY Manush on | December 8, 2011, 0:16 GMT

    Yes Dravid true to his reputation, concurs on the greatness and imprtance of Ponting along with himself,Kallis and the player soon to be listed in that catagory Sangakara

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | December 7, 2011, 23:56 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas:-

    While I like Ponting too, I feel you have been a bit too generous in your wishes for him. I would want him to do well even in the next series but for sure I don't want a double hundred from him. 2 scores of 115 and 108 would be just right - not big enough to be match winning and too small to cause Ponting's retirement.

  • POSTED BY Ms.Cricket on | December 7, 2011, 23:15 GMT

    Ponting and Dravid should both retire. You have served well, time to give others a chance.

  • POSTED BY FR3AKX on | December 7, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    Two things gets highlighted here - 1) Great batsman have the class and attitude whereas form is only temporary, there's no doubt Punter will show his in this summer like Sachin and Dravid did earlier, 2) Great players have enormous mutual respect for one another on and off the field and they never under-estimate each other.. unlike former mediocre players Ian Chappel, Sanjay manjrekar, etc who just try to get their 2 minutes of fame by ridiculing these great players when they're down and out of form.

    @InnocentGuy: I totally second your thoughts.. when the greats speak the world stops, listens and acknowledges. RESPECT!!

  • POSTED BY Hodra99 on | December 7, 2011, 22:42 GMT

    Dravid is respected worldwide for being a gentleman. Indian players would be admired more by fans from other countries if they continue to emulate this guys attitude. Laxman and Sehwag are in the same boat, but unfortunately guys like Gambhir, Raina, Zaheer, Sreesanth and Harbajan Singh make the Indian team hard to like.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | December 7, 2011, 22:34 GMT

    @Rajesh Rao - there is no evidence to back any of your statement about Punter. You are probably right about your "Golden Trio" - I believe you are way off the mark regarding Punter. @Dravid_Gravitas - looking foward to 1) a good hard fought series (preferabbly an Oz win - LOL!), & 2) some good friendly banter during the series, (hope its not hijacked by extreme comments from either side's fans)!!!!!

  • POSTED BY dms1972 on | December 7, 2011, 22:23 GMT

    Tendulkar 13,507 Test runs @ 52.97 and Ponting 12,085 Test runs @ 51.87. These are the figures if you take out Tests against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Interesting how people claim that Ponting scores his runs against weaker attacks when, clearly, Tendulkar's average and aggregate are grossly inflated by playing many more games against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

  • POSTED BY on | December 7, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    Ponting is unlike the golden trio (Sachin, Dravid and Laxman). The trio can keep up with the younger ones like Virat while Ponting misses his retired buddies. The trio have each other and their chemistry is great. Ponting has a good chemistry with Hussey and Clark but not with the younger ones. The Indian younger ones look up to the trio while the Aussie ones have the same respect to Ponting as CA which is basically none. They took out his captaincy while Sachin and Dravid relinquished the captaincy to concentrate on batting. For Ponting captaincy meant a lot. Now Ponting is fighting for a retirement in style. He just does not want to end his career like his captaincy. Good luck Ponting, you deserve better than this from CA for all your contribution.

  • POSTED BY agam99 on | December 7, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    What a gentleman this guy (Dravid) is in every aspect of life...be it cricket or other things.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 7, 2011, 20:23 GMT

    Well, don't know what to say! I think I want to see Ponting executing those brutal pulls and making some big scores. He has given followers of cricket a lot to cherish. So, on second thoughts, I don't want him to fail against us, though his success might spell doom for our tour down under. A failure here might as well end Ponting's career. Dravid may wish for Ponting's failure in this series as his opponent, but Dravid_Gravitas cannot wish for that. I want to see at least 2 centuries (one of them being a big double century) from Ponting, studded with those trademark pulls and at least 2 centuries from Dravid, studded with those delightful cover drives and unreal Karnataka cuts. Good luck to both these Champs. Well, we didn't even talk about VVS (the eternal thorn in the flesh of Aussies), Hussey, Rohit, Khawaja, Sachin and Clarke. Wow! what a series this is going to be. Game on Aussies! Watch out!! We are coming in search of that elusive series victory down under!!!

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | December 7, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    @mustafa. bhajji is the man who has scored more tons than punter in last two years. and is the same bowler who showed world that punter CANT play spin.

  • POSTED BY stFleming on | December 7, 2011, 19:52 GMT

    Well its really good to see Dravid's support for the Aussie Legend...Dravid too struggled for two years and is now currently world's no.1...I think now Ricky Ponting has just started his golden run in test matches...Hopefully next year Ricky Ponting will score 1000 runs in test cricket...Dravid too did it when he got opportunities...Now time for the Aussie champion!!!

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | December 7, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    Good for you all oldies :)! Remember, all these guys Sachin, Ponting, Ganguly and Dravid fought tooth and nail against each other when they were in twenties but now once they are in high 30s, they seem to show lot of emotional attachment, comraderie and respect to one another. Kallis is the only one who needs to have a slump now and we shall again see all these great oldies supporting each other. I'm not mocking at any one of them. It's just sad to understand that those two fantastic cricketers shaking hands in the picture will soon walk into sunset. It's a shame that they will have to retire one day. Very saddening. No words. As much as I want Ponting to reinvent his glorious days, I hope he hits such a purple patch after we finish our tour down under. As Dravid said, let Ponting have a big match now against the Kiwis and hope he will have a quiet series against us. Can't wait for the series to start, though. What a shame Cummins isn't playing in this series!

  • POSTED BY InnocentGuy on | December 7, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    When I read Dravid's comments, I naturally respect what he is saying even before I actually start reading the comments. It makes me want to pay more attention and read into what he has to say. That's true of very few players. Like maybe Sachin, Laxman, Kallis, Vettori, M.Hussey. They are all class-acts and yet humble in their own means.

  • POSTED BY on | December 7, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    After Sir Don Bradman, three players who have set the standards at no.3 are Dravid, Ponting and Kallis and very soon Sangakara will join the league. Since these players are the ones who have set the standards at no.3 nobody dares discarding them. because they keep coming back. Nice article

  • POSTED BY datewithdestiny on | December 7, 2011, 18:44 GMT

    I really hope for cricket's sake that Ponting does not return to form... Else, going forward, every cricket team's board would believe that even if a 36-37 year old good player goes out of form, he should be given extended chance since the extension really worked for Dravid, Ponting and Tendulkar (although for Tendulkar it wasnt an extension, more so a rejuvenation).. What happens if Ponting returns to form and again goes out of form?

  • POSTED BY mustufa on | December 7, 2011, 18:41 GMT

    Bhajji who? who is that.

    As for Ponting only the coming series will tell us where he is, he has a unique technique and hence he struggles against anyone, great, avg, or even mediocre bowlers who can bring the ball in with a full length. Extra pace always helps.

  • POSTED BY on | December 7, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    eagerly waiting for souther summer..clash of titans hope we watch all the pull by ponting &cover drive by dravid....it will be treat to watch if both players will be in prime form..!!

  • POSTED BY Rajesh. on | December 7, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    It's great to see the mutual admiration between these guys - Sachin, Rahul, Ricky. Hope people like Ian Chappell learn something from them.

  • POSTED BY on | December 7, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    mr.paras rishi what are yo talking about ponting?over 12500 runs,52 average,39 centuries.can any over rated batsman did that??????tell me

  • POSTED BY on | December 7, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    Mr.Dravid is a man to show respect may it be his attitude towards the game, team and at best a human being. Two great players that should be admired by up and coming players. Pointing has had his moments of laps but he still earns my respect.

  • POSTED BY Major_Hammad on | December 7, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    @zico123: Ponting is much better than Tendulkar, Ponting has avg 76+ in consective 52 matches, most nearest to Don Bradman. Also Remember that Ponting has 100+ test wins, plays for the team. Most world cup winner caption and player. Best of luck Ricky Ponting, Legend Ponting will score 500+ runs in Aus vs Ind test series. Ponting is the most best batsmen after Don Bradman.

  • POSTED BY on | December 7, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    So nice to see such mutual admiration between Dravid & Ponting.. Augurs well for World Cricket.. Ponting will fire soon just as Sachin & Dravid did after their rough times.. Would be a good bet for him to fire against India as most of the out of form players do while playing against India..Hope its not the case this time!!

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | December 7, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    any other Australian with 2 year run drought would have got dropped and forgotten long long back, it is just because of Ponting's massive career stats he got 2 year long rope already, how much more time does he need? Australia just can't wait on him forever!! he got to go now

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | December 7, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    Ponting has been saying big score is not far away for last 2 years and by saying these earning himself Test matches everytime, i wonder how long selectors will persist with him at his age of 37, all we will get from him now is couple of fifties once in 4-5 test matches at the most, should rather invest that time on a youngstar

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | December 7, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    Australian team for future - David Warner, Philip Hughes, Usman Khwaja, Shaun marsh, Michael Clark (c), Shane Watson (wc), Tim Paine (wk), Pat Cummns, Nethan Lyon, James Pattinson, Michael Starc/ Peter Siddle, sooner these youngstars get experience the better, which means they have to play more Test matches, which means oldies Ponting, Hussey has to GO pretty soon.

  • POSTED BY fahadalam1 on | December 7, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is the best batsman in the world!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 7, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    you can't beat old school class.

  • POSTED BY on | December 7, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    The article again reflects that form is temporary, class is permanent. This is a story of 2 living legends of the world cricket having enormous respect for each other, but also willing to succeed against each other. That's the spirit and we are going to have a great summer down under.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | December 7, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    Dravid wants Ponting in the side, just as Ross Taylor wants Hughes in the side, as they both are walking wickets :)

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | December 7, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    it is this consolation and sympathy from everyone which Ponting has been using for last 2years to buy him place in the side, his time is up, he got to go, all we will get from him now is couple of fifties once in 4-5 test matches at the most,Selectors should rather invest that time on a youngstar

  • POSTED BY on | December 7, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    Ricky Ponting - most over-rated batsman of all times.

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | December 7, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    Not to worry. India is going to Aus with one inexperienced lineup, and with Bhaji gone a revival of Ponting's career is guaranteed.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | December 7, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    Not to worry. India is going to Aus with one inexperienced lineup, and with Bhaji gone a revival of Ponting's career is guaranteed.

  • POSTED BY on | December 7, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    Ricky Ponting - most over-rated batsman of all times.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | December 7, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    it is this consolation and sympathy from everyone which Ponting has been using for last 2years to buy him place in the side, his time is up, he got to go, all we will get from him now is couple of fifties once in 4-5 test matches at the most,Selectors should rather invest that time on a youngstar

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | December 7, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    Dravid wants Ponting in the side, just as Ross Taylor wants Hughes in the side, as they both are walking wickets :)

  • POSTED BY on | December 7, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    The article again reflects that form is temporary, class is permanent. This is a story of 2 living legends of the world cricket having enormous respect for each other, but also willing to succeed against each other. That's the spirit and we are going to have a great summer down under.

  • POSTED BY on | December 7, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    you can't beat old school class.

  • POSTED BY fahadalam1 on | December 7, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is the best batsman in the world!!

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | December 7, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    Australian team for future - David Warner, Philip Hughes, Usman Khwaja, Shaun marsh, Michael Clark (c), Shane Watson (wc), Tim Paine (wk), Pat Cummns, Nethan Lyon, James Pattinson, Michael Starc/ Peter Siddle, sooner these youngstars get experience the better, which means they have to play more Test matches, which means oldies Ponting, Hussey has to GO pretty soon.

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | December 7, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    Ponting has been saying big score is not far away for last 2 years and by saying these earning himself Test matches everytime, i wonder how long selectors will persist with him at his age of 37, all we will get from him now is couple of fifties once in 4-5 test matches at the most, should rather invest that time on a youngstar

  • POSTED BY zico123 on | December 7, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    any other Australian with 2 year run drought would have got dropped and forgotten long long back, it is just because of Ponting's massive career stats he got 2 year long rope already, how much more time does he need? Australia just can't wait on him forever!! he got to go now