Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 2nd day

Ponting stoops to conquer

The story of Ponting's battle and redemption must count among the most compelling and uplifting in cricket. Not merely had it been test of skills, but also of character

Sambit Bal at the SCG

January 4, 2012

Comments: 203 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting stands arms aloft after completing his 40th Test hundred, Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 2nd day, January 4, 2012
After getting to his hundred, Ricky Ponting was the picture of a man who had fought and overcome © Getty Images
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When the magic moment came, Ricky Ponting, who hadn't savoured the joy of a hundred for over two years, found himself sprawled on the dirt, having been inches away from heartbreak. As it turned out, the dive - which is not really a Ponting thing - wouldn't have saved him had Zaheer Khan's throw from mid-on found its mark.

Hundreds are a peculiar thing, one of the great idiosyncrasies of cricket that players and fans obsess about. By the time he got to 97, Ponting and Michael Clarke had already driven Australia to the point of near-unassailable ascendancy, which was a remarkable recovery from 3 for 37. This was only the second time in his career he had reeled off three half centuries in successive Tests, and surely he had earned himself the right to choose the course of his immediate future. But still, the failure to bring up the hundred would have counted as a tragedy.

The moment had built itself up nicely. Zaheer Khan had bowled a canny and tight over before lunch - leg-slip in place, midwicket catching, first round-the-wicket, then over - to keep him stuck on 97 with some help from Sachin Tendulkar, who hared to his right from mid-on and dived further to the right to save a boundary. Clarke had waltzed to his hundred with a cover drive, unfurled with casual majesty. When he scampered back for a second to deny Ponting the strike in the last over before lunch, the crowd booed.

Zaheer opened after lunch with the same field and the same line of attack. The first ball was tapped back to the bowler, the second defended to the offside, the next two left alone, the fifth clipped to through mid-wicket - certainly more than one was on, possibly even three, but they got two in the end. The last ball he played softly down to cover and Clarke nearly ran himself out by charging down for the single.

Two more overs passed. Clarke creamed one past backward point for four and worked the fifth ball through to legside for three. Ponting defended the last ball from Ishant Sharma and then Zaheer bowled a maiden to Clarke. By now, the wait for the final three runs was well over an hour, counting the lunch break. If you blocked the scoreboard out of your vision, you would feel India were in control.

And then came the dab to mid-on and the charge down the wicket. Zaheer Khan moves in the field with bovine languor these days, but the ball had gone quickly and straight to him. Ponting lunged forward with his bat, and then he dived. And the ball fizzed past the stumps. Ponting was flat on his stomach with his head buried in the ground when the crowd erupted.

It wasn't a picture of a man in his moment of triumph. He took a few moments to get up on to his haunches, then to his feet. His shirt was dirty. He still had the helmet on. His grille was pressing against his face and he was trying the spit the dirt out his mouth so that he could smile.

But it was an image most appropriate for the moment. It was the picture of a man who had fought and overcome.

The story of Ponting's battle and redemption must count among the most compelling and uplifting in cricket. Not merely had it been a test of skills but also one of character. He hadn't blazed his way back, as cricketers sometimes do in their youth. He had to first accept and then work around the limitations age and slowing reflexes can impose. Most of all, he had shown humility and the willingness to work his way back.

First, there was the willingness to accept that he was no longer the best man to lead Australia and then the grace to submit himself wholeheartedly to the will of his successor. Those who have been in leadership positions will know how tough it is to join the ranks again. It is a credit to both Ponting and Clarke that not only has there been no unease in the team but that Ponting remains an inspirational figure in the dressing-room.

Though he resisted it during the first part of his slump, Ponting hasn't sat on his pride over his batting position. He has even learnt to let a few bouncers alone.

Midway through this series, Ponting is Australia's most consistent batsman. But both in Sydney and Melbourne he let his partner take charge. It was Hussey who got Australia going during that critical last session on the third evening at the MCG after four wickets had fallen for 27. And at the SCG, Clarke took immediate control by reeling off early boundaries after Zaheer Khan had taken the first three out. By acknowledging and submitting to the superiority of his partners, Ponting allowed himself to quietly get into stride.

By late evening yesterday, the feet were striding confidently forward and the bat was creating more familiar arcs. In the 16th over of the innings, he leaned forward to a swinging ball from Umesh Yadav and breezed it through cover. And two balls later, when Yadav banged it short, he swiftly swivelled around to deposit it at the square-leg boundary. And when he stood tall to on-drive Ishant Sharma twice through midwicket this morning, all seemed well with Ricky's world again.

From there, the century was only a matter of time.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Meety on (January 5, 2012, 23:30 GMT)

As an Ozzy - during Ponting's golden period during the middle of 2000s, I felt he was on the way to becoming easily the greatest batsmen post Bradman. His form over the last 2 or 3 years has certainly diminished this & so even after this century, I would rate the best batsmen I have seen as being SRT, followed on the same level by Greg Chappell & Lara, followed by Kallis, just ahead of Punter & Dravid & Sir Viv. If Punter recaptures his vintage form - he could leapfrog them all, but as it stands right now SRT is the best (other than the Don). SRT risks suffering the same fate as Punter though if he plays on much longer. Kallis seems to genuinely be getting better with age. Also - maybe, just maybe a certain M Clarke could get mentioned in the same breathe of the above - maybe!

Posted by Ponting_the_best on (January 5, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

About your ponting's avg, do you remember the two years where Sachin did nothing but "come and go" in Test cricket. He struggled to score the 2 50s he scored. Everyone was up to his throat to retire (I am sure you were too). and this was when the Indian line had the fab 4. If this had happened to Ponting when he played with a strong batting lineup (Steve Waugh's team) he would have been replaced.

Posted by Ponting_the_best on (January 5, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

@ ssenthil - Removing SCG is valid to prove that he is in the same league of Lara and Pointing and not even a mm above that. Point is simple; if you take out a very batting friendly wicket, he too fails like others. About the avg against bowlers calculation, I think you are missing a valid point here - I have added bowlers who have ended their career. You are adding bowlers who are still playing. How the hell do you know that Ponting won't whack Steyn, Broad, and Southee if they play in the future. But I am sure that Sachin's avgs against whom I mentioned will not change. I was not foolish to include anderson who has got Sachin out 7 times in last 6 tests.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2012, 6:56 GMT)

I don't want to continue this argument.. Coz, I want to pay respect to Punter esp in this occasion wr he has scored a wonderful century.. So, dms1972 and JG2704 and all other SRT bashers, I am quitting this argument.. I repeat, Ponting is a legend.. And I am proud to say that, I am also one of the million fans who supported him during last one year r so in his lean patch.. And I wish him more and more success.. Ponting, SRT, Dravid r very few left in golden generation of batsman.. I really miss Lara's action now.. So, b4 I miss SRT, Punter and Dravid, I want to enjoy thm to d core..

Posted by   on (January 5, 2012, 6:34 GMT)

@dms1972. I wud request u to chk ur "so called stats" again.. In 90s, Ind toured WI only once, whn SRT averaged close to 58.. Accepted that SRT average in 40s against Pak and SA, bt 40+ is pretty gud average compared to Ponting's 26.8 in India.. I repeat again, Punter is nt as gud in spinning tracks as SRT in pace tracks.. Universal rule - one who does better in challenging conditions shud b considered better..

Posted by   on (January 5, 2012, 6:18 GMT)

@dms1972.. Again biased and unwilling to accept the truth.. Yep.. I applied restrictions to SRT's also.. Couldnt u see I was just talking abt SRT's performance against pacers.. I didnt even care to say abt his awesome record against world's best spinner Warne.. U say he has poor record in AUS grounds other thn Sydney.. SRT has scored centuries in AO,Melbourne, Perth apart frm Sydney.. And he averages 45 and 51 in Melbourne and Perth (both r not spin frndly and I believe and those averages r very good for a away batsman).. SO, GET UR FACTS RIGHT.. Okay.. Since u hv told dat he didnt against Pak,SA fast bowling.. lets ask Wasim,Walsh,Donald,Pollock to ans this.. They hv heaps and heaps of praise for SRT.. Donald and Wasim hav went on to say that SRT is d best batsman they hav bowled at.. Even Lara accepts SRT is a better batsman on any day.. Hope, we(u&I) r not more knowledgeable thn the mentioned legends..

Posted by   on (January 5, 2012, 5:37 GMT)

@JG2704. If u dont understand wt is going on, better skip it.. dms1972 is not just trying to put Ponting up there as a modern gr8.. If he is doing only that, y shud he mention SRT at all in his comment.. Infact, I hv mentioned clearly that, I agree wid "Ponting a modern gr8 and one of all time gr8s" I myself is one of the best fan of Ponting's batting skills.. Bt, dms1972 is trying to put Ponting above SRT by twisted facts.. As I mentioned b4, leaving stats apart., SRT can handle pace a way better thn Ponting against spinners.. Accept r not, its a proven fact.. There is no wonder in Punter dealing wid pacers and SRT wid spinners.. Its the viceversa, which gives more credibility..

Posted by dms1972 on (January 5, 2012, 4:32 GMT)

@Karthik Raja You say Tendulkar was good in all conditions? Simple fact is that, apart from scoring runs at the SCG, which is the slowest and most spin-friendly wicket in Australia, Tendulkar has a very poor record in Australia on the faster, bouncier wickets. And as I have proven previously with the stats, against bowling attacks that contain quality fast bowlers, like Pakistan and West Indies in the 90's, and South Africa, Tendulkar fails to measure up to the standards that Ponting has set against fast bowlers. My point is that you cannot say Ponting didn't do well in India, he didn't have to face Warne and McGrath, he used a graphite bat, or whatever, and then not apply similar logic to Tendulkar by putting conditions on his batting record. If you want to apply restrictions to Ponting's batting record then it's only fair that you apply restrictions on Tendulkar's record.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2012, 0:57 GMT)

@RandyOZ: U have no idea what winning a game means coz entire 90's and half of 2000 decade it was only Tendulkar. If he gets out the game is lost. In fact a couple years back when he scored 175 against Australia, he got out and last 4 batsmen couldn't even score 18 runs. The kind of dependency team had on him, australian team never had that on ponting as there were others to back him up. Ponting never went through that pressure. Ponting played with a team which was incredibly talented and there were likes of gillespie, warne and mcgrath who could win the game even when australian batsman couldn't score. It was never like that with the team Sachin played in. It was only sachin, he scores then india wins, if he doesn't then no one else would back up. Over 70% of his tons have got India success and he is the max MOM award winner. So stop the comparison.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2012, 0:13 GMT)

If one or two tests go wrong....sachin,dravid everyone becomes a villain...typical Indian media mind ....grow up guys. If anyone is arguing that ponting is a better batsman than sachin and dravid, the guy who is arguing is a FOOL. LEGENDS cant be compared.

Posted by OzHarris on (January 4, 2012, 23:46 GMT)

Nice work Indians! keep it up..Blame IPL and BCCI.Paper tigers and flat track bullies heading to 4-0. Bring SA or Eng.. atleast we can watch good cricket

Posted by 5wombats on (January 4, 2012, 23:32 GMT)

@Precioustar84; During the ODI tour india fans imagined that England fans were making excuses. England fans made no excuses. None. Not one. The crowing and gloating by india "fans" was hideous and unbecoming. Looking back at what india "fans", including you, wrote about England during the ODI series, to be accused now of wearing hate glasses is a bit rich, don't you think? As ye do sow, so shall you reep.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 23:16 GMT)

There are few things i dont like about Indian cricekt 1. India looses inabroad and there is a big discussion why, then they amass huge runs in home ground and everything is fine. 2. Indian plyers know if they can bat well they can be in team so, sometimes they are very selfish in fielding and make sure they are not hurt and so that can earn lucrative endorsement and board contract etc. 3. Indian pitches are too flat and i dont watch cricket when it is played in India.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 23:13 GMT)

@Lord_Dravid Does it really matters if Ponting had Grath and Warne in his team? IF So, then In this series India had fully fit Z.khan who has almost 300 wkts to his name and all the current aussie bowlers together will not match to his tally then why the indians batsman are failing? Ponting is a gr8 player and he perform his best when he is under pressure that make him distinct among the other best players. Lara, Sanga, Jaya (Except Murali) and C'paul dont have best bowlers in the team but still they do perform. Performance is nothing to do with the combination of the team. Recent classical example of Sakhib for BNG and Sanga For SRi they tries to give 100 % whatever the composition of the team. In Jist Ponting is at his best 2 60+ in 1st test and a 100 in second it self is the example. The ppl who has lots of expectation on SRT are the ppl who is intrested in SRT 100's they dont care if india loose. Still there are ppl like us who is intrested in Indian team Performance as a team.

Posted by dunger.bob on (January 4, 2012, 23:10 GMT)


Thank you Sandy. I'm not a veteran of cricinfo by any means, but I think I've already got a fair idea who the ratbags are. As usual, it's just a few who choose to live vicariously through their chosen living gods and simply aren't capable of independent, reasoned thought. Unlike your good self.

You should know that India's 'holy trinity' are respected and admired in Australia just as much as anywhere else outside India. We are aware of their deeds (2001 Eden Gardens will always be an iconic Test match, even though we lost) and we also know that they are fine men. Most Aussies want to be there when Sachin gets the 100th 100, it will be something to tell the grand kids. "I was there the day ........" etc.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 22:57 GMT)

If it wasn't for Indian high school grade bowling RP wouldn't have got this ton. He is a great player no doubt but this 100 is as good as Sehwags 200 in ODI against WI.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 4, 2012, 22:56 GMT)

As I said when the Australians were 110-3 (or whaever it was) overnight , Australia can quite easily collapse and I was proved right as Australia collapsed to 482-4 lol. Seriously there were plenty who said Ponting should go very very recently so it's funny how players/teams stick the proverbials up at their critics.

Posted by gtch on (January 4, 2012, 22:54 GMT)

I'd like to hear from all the opinions on why India has not won more Test matches in the modern era (late 90's to current) with the calibre of players like Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh, Kumble, Srinath, Z Khan etc.

Team Results: Total Matches:168; Won:59; Lost:47; Drawn:61

9 Great players with comparable careers to other modern day greats. Why is it so?

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 22:52 GMT)

Ponting may fail few timew, but he is still the best batsman Australia have. Replacing him with Kwaja was a joke of the year for Aussie cricket :). He should be respected and let him take his own retirement decision. I love watching him.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 4, 2012, 22:51 GMT)

@dms1972 on (January 04 2012, 10:25 AM GMT) - Looks like you have your work cut out trying to put RP on the same level as the might Sachin regardless of the accuracy of your stats etc.esp Karthik Raja . How dare you even mention Ricky in the same breath as Sachin lol

Posted by JG2704 on (January 4, 2012, 22:51 GMT)

@ssenthil on (January 04 2012, 10:47 AM GMT)/ nareshgb1 on (January 04 2012, 10:31 AM GMT) and whoever else . All dms1972 is trying to do is put him up there with Sachin as a modern great. Stuff like Ponting didn't face his own Oz attack or didn't have a great record in India - like it's thee only place a country plays cricket is nonsensical.

Posted by JG2704 on (January 4, 2012, 22:51 GMT)

@Precioustar84 on (January 04 2012, 19:45 PM GMT) the IPL finished months before the England tour. Your Indian team - minus several rested key players - played WI in between IPL and the England tour and funnily enough the one batsman to succeed in England was Dravid who coincidentally wasn't rested during the WI series. Yes India had a mare or a series over in England and England a mare of a OD series in India. The difference is that we don't go on about burn out/tiredness/injuries etc when we're poor. But fair play on these boards , there aren't the excuses.

Posted by Lord_Dravid on (January 4, 2012, 22:42 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster..its silly for you to say ponting is better than tendulkar they are both greats of the game. ponting played freely with mgrath, warne, hayden, gilchrist around him when the aussies were dominating for a decade.. but sachin always played with added pressure of carrying the burden of over a billion people.. that in itself can take a lot out of a batsman but not sachin he's God of cricket! :)

Posted by dms1972 on (January 4, 2012, 22:34 GMT)

@Harmony111, it was the Tendulkar fans who first started taking "this or that" when the say "Ponting's best period was 2004-2007, what did he do before and after? What's he done against the best bowling? He never had to face McGrath and Warne! Blah, blah, blah" Illogical, but I fight fire with fire and I retaliate in kind by removing stats from Tendulkar. Yes, it is illogical but like I said, it's the Ponting bashers who started it. What is your comeback now?

Posted by RandyOZ on (January 4, 2012, 22:21 GMT)

Let me end the debate. Ponting is far far far better than Tendulkar. Ponting actually can win a game off his own bat, has over 100 test wins, is not a dead rubber specialist, knows how to score in the second innings and bats at the hardest position #3, none of this easy #4 garbage!!!

Posted by Vista12 on (January 4, 2012, 22:10 GMT)

I must honestly admit that I have never wanted Ponting to be dropped even through his lean spell. Form is temporary and class is permanent. The thing is, Ponting was still scoring runs (40's, 50's, 60's) but just not converting them into 100's like he used to. So compared to his unusual high standards (which are equivalent to only Tendulkar and Kallis), yes he was under-performing but he was certainly still in the top 3 best batters in Australia even with his lean spell.

Hopefully this will get people off his back. I think Ponting is determined to last till the next ashes in England and finally beat the poms over there. Watch this space...(Australia will need him for that Ashes series - experience in those conditions is vital).

Posted by Nampally on (January 4, 2012, 22:04 GMT)

Congrats. to Ponting on a well deserved Century. He certainly worked his heart out to reach this milestone. This shows wherethere is a will there is a way.I am very pleased for him. This should also serve as a lesson to Tendulkar that his 100th century will not come until he has the will. Follow Ponting's excellent example. You should have intense desire to stay at the wicket till you reach your goal. In fact this is a lesson for the entire batting tream to show up thru' grits & determination. They call themselves a great batting side but it only remains on paper. On field they bat very iresponsibly. Batting has let India down in England & now in Australia. Ponting's model of dedication, hard work & dtermination is what every Indian batsman must puirsue. MY hats off to Ponting. Well done Sir!.

Posted by ingy7215 on (January 4, 2012, 22:02 GMT)

As a rabid Australian cricket fan I really enjoyed the Ponting -Clarke partnership….Agree with the scribe who penned this article that anything short of the three magical figures would have been deemed as a failure by the legion of Ponting detractors…..Good on him for getting the rewards for so much hard work…. As for Clarke….he has lead extremely well….wonder how much he talks to Warnie….! Clarke is one of the best batsman in the world right now and this performance should silence his critics… Get used to this type of performance by your team India…in a few short years the likes of Dravid Tendulkar Laxman and Zaheer will be gone and for all the hype around Rohit Sharma….why isn't he in the side now….? Good luck to him and all your batsman on bouncy pitches… India have left it much too late to bring new batsman into their side and I can see much heartache for their fans after the big three retire…..

Posted by eng_mdkhan on (January 4, 2012, 21:55 GMT)

Oh my! forgot to mention about the article itself, (clearing my throat)....I always thought that Ricky Ponting despite his talents was over rated by none other than the Australians themselves a batsman who was riding the winds of his illustrious was a matter of time he would show his true colors once those colleagues left. Indeed it was a compelling change in not only Australia's but also Ponting's fortunes. It was a like a free fall into a bottom less pit.So guys like myself who were not particularly fond of Ponting treated it like..'it would have happened eventually'. However I concede to respect him now still not for his talent but his passion for the game and enduring spirit. Perhaps the fast fading stars of India can take a leaf out of this courageous man's book and for once live up to the reputation of being the best batting side in the world and save this test match, but i must admit having seen cricket all these years that it is just wishful thinking. Bravo RP!

Posted by Sshawn on (January 4, 2012, 21:53 GMT)

TO All the People who Say that Indians are King on Dead Pitches at Home .. Remind me when other Teams Visit do they make them Bat on Different pitches? If they are so dead and full of runs why not others make use of it the same way as the subcontinent teams? It goes both ways others cant adapt to Subcontinent pitches we cannot do it vice versa .. so stop shouting and giving lame reasons for failure or success.. And to people who always criticize Tendulkar for not performing when needed or selfish should go look at the stats and please comment by analyzing the data what are u talking? there is enuf proof of his performance in each and every condition and against every team.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 21:40 GMT)

I'm into stats myself, I also love to gamble. Stats will tell u that Sachin will not make much in the2 inns, & hence will not save India. And it is at this point Lara & Ponting get the nod. But they r all super batters. As for saving my like I'll take Ponting. Next in line would be Kallis. I've won a bundle on these 2 guys. Because Lara's team wasn't as star studded, he would have saved his team more often than the rest. But Sachin has the smallest % in this regard.

Posted by spot_on on (January 4, 2012, 20:37 GMT)

Out of all comments, I find Imad_K's comments sensible than the others.. Yeah the on the opening pair was spot on... Just like my nickname here :D

Posted by Desihungama on (January 4, 2012, 20:19 GMT)

I saw the Indian bowling. It was disgusting. If you cannot move or pitch up the ball in Australia then STOP bowling medium fast altogether. There was no movement in the ball, none with the exception of one or two odd balls by IshAnt. The balls were full, half volleys and on off stump saying to the batsmen. Please hit me. Congrats Ricky and Clarke.

Posted by Doogius on (January 4, 2012, 20:10 GMT)

I love all this 'lets use stats' to see who's better. Would suggest that i'd happily pay to watch SRT or RP bat in there prime. Would also say that the best batsman I ever say was G. POllock, so stats mean zip. Using the Steve Waugh principle, in there prime, would you rather have SRT or Punter batting for your life? Go with Punter very time :)

Posted by Precioustar84 on (January 4, 2012, 19:45 GMT)

@Nutcutlet and @5wombats - I see no excuses from ANY of the Indian fans here so it would be stupid of you to assume that all of us will keep doing so just because of what went on during Eng tour. When you people had on your hate glasses, there were few things that should've been prevented prior to Eng tour (nothing to do with pitch, etc... more like scraping IPL nonsense) but in AUS, there is absolutely no excuse for what is happening out there as any issue should've been learned from after Eng tour disaster. Believe me, there are plenty Indian fans that knew this could happen but had commented just to show support to our team as we usually do. It may not sound the same way as other team fans do so. When Team India fails like this, we are the first ones up criticizing them because we see the truth too. Cricinfo please publish

Posted by ssenthil on (January 4, 2012, 19:32 GMT)

@Ponting_the_"Worst". Do you have any Valid reason why should a TEST Venue has to be removed from his Stats? You meant SCG not belongs to Australia? Hopeless Argument. What a baseless claim you are making like your liking. Pathetic to say the least, Why don't you do the same exercise for Ponting with the following players? Dale Steyn current No.1 bowler, H Singh(Over 400 test Wickets) - Pontings Nemesis, S Broad (Current generation good fast bowler), Tim Southee (Rofl, Ponting walked in his bowling for an LBW even before umpire raise his finger) and C Ambrose. Look at Ponting Avg when this bowlers played? Drops below Sachin avg and at 34.29 from 39 Matches out of 160 matches. Your count for those bowlers is 36 out of 186 matches. I have also included bowlers from SA, NZ, WI, Eng and India as well. One more thing, Pontings series Avg prior to this read as 33.00 vs NZ, 17.50 vs SA, 31.00 vs SL, 16.14 vs Eng (The Great Ashes), 56.00 vs Ind (Lost both matches), 24.50 vs Pak, 23.00 vs NZ.

Posted by cricPassion2009 on (January 4, 2012, 18:56 GMT)

Very well played Ponting. Happy for you and Australian cricket ! Kallis has done a good job for his team. We're hoping maestro Tendulkar gets lucky at least once in this series.

This is the glorious era of Tendulkar, Kallis, Ponting, Dravid, Laxman - enjoy while it lasts. All of them have gone through patches recently; kallis the least and Laxman the most.

Posted by x-squire-x on (January 4, 2012, 18:44 GMT)


there was a period when jimmy adams statistically was better than bradman, whats your point? I hope that it is'nt to suggest that lara is even close to bradman, almost all of lara's big scores were on completely worthless pitches. My boy look at the complete stats, lara is a molecule next to bradman, i can name at least 5 current batsmen i would rather have in my team before lara, much less bradman... rofl

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (January 4, 2012, 18:44 GMT)

Punter is a BETTER batsman than Tendulkar. Indians glorify Sachin as a God and that can ONLY happen in the land of superstitions and myths. Stats aside... Ponting started his career much LATER than Sachin. Had he began when he was 16 back in 1989... even Ponting would have made same number of runs as Sachin. Remember.. Sachin HARDLY scores when India desperately needed him. Sachin needs some incentive to score runs but Punter scores for the nation. There is a significant difference between the men. Indians can praise their 'GOD' as much as they want... but to me this mere mortal Ponting is head and shoulders above him. Ponting the greatest after Brian Charles Lara !!

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

sambit teri ma ko lun ................................

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 18:05 GMT)

Why the hell is a run machine like Rohit Sharma being contained within the boundaries of the dressing room????......swap him for VVS Laxman into the playing XI and I can assure you that India's batting line up will again become as formidable as it was before the 2011 World cup.

P.S-Al hail Ricky Ponting!!!!!!

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 17:59 GMT)

If literature isn't connected with cricket, what is?!!! Ricky Ponting, after being in such poor form for a year and a half, is back with a century. But as fate would have it, as a climax in a narrative, he had to sprawl headlong to get to his 100th run. But he rose, with dirt all over his shirt (both physically and metaphorically) to celebrate the long-awaited ton. And Sambit Pal would not want to miss the opportunity to title his article as "Ponting Stoops to Conquer"!!!

Posted by hhillbumper on (January 4, 2012, 17:31 GMT)

I am glad he got his ton but seriously against this attack it cheapens the records doesn;t it.India are going the way of Zimbabwe and maybe they should stop playing cricket abroad for a few years

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 17:14 GMT)

kudos pointing, fr getting monkey off from back. old war horses of Australia smashed young brigade of indian to all parks as it is old saying " OLD IS GOLD

Posted by SenorPepper on (January 4, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

When the Aussies won the first test, several hot-blooded cricket lovers were quick to caution the Aussies not to be overcome by euphoria because it was just one test and that India will strike back with a vengeance. Three innings spread over two tests and but for some crisp timing from Tendulkar, a typical Sehwag slaughter and a face-saving fifty by Dhoni, we are still waiting. The 'Wall' is breached; the all-wrist wizard has become the fine-edge artist; and the potty-mouthed pretty boys - Gambhir and Kohli haven't had much to curse about except themselves. How the mighty have fallen! Millions of viewers and billions of revenue can't buy a break apparently. Sad.

Posted by CricLook on (January 4, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

Daniel Brettig wrote most disrespectful column recently about Ponting. If he had power , he would drop this great who deserve more respect than Mr. Brettig seven life contribution as cricket writer. True genius reply with their actions. Ponting just did it today. Mr. swallow your own words and be respectful about others...specially who are far ahead of you in all respect. Finally thanks Sambit Bal for writing such a special column

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

Indian should do some planning for improving their bowling and batting. Right now their bowling is very poor. Even the out of form batsmen are scoring runs at will though our batting collapsed against the average bowling attack. Indian problem is this they are putting up too much emphasis on 20/20 cricket which is ruining the whole set up. Too much money has been pumped up through IPL on this form of cricket. So no cricketer is putting up too much emphasis on Test cricket now a days. We should set our priorities right. If you we wish to improve the test cricket then money part should comparative to 20/20 cricket. May be then test cricket can be improved which I still doubt.

Posted by Sobat on (January 4, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

wow this is so great to see ... batting under presure and to reach this mark shows the Aus yet have the spirit they had..

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 16:45 GMT)

it is harder to score runs and take wickets in a competitive team such as australia. There are so many contenders for the same wickets and runs that even a 10K plus score is awesome. Speaking of which, in my opinion mathew hayden in his shorter career has been more valuable to his own team then sachin will be during his career.

Posted by Lord_Dravid on (January 4, 2012, 16:36 GMT)

Ponting is already a legend of the game and legends never die..they always fight back even if they go through a rough patch.. unlike flintoff who many people have said in an article recently is an 'utter legend' which must have been the joke of the century.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

It was due, since long. Team India is now playing to its true potential, their 'induced' brilliance is suddenly looking tarnished. I am predicting an innings loss for Indians. Well done Aussies, you are undoubtedly the best test side since 90s

Posted by AjaySridharan on (January 4, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

Not that Sachin, Dravid and Laxman need any new motivation, but if Ponting's and Clarke's innings don't spur them on in the second innings, I don't know what will. They floundered a golden opportunity to score a win in Melbourne. They have been given a stiffer challenge here to bat out of their skins to save the game. Funny how test cricket mirrors life...sometimes your hardest struggles are not for success, but mere survival

Posted by Vpx23 on (January 4, 2012, 16:09 GMT)


Posted by Kaze on (January 4, 2012, 15:55 GMT)

@liverkewe11 Lara outperformed Bradman lol , I would like to see those stats. Lara averaged 60 at the start of his career but Glenn McGrath quickly changed that for him.

Posted by jonnybtestmatch on (January 4, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

Was great to see Ponting make a ton particularly considering the slack he has been given. Really wish people would think a bit more before making stupid comments about players. Every player, will suffer a lack of form at some point , but if they are backed by the selectors and fans they will come good. As for Indian fans giving up on their team, you really should not call yourself fans, you need to stick by your team through all times, not just when they are winning. Also please stop banging on about ST, who everyone knows is a great. There needs to be a focus on the team and why they are struggling so much atm. I think some players need greater exposure to foreign domestic cricket to acclimatise to conditions quicker. Also think the IPL is proving to be detrimental to the future of their test cricket. A lot of the players look disinterested which is disgraceful considering the honour they have of represdnting such a huge crickteing nation.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 15:51 GMT)


Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

Ponting wasn't a man born to humility. Unlike grizzled 27 year old veterans of first class cricket ( sometimes even 30), he was into the national team as a brash 20 yr old, such was his talent. The team itself went from being one of the dominant teams of the era, to an indomitable collection of champions. The endearing part of his recent struggles is knowing how dearly he loves the game. As Indians, we've hated his boorish attitude at times, but as the greats left and his team slid down the ranks,he relied on his experience than his natural talent. A skilled artist who took to house-painting to learn about toil, graft and broader strokes. About being under pressure, about speaking less and sensible, about acknowledging skilled opponents ... and humility. It's time we smile with him. We'd have always missed the player. We'll miss this person too ..

Posted by sunny1307 on (January 4, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

I think ponting should retire from tests after 2013-14 home ashes.He will be 39 in dec 2014.As in odi's he should continue until World Cup 2015 which will be in Australia in January 2015.By the way Ponting has many unfinished business before calling it a day.1.Win a test series in India(March 2013) 2.Win Ashes in England(August 2013) 3.Win Ashes in Australia(January 2014) and finally 2015 World cup.

Posted by Harmony111 on (January 4, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

@Karthik Raja :-

No point talking to Mr. dms_1972. I have talked to him in the past smashing him for his inane logic and have seen him running away from further debate. Then he goes to some other article and again starts his "Remove This"argument. Worst part is, he thinks he is making a superb point. Mr dms_1972, how about we removing all the records of all the players and THEN comparing them? Who will be the greatest in your opinion then? Oh, I am sorry. I am sure you will say you are the greatest one since your record will then tally Ponting's or Sachin's or even with Bradman's. I hope that will make you smile molar to molar.

Posted by Biggus on (January 4, 2012, 15:26 GMT)

@liverkewe11-I'm inclined to agree with you. Perhaps the two 'scariest' batsmen I've seen were Brian Lara and Viv Richards. When they had a day out there wasn't a thing anyone could do to stop them. Virender Sehwag would have to come close when he fires.

Posted by gung-ho on (January 4, 2012, 15:16 GMT)

@ mansoor777 - thanks for your insight. just one thing -- time for Sachin to go - sure. one bit of advice for you - ever considered going to school?

Posted by JustIPL on (January 4, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

nhumbers might suggest otherwise but it is tendulkar whois known for never coming good when india needed. he is hanging on for a hundred while pontung has adifferent record an only strived for good form and achieved it eventually.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 4, 2012, 15:07 GMT)

On a lively pitch India's bowlers have today proved just how bad they really are. And Australia are there for the taking by almost any current side in international cricket!

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (January 4, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

@roger_harps agree with u.If ponting had scored this ton against even NZ that would have been rated highly.If batsman like Bell and Cook can score heavily against this pathetic attack then i dont see a reason why good batsmen like ponting and Hussey cannot score 100s. @dms1972 if you want to ignore sachin of 90's then you should also ignore ponting stats in 2005-2006 where ponting was at his best and sachin was out with injury.

Put it this way how would ponting fare against the likes of mcgrath, warne or even pattinson. Cannot imagine right?

@Herath-Uk looks like you are more worried(like many srilankans) that IND did not get the royal bashing all over the world. Yes IND were thrashed if that gives some console to you :)

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

@dms1972.. So u r d one who believes, players across era can't b compared.. Well. I am wid u on that statement.. Bt, ur argument to claim Punter better thn SRT is purely illogical.. if u want a logical argument, chk my reply to Fourworldcups.. U cant just neglect the days whn SRT was young.. Indeed its SRT's longevity and continuous success across all formats and all conditions had claimed him d better position thn Punter.. And Punter indeed made his debut in '95.. didn't he.?? Its not SRT's fault that Punter didnt achieve better in those 90s.. U seems to b very clever in getting those stats.. 1. U want to compare Punter's record(only after he achieved his prime in 2000s) wid SRT.. 2. If u remove SRT's runs against Aus, his average wil dip a little, since he has performed above his average against Aus.. Bt, viceversa in case of Punter, coz he never performed in India.. (TBC)

Posted by cric4lyf on (January 4, 2012, 14:52 GMT)

this is for my friend talha..who always show me stats of tendulkar and say that he is a gr8 batsman...just want to tell talha that although he is a gr8 batsman in terms of stats but when it comes who have deliver ....its always the greatest batsman punter..we love u bradman jnr

Posted by Imad_K on (January 4, 2012, 14:37 GMT)

Leading on from my previous comment and I stated this before this test match - India need to drop Gambhir and Shewag to start with. Gambhir really can't play on these tracks. Shewag will decimate bowling attacks on dead wickets but on these tracks will only score once in about 6/7 innings and only then with a lot of luck and chances. India need to find openers who will try and stand there and bat for at least 15/30 overs, tire the bowlers out, take the shine of the new ball, who aren't scared of batting and facing the new ball and who have the correct technique. Currently people like Dravid and Tendulkar are more or less opening and have to take all the pressure, once one of these guys gets out then India really struggle. Get the Indian batsmen in the nets, turn the bowling machine to 90mph and pick the guys who are hooking, pulling, getting behind the ball and forget the statistics/averages when batting on dead wickets against poor attacks.

Posted by 9-Monkeys on (January 4, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

The desire by some (too many) to devalue the achievements of Ponting and others so as to elevate Tendulkar is so tiresome. For mine very, very little separates Lara, Tendulkar, Ponting and Kallis (too often forgotten by Australians and Indians) so lets try putting the partisan support aside and simply recognise and celebrate the good innings we get to enjoy no matter who is scoring the runs. Ponting and Clarke were brilliant today and that's that. ... And on the recognition of a good innings when you are lucky enough to see one: Dravid, you Sir are a class act.

Posted by Imad_K on (January 4, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

I have stated this many times well before the England and the Australia series that India would get thrashed. If someone like myself can state that, who doesn't even watch cricket much any longer how can the experts, Indian board not see this. Two problems - Indian bowling is very weak and they should be grateful they are facing an inexperienced and weak Australian batting line up I can remember for a long time. MAIN PROBLEM - the Indian batsmen cannot bat on quick bouncy tracks against quick bowling - look at the series in SA, Eng and now Aus. Some of their batsmen have great averages but outside of the sub continent they are a joke. Now I don't think that any Indian batsman is comfortable on these tracks - even people like Dravid were getting hit on the body. India should also be grateful that Johnson and Cummins are injured otherwise they would be getting beaten even worse as this Australian bowling attack is by far not their strongest.

Posted by lone_purist on (January 4, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

Tendulkar is the only one India depends on. Bowling is mediocre at best and they are one of the easiest teams to beat on away tournaments. Most recent records by indians have been set at home - on flat wickets, with enormous home advantage and a board that is beset by over-paid fat cats

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 14:23 GMT)

Why are so many people here assuming that this test and with that the series is over for India. India can always save this match and then look forward to the other two tests. They have the batting to do so, they just have to click. I think it's high time Tendulkar stops being selfish and starts working for the team. Forget about that 100 and focus on the idea that the team needs a double ton from him at this point. Who knows maybe the result of this test and series boils down to legends performing.

Posted by dms1972 on (January 4, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

@Karthik Raja, the only reason I pull Sachin Tendulkar into the argument is because there are so many Indian fans who disrespect Ricky Ponting and tell us he's not even close to Tendulkar and they use illogical arguments to "prove" their point, so I use stats to counter their illogical arguments. Simple fact is they are both champions and legends of the game. Along with Lara and Kallis, Tendulkar and Ponting are the greatest batsman of the modern era, and to say one is better than the other would be an injustice.

Posted by cric4lyf on (January 4, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

@ Tendulkar...u have been seing 2 gr8 batsman batting whole day ponting and try to learn from them...indian young talented bowlers have proved that indian bowling future is hopeless....they can take tips from pattinson

Posted by JustIPL on (January 4, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

Tendulkar is history now. A sad end to a genious who remained in search of numbers throughout his career and never stood when most needed.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (January 4, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

Ricky, I'm really happy for you. Where are his naysayers now? Shame! Take a bow! I hope you continue to play like this and go out on a high. A Legend like you deserves nothing less. Ironic that this was the same ground where I started hating you and praying for your downfall in the wake of that thuggish behaviour in 2007/08. But, yesterday I found myself praying for you to get to that three figures and my heart was in my throat when you had to dive. Really a great moment in history. That picture of a diving Ponting is good enough as a collector's item; memorabilia - A champion giving it his all to get to that number which was like a cake-walk for the better part of his career. Cricket indeed is such a leveller and it's about time you got your due Ricky. I can't speak for others but your matured behaviour, both on and off the field, played the most important role in this turnaround, as far as my respects for you are concerned. God bless you and your young family. Happy New Year Ricky!

Posted by cric4lyf on (January 4, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

Shame on indian batsman..specially dravid tendulkar laxman...see how the veterans aussies clarke, ponting and hussey have played..thats the differnence between two teams..indian media just advertise their useless talent and every time aussies replied with their performance...go aussies go..u r true champs

Posted by mgsub on (January 4, 2012, 14:13 GMT)

India just can't seem to do anything right on the road. They couldn't find a breakthrough in England, but that could be attributed to the fact most of the team was injured. No excuses here. They have a full squad in Australia but the Aussie bowlers are destroying them. Australia has three consistent batsmen right now -- Ponting, Clarke and Hussey -- and they are tearing up the Indian bowlers. I'm not sure what the mental block is with India, but if they don't break it, we're in for another Indian whitewash. Maybe there is too much focus on Sachin Tendulkar's 100th century chase. It is becoming a distraction for the team.

Posted by nareshgb1 on (January 4, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

And by the way...before anyone starts throwing names around...great teams have great bowling, batting and fielding - all at the same time and aggressive purpose (NOT sledging though). So please do not throw names around - look at the results of the team over a long period of time.

and as for Sachin lying for Bhajji - I absolutely love him for that. apparently some people think Symonds can get away with provoking someone - why? Because thats the Australian way? I am sick of hearing that.

Anyway - in summary - all that matters today is Oz mowed the Indian "attack". The above rants are just in response to comments - and don;t amount to much.

People can enjoy all their favorite cricketers - no need to compare them. Lets admit as humans, we love some more than others. (And if ever anyone accuses me of objectivity - I will laugh out loud. :):)

So PEACE my dear Ponting and Kallis fans. PS: By the way, for me, Lara was the best since 1990.

Posted by dms1972 on (January 4, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

@satish619chandar, we're not "stating him higher than Sachin", we're just asking for some respect from many Indian fans for Ponting, and that he is at least the equal of Tendulkar. These Ponting bashers use illogical arguments to downgrade his record, so we use stats to prove those arguments as wrong. But I guess those no point in trying to talk sense to some people. 13,000 runs at an average of almost 53, with 40 centuries, should be enough evidence of a being Legend but, like I said, there's no point in talking sense to some people. And if Ponting plays as many Tests as Tendulkar has, then he's a good chance of scoring just as many runs as Tendulkar.

Posted by nareshgb1 on (January 4, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

@dms1972: All right Sir - sorry I offended you with that "great team" thing. Well you brought up Zim, Ban and what not yourself. Now your new contention of Ricky cannot be anythign but great for scoring N runs at 52 with 40 hundreds - that's more like it.

Liverweke11: " Additionally, in the mere 23 matches Tendulkar had the added responsibility of captaincy, he averaged 51.35"

A marvellous point you might think. However, this is the whole "great team" thing all over again. Now, would you please take the trouble to find out "great captain Ricky"'s stats after Warne and McGrath? Go on - paste them here.

And as for akhtar, Pollock and whoever else: Once again - with the superiority of the OZ team, opposition captains seldom had the luxury of more than a slip for Ponting for any great length of time. Thats what great teams do for you. and then there was the graphite bat that the ICC conveniently did nothing about.

Posted by Tigg on (January 4, 2012, 13:46 GMT)

Yadav who now?

So much for India and their new 190kph thunder wielding swings it round corners rest of the world doesn't stand a chance bowler.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 13:43 GMT)

Ponting gives Sachin a lesson on how it can be done. The great man can gather some inspiration, for Perth.

Posted by muski on (January 4, 2012, 13:41 GMT)

Iam not taking anything away from Ponting. However look at it from Aussie perspective. They are not facing top quality test bowling sans Zaheer. Ponting has played all his life on such tracks. All this hype about his hundred is becoz he has not got any over the last 2 years. It will be good to remember that any batsmen worth his salt will be a bully on his home pitches- Mahela and Sanga on SL Pitches and our so called FTB's on Subcontinental pitches. During the Sunny era I remember batsmen who had the technique to counter wickets that turned at right angles. Can we think of any bastmen playing test today ( the great wall included) who can endure on those kind of pitches for say couple of sessions- I dont think so. It was not that the batsmen then were endowed with greater technique than now. Its becoz they were born and bought up on such tracks. Its another issue that the Aussie selectors will be much less merciful on Punter than the Indian selectors are say with VVS at the moment.

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 4, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

Some media men too go overboard;when Kallis had scored 150 or odd he said Kallis had plundered Sri Lanka;I honestly do not know what he would say now to Indian bowlers seeing Clarke's not out 251! Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by diehard_pulkit on (January 4, 2012, 13:18 GMT)

I am an Indian...but I am a batsman first. And PONTING MY MAN YOU BROUGHT TEARS OF JOY....


Long live the two elites of the elites.

Posted by dms1972 on (January 4, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

@nareshgb1, so who decides who the great players and who the mediocre players are in a great team? Using your flawed logic, the same could be applied to Tendulkar. He's had players like Dravid, Sehwag, Laxman, Ganguly, Harbajhan and Kumble around him. Please tell me, who are the mediocre-players-made-to-look-good amongst that lot. Mediocre players don't score 40 Test centuries and almost 13,000 runs at an average of over 52, no matter how good they're made to look by those around them.

Posted by liverkewe11 on (January 4, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

Jeffrey Newton: When Lara was at his best nobody was close. There were long periods where statistically he out performed Bradman. His only issue was he went in waves and there were long stretches where he didnt perform. I dont remember watching anyone more talented though, he did the most difficult thingd as if they were second nature.

Posted by Kaze on (January 4, 2012, 12:58 GMT)

@SRT_GENIUS You mean these lousy Indian bowlers are inflating averages.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

Really Really disappointed, cant describe in words. Days like this make you feel like quitting cricket. Still don't understand the logic behind the decision to bat first, when everyone else in the world was saying that the 1st day will be difficult to bat on.(If India thought of spinning the aussies out on 5th day then its not gonna happen) The think tank has just blown the series into pieces. If India is lucky, and that's a very big IF, then we can bounce back in next couple of test and level the series. To those who still think that India can bounce back in this test, Best Of Luck! P.S. This was supposed to be the best opportunity for India to get a series win down under. Pity that to the talks going around.

Posted by Okakaboka on (January 4, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

This pitch is flat now...Australia need to bat all tomorrow and then give themselves 2 days to get India out. The pitch should deteriorate on the last day when Siddle & Co should be able to sneak some 'grubbers' under the Indians bats. India lost when they won the toss...??????...!!! Remember, Australia only have 4 real bowlers and they will tire on a slow pitch. Siddle needs to hit 150 mean feat!

Posted by Marcio on (January 4, 2012, 12:48 GMT)

I have to admit India's performance was abject. You have to at least put up a fight! It seems not only are some players old, but they are unfit and mentally tired as well. Take a look at Hussey and Ponting. They are old by cricket standards but they work like dogs at their game, and they are still hungry. You won't see Ponting or Huss with a beer gut anytime soon! Sehwag is 33 and looks older than them! Tendulkar still looks the goods though. Hats off to him.

Posted by dms1972 on (January 4, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

@Karthik Raja, you cannot make a true comparison between Ponting and Bradman, you can only state an opinion. And the majority of opinions, including mine, would be that Bradman was a far greater batsman than, not only Ponting, but every other batsman in the history of Test cricket. I'd love to leave Sachin alone, because I believe he is one of the gretaest batsman of all-time, I just get sick and tired of Indian fans disrespecting Ricky Ponting, and them using illogical arguments to understate his record without applying those same illogical arguments to Tendulkar.

Posted by satish619chandar on (January 4, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

@Posted by on (January 04 2012, 11:50 AM GMT) : It is not the Sachin/indian fans comparing the stats.. It is done by Punter fans who are stating him higher than Sachin giving comparisons for each and every ground they played.. @dunger.bob : India can only lose from the position they are here now.. If they draw it, i will chop my heads off for sure..

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 12:40 GMT)

@ Night_Fury , Ricky Ponting Player of the Decade 2000 - 2009 ... TOP that...

Posted by KAIRAVA on (January 4, 2012, 12:33 GMT)

Its amazing to hear & see Clarke saying overnight that Ponting will score a ton the next day and Ponting goes on to make the long due ton (last one came in 2009). What even more surprising was Ponting was nowhere near 100 on the previous day (he was not out on 44) but the confidence Clarke has in Ponting and even more on India's pathetic bowling attack just shows why Australians never cared a dime of India's bowling and always always treated a series with the Indians down under as a platform for getting struggling batsman to form. Wonder why the always daringly overspoken Sehwag has remained silent on this tour till now and has not even spoke to the media back home before departure about Sachin getting the now elusive 100th ton in Australia.

Posted by liverkewe11 on (January 4, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

nareshgb1: Please tell me you are joking. Ponting has batted number 3,without doubt the hardest position in the batting line up, for nearly his whole career. His stats as a number 3 are 113 matches, 176 innings, 9904 runs, highest score of 257, an average of 56.27 with 32 centuries. He had the added responsibility of being captain in 75 of these matches, averaging 52.46 over 122 innings. Tendulkars stats at number 3, without doubt the hardest position in the batting line up, is 0 matches, 0 innings, 0 runs. Additionally, in the mere 23 matches Tendulkar had the added responsibility of captaincy, he averaged 51.35. I wouldnt criticise Tendulkar for not being captain, as he may not have been the best candidate, but he always hid from number 3, even when Dravid wasnt playing (or when Dravid opened). Ponting has always batted for Australia, where Tendulkar has always batted for Tendulkar. I will never forget his behaviour in the Harbajan/Symonds incident where he lied at least once.

Posted by KapilDadas on (January 4, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

Yes the Indian batting averages were always inflated from their counterparts abroad. Now the the Indian economy too is catching up fast. Watch some stiff competition ahead.

Posted by Ponting_the_best on (January 4, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

@ ssenthil - Sachin scored well in Aus. Although stats indicate 60+ avg for Sachin in Aus, take out SCG and it drops to 38 in 13 matches. Forget best attacks, just got to statsguru and filter Sachin's records with one best opposition bowler in the team. Avg drops drastically. With Mcg, Waz, Waq, Bond, Donald, Pollock in the team, avg drops to 34 in 36 matches.

Posted by DMS1111 on (January 4, 2012, 12:14 GMT)

well done Ponting....the greatest modern day batsman along with Lara...

Posted by Lara4life501 on (January 4, 2012, 12:13 GMT)

Not every article on Cricinfo has to do with Sachin Tendulkar, the man is coming to the end of his career wether you like it or not,please give it a break...apart from Sachin the reason India have such a poor record is that they persist with aged performers instead of blooding in youngsters...Indian cricket is going backwards and its there for all too see...

Posted by mansoor777 on (January 4, 2012, 12:13 GMT)

Well , Ponting is the Best bastman in the World. He Proves it with his Century. He has 40 Century to his name and he will be the person who can broke Sachin records of Highest run Scorer in Test and Century in test. Sachin is Aware of it so he wont hang his boots till he is ahead of all. Ponting, dravid and Kallis Threat to Sachin to break his record. sachin time to Go

Posted by shamlaatu on (January 4, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

From living into hopeless fantasies to browning your nose. Mr. Sambit Bal, what do you feel now when you look back to compare this boring rant of yours with another of your recent article where your declared during the first game that the test series between India and Australia was "TEST CRICKET AT ITS FINEST"? Isn't it slightly embarrassing? Team India is been made to look like Namibia or Somalia, and you called it the finest form of test cricket? I mean is there even a contest between India and Aussie ?? Did you even notice that India Aussie news coverage is not getting the first headline spot at cricinfo's home page?

Posted by dinosaurus on (January 4, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

I don't think you have to look hard to find where Clarke and Ponting got their steel from today. 4 years ago we saw a horrible display of "we're the victims". Threatening to take your bat and ball and go home didn't wash well with the Australian cricketing public, neither did Kumble's appropriation of Bill Woodfull's iconic words from the bodyline series. Nor, for that matter, did Tendulkar's "evidence" that he actually heard Harbhajan *not* say something!! Yes, I respect his batting, but I doubt his judgment.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

poor india.seriously feel pitty for india. wat more can anyone say.ponting and clarke batted really well.if india is making 199 with sachin,sehwag,laxman,dravid in the team think wat they gonna make with out them.over all really a very poor perfonmance from indians.:(:(

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 11:56 GMT)

Am sorry to put few words in praise of sachin in this forum.. Bt, if u go by comments, u can see that I was jus replying to unnecessary Sachin comparisons here.. Also, I never forget to hail Punter's efforts.. One request.. please leave Sachin alone.. Atleast whn he is doing better thn others..

Posted by dunger.bob on (January 4, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

Are we sure they put the stumps in the right pitch this morning? 13 wickets yesterday, 1 today.

a 400 lead on the first innings should be enough I would think. India can only draw the game from here, they can't win it. Can they?

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

Pointing will make a double ton in the next game!.....Laxman will make a quack!

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

... Why do these comment sections always turn into a Tendulkar vs Ponting thread? Maybe it's because Indians were so starved of team success during the late 90's to mid 2000's that they have to focus on a players individual success and constantly justify it? It's the same old and tired arguments that have little to do with the article. On topic, great century by Ponting. Whilst i've been calling for his head for well over a year now, maybe, just maybe, keeping him in the side through his run drought will be justified with a twilight renaissance... time will tell

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

@Fourworldcups.. While I agree that Ponting wud hv done better against Mcgrath,Lee r any other Aus fast bowler, I doubt he wud hv done any better than SRT against Warne.. Like any subcontinent Batsman is valued by his performance against pacers in pace frndly conditions, non-subcontinent batsman has to be valued by their performances against spinners in spin-frndly conditions.. While, SRT has lived up to his reputation in pace frndly conditions.. Ponting hasnt been so.. Bt, that definitely doesnt take any credit frm Ponting's brilliant career.. He has been and will always be second best Aus batsman.. Ofcourse, I even tend to accept him as most successful batsman( in terms of team victories) in recent times.. Bt, Team success is more to do than individual's brilliance..

Posted by Harry_Hotspur on (January 4, 2012, 11:46 GMT)

No one can deny that Ponting is a great batsmen. Along with Tendulkar, Lara, Kallis and Dravid he is the best of his generation with Lara and Tendulkar slightly ahead. He is considered by most Aussies as the next best Aussie batsmen after Bradman. Being considered the 2ns best batsmen for the most successful Cricket nation ever pretty much means you are a great player.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (January 4, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

Ponting stoops to conquer i would have thought once you had been to the top you had already conquered. anyway thanks pup punter and huss you have shown us that footwork aggression style and patience is whats needed at the SCG so i am predicting an unplayable minefield for the indians second innings

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 11:41 GMT)

@dms1972.. First u removed.. 90s.. then BD and ZIM and now Aus.. Wt next..?? I will give u a better option.. Just ask us to chk SRT's average in SA(that being his lowest in away-out of subcontinent Test matches) and compare it wid Ponting.. Oh.. wait.. SRT still averages 46.44 and Ponting 46.85.. Not much diff.. rite.?? Okay. here is the best option.. U declare Ponting as best based on the runs scored in current series.. That wil b a best bet 4 u.. I repeat.. if u want to say Ponting is a alltime gr8.. Well, go ahead.. I wholeheartedly accept it.. Bt, dont pull SRT into this.. Just 4 ur thought, ur concept of remove this, remove that wont bring any credit to "Ur statistics"..

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

Brian Lara scored in all continents against all attacks on all sorts of pitches. Ponting, Kallis or Tendulkar will never be in Lara's class

Posted by Fourworldcups on (January 4, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

@ nareshgb1. The whole "didn't have to face Warne-McGrath" argument is tiresome. Ponting had to face up to, in no particular order, players such as Akhtar, Kumble, Donald, Kallis, Flintoff, Anderson, Ntini, Pollock, Steyn etc etc etc. Have you ever stopped to consider that these players may have been more highly rated if not for Ponting smashing them all over the park. Also, despite the focus on Ponting here. I'd just like to point out how funny it is that Pup has so far added 60 more runs than this batting lineup you keep vaunting.

Posted by satish619chandar on (January 4, 2012, 11:25 GMT)

@dms1972 : Time is not to prove Ponting is better than Sachin.. Ponting grew up playing in bowling conditions and for him scoring in England and SA is comparatively easy than Sachin.. Both are legends.. Period..

Posted by KapilDadas on (January 4, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

A worthy champion indeed! Hope this is not his last.

Posted by Samdanh on (January 4, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

Beware Australia: Do not hand your wickets away. Keep in mind that there are 3 full days more. Play all day again on 3rd day, if you can. Bat into a position from where you cannot lose. Do not provide scope for batting last on this pitch on the 5th day! Do not take Indian wickets for granted when they bat in the second innings. Keep up the good work and wish you all the best in this game

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (January 4, 2012, 11:15 GMT)


Posted by AidanFX on (January 4, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

Oh for heaven's sake! Why does the innings by Clarke and Ponting have to devolve into a debate about how great Sachin is? Yes we all know the guy is great - by why can't people stick to commenting on the two players who batted today; is that too much to ask?

Posted by truebleue_cricfan on (January 4, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

Expected from Ponting. He was always a great player and it was only a question of time before he made it count. Some people are discussing the Indian captain's excuses after this loss. I am guessing it would be something along the lines of the kookaburra ball not having a pronounced seam or something like that. As for the batsmen, I would love to see what excuse Dhoni comes up with!

Posted by maddy20 on (January 4, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

I want to forget that there is a game called cricket and that India plays it. I can no longer take the gut wrenching performances by this horrible team. Something is seriously wrong. India were never good travellers but they were OK before this fletcher guy took charge. They drew with a rather strong SA, beaten England in England etc., One wonders if his abysmal methods are the reason for these poor performances. Goodbye cricinfo and goodbye cricket. PS: This goodbye is like Afridi's retirement. I will be back when they are back to winning ways!

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 10:57 GMT)


Posted by dharmadasa on (January 4, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

@SRT_GENIUS These 'flat' pitches, you mean the ones where the Indian flat track bullies were all out for 191? Yes, maybe we should consider that the Indian batting averages are being inflated too, really they should be all out for less than 100 if your thinking is correct....genius....

Posted by ssenthil on (January 4, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

@dms1972, You have forgot that Sachin were scoring runs against the Best Attack Australia ever had that time while Ponting was a easy going against Indian attack. Sachin scored well against in Australia and in India while Ponting generally struggled a lot in India. Don't forget Ponting used the Graphite Bat in 2005. CI Quote for that "Ponting, who scored 1,544 Test runs at an average of 67.13 in 2005 - the second highest calendar year tally in history - then opened 2006 with twin centuries in Sydney in his 100th Test." We know after 2006 what was Ponting's record.

Posted by jkaussie on (January 4, 2012, 10:40 GMT)

Terrific knock, and hilarious to see Clarke laughing as Ponting spat the dirt out! Excellent from Dravid too - he and Ponting seem to get on well and I think Ponting adised him to keep going when he was thinking of retirement.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 10:40 GMT)

@ SRT_GENIUS, if this is a flat pitch, then how come Sachin Tendulkar scored only 41 in first Innings?

Posted by Herath-UK on (January 4, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

Both Clarke and Kallis scored double centuries in their home countries especially Kallis on a flat pitch.Though they are wonderful batsmen,none have scored well in the subcontinent.Out of 41 odd ceturies Kallis has never scored any in Sri Lanka. When comes to the assessment of subcontinent greats,be Tendulkar or Sanga etc the yardstick is how well they have scored outside the subcontinent which looks unfair by them. Ranil Herath - Kent

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

I'm not getting proper appraisal at work! Do I need to face this Indian bowling to get few perks??? But Ponting deserved every run until the 100th run, man I was hoping he be run out. Great come back Ponting, feels good to see someone who's been a legend the way he was looking today!!

Posted by Night_Fury on (January 4, 2012, 10:35 GMT)

India is going down the drains in this match. But cannot understand why ppl always compare Sachin and Ponting. No one can match Sachin. Did some analysis and will want to share:- Sachin has scored 43% of his 100s in India compared to 55% of Ponting's 100 in AUS. Sachin has scored 6 tons against AUS in AUS while Ponting has made only 1 against IND in IND. Sachin has scored 4 and 5 tons against ENG and SA in there country contrary to Pontings 4 & 3 against ENG and SA. Considering ASHES is a 5 test series seems bit low. Sachin has scored 35% of his conturies in Non-Sub continent countries whereas Ponting has scored only 12.5% of his in subcontinent. Sachin scored 11 of his centuries against AUS and considering the kind of bowling attack AUS had, i cannot find any other player who did this. The only reason sachin's achievements are shadowed because the other 10 players never contributes. Look at this series only for wht i am saying. We are privileged to watch his batting.

Posted by nareshgb1 on (January 4, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

@dms1972 - well since you are giving such detailed comaprison between Sachin and Ponting - here's the thing: Ponting never scored any runs against the best attack of the 2000s (the Oz attack that is).

And there were probably three series, at best, where he faced a better team - go check his average in those (and oh - you can check how many "match winning hundreds" he scored against those team while you are at that).

Not to take anything away from Ponting - he is a GOOD batsman. But, "Great teams make mediocre batsman look good, and good batsman look great". Ricky epitomizes that.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 10:29 GMT)

Tendulkar cannot score on competitive pitches. Ponting can.

Posted by TheIndiaRockers on (January 4, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

Excellent batting from ponting & clarke. i love the fighting spirit of aussie,apart from zaheer no one look better bowler in india. As far aussie young guns put the ball at right area but india bowls to the pad & get flicked to a four, india is going to face more problem. worried about indian performance, atleast try to avoid whitewash.however well played aussie .

Posted by dms1972 on (January 4, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

Both Tendulkar & Ponting are all-time greats. It's as simple as that. But for those of you who like to compare ST & RP, & diminish RP's record by claiming the bowling is weaker than it was in the 90's, the solution is to look at their records from 1st Jan 2000 to now. Why not use the 90's instead? RP was really only starting out, whereas ST had played the whole 90's. The 2000's onwards, they both played throughout & were both established Test batsmen, so it's a fair comparison. Apart from ST inflating his record by playing more Tests against Bangladesh & Zimbabwe, they basically faced the same bowling. RP 10820 runs @ 54.64 with 34 100's, ST 9488 @ 55.48 with 29 100's. Excluding Bangladesh & Zimbabwe; RP 10301 @ 53.65 with 32 100's, ST 7853 @ 50.02 with 21 100's. For those of you who say RP never faced Warne & McGrath, we'll take out Aust v Ind Tests, as ST never faced the likes of Kumble & Harbajhan. RP 8400 runs @ 53.5 with 26 100's, ST 5609 runs @ 46.74 with 15 100's. Interesting!!

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (January 4, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

Dear BCCI, Please dont schedule anymore away matches as this has all the makings of a 4-0 mauling. 8-0 in total! Please use your clout and schedule all the series for the next 2 years only at home/Srilanka/Bangladesh so that our flat track champions can repair their batting averages which has taken a severe beating in Eng and Aus. Regs-A concerned Indian cricket fan.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

Great effort. Well done Ricky Ponting. I will remember this knock as the true test of your character & spirit. Thats how true champions fight back. The finest test of ones character is when the chips are down, and the determination of the will shines through, and I saw that today.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

@dms1972.. Only the first statement of ur comment makes some sense.. So, going by ur logic, if u want to compare Ponting and Bradman, how wud u do that.?? And they don't face same bowling unit.. SRT didnt hv to face Kumble,Zaheer,Nehra,Agarkar,Srinath,Prasad,Bhajji.. And Ponting didnt face Mcgrath,Lee,Gillespie,Warne,Mcgill,Hogg,Johnson.. Mentioned only frontline bowlers.. U can chk the difference in the caliber of bowlers by urself.. Since u hv brought up Sachin vs Ponting, for a record, SRT has fared better against mentioned Aus bowlers(except Mcgrath to some extent) in both home and away.. Bt, Ponting cant be claimed the same.. U can check their respective averages against each other team in away series.. And.. yes,, Ponting is indeed all-time gr8.. And my full respect for him.. Am very happy for his century today.. Hope all those who calls for the heads of "so called oldies" wil stop that nonsense frm here.. Retirement shud b based on performance and not on age..

Posted by kennor on (January 4, 2012, 10:18 GMT)

Top batting from both Ponting and Clarke, though it was long overdue against a popgun attack. The Indian top order must think they blew a chance to bat on an outstanding deck. This pitch reminds me of the Test against South Africa on the SCG exactly six years ago.Ponting and Hayden chased down 288 on the last day, for the loss of only 2 wickets. Or is the sustained speed and accuracy of the Australian pace attack just too good for the aging reflexes and footwork of the Indian batsmen? The second innings here will be a test.

Posted by Mervo on (January 4, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

Interestingly, Ponting has scored more runs and more centuries than Tendulkar over their first 150 tests. Time will tell if he overtakes Tendulkar before he finishes. However Kallis is a better cricketer than both of them. He has the highest average and as more centuries than both at career stage (41). He also has 275 Test wickets. He is the real 'master' for me.

Posted by Ponting_the_best on (January 4, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

Ponting is by far the best for the kind of impact he has had on the Australian cricket team. @dms1972 - Well said. Really happy to see that Ponting is realizing that he is getting older and cutting down the extravagant shots and playing cool cricket. Sachin will eventually get his 100 100 and will probably have the max 100 in Tests. But the facts are that Sachin averages 60+ in Australia; if you take SCG out of that he averages only 38. :-)

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

Although an Indian Fan, I am very Pleased that Ponting Got his Century... While he was in form, I hated him and now when he is out of Form, I want his to really play well and I can see many people have quite the same view. This shows how people symphathize when a Great Player loses his Charisma and just dont like to see them fail.. Because, then the Game of Cricket will be a Loser without Players like Ponting, Lara, Tendulkar or Sehwag... I beleive , after seeing this, Tendulkar might extend his Carrer till 60 and retire in 2032, Along WITH HIS SON!!!

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 10:08 GMT)

Ricky Ponting century, Michael Clarke's double century Hussey's 50- it all looks as if these guys are batting against Bangladesh. I don't think the Indians ever batted so authoritatively against Bangladesh at India also. Now these guys Ponting & Hussey should thank India for giving them a new lease of life and prolonged their career

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (January 4, 2012, 10:08 GMT)

@5wombats Yeah Like how Bell and Cook scored tons :). You should not call them fast bowlers. @RandyOz i think hussey averaged 80+ in the beginning of his career and may be it is time you stop thinking about who is the second greatest all time cricketer :)

Posted by Harry_Kool on (January 4, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

Where's this specially prepared greentop we were accused of using against the Indian batting? @5wombats. You did say it, you did back the punter, it was awesome viewing.

Posted by roger_harps on (January 4, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

Finally he has scored a 100 after 2 and half years and 34 innings..with a help of a dropped chance by dhoni n missed run out by zaheer khan..but ponting should thank our selectors as they have persisted with him for long..too long..failure in ashes..utter failure in 2010/2011 season..wonder if this 100 can revive his career..against a patethic attack and flat pitch..i dont know what happens to our former captain called ponting when he goes on challenging conditions in India or in sub continent

Posted by dkrk on (January 4, 2012, 10:02 GMT)

There is a batsman called Ricky, Who makes life for his opponents tricky, His last name is Ponting, For whom scoring a century had recently become daunting, Consider him arrogant and brash, He fights and fights proving that he is no trash, May his legacy live long, For he is a joy to watch when on song.

Posted by dms1972 on (January 4, 2012, 9:58 GMT)

By the way, where IS Gupta.Ankur??????

Posted by popcorn on (January 4, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

Ricky Ponting! You have ALWAYS been my favourite batsman,I regard you as the BEST batsman in the world, whatever else others may say.And you've shown your humility to work on your bating technique EVEN at this age! Tom Moody correctly predicted that THIS was going to be YOUR SUMMER, and it truly is! Were it not for you (and Huss) we would NOT have won the first Test against India.There are more hundreds waiting,Punter,and I wish you all the best. At this rate, you'll surely be opicked for The Ashes next year! Cheers to a great performance!

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 9:54 GMT)

Hail PUNTER for his briliant fighting knock......proud to be a fan of Ricky Ponting.....!!

Posted by ParamIyer on (January 4, 2012, 9:53 GMT)

I have placed a bet here with my colleague on when the match would end. I expect it India to lose at end of third day or max before lunch on 4th day. My colleague whose name is Kapil Dev says that India would stretch till the 5th morning :) I really do not see that happening.... Poor captaincy, no real encouragement, lackluster bowling and fielding and some splendid batting by Aussies.

Posted by warnerbasher on (January 4, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

Hes a marvellous player and watching him today reminded me of his halcyon years up until 2008. Once again dragged Australia out of the mire to a point of invincibility in this test match. Should have been man of the match in Melbourne. His celebration when he reached his hundred suggests that he may retire at the end of the summer, however his form suggests that he should continue on for a while yet.

Posted by muski on (January 4, 2012, 9:48 GMT)

My Humble request to BCCI folks- Send a group of 5 promising batsmen ( say like Virat, Rohit, Rahane, Pujara, Raina) and 5 fast bowlers to Australia for about 6-8 months. Tell these guys not to worry about IPL etc. Let them learn to bat and bowl on bouncy tracks. If the learn something and come back, give them the contract which they deserve. Otherwise throw them out and try the same formula with a bunch of another 5. The sooner this is done, the better for Indian cricket. Otherwise we will end up being the laughing stock of the cricketing world

Posted by dms1972 on (January 4, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

(continued) For those of you who exclaim, "but Ponting never had to face Warne and McGrath!", we'll take out Tests between India and Australia, as Tendulkar never had to face the likes of Kumble and Harbajhan. Ponting 8400 runs @ 53.5 with 26 centuries, Tendulkar 5609 runs @ 46.74 with 15 centuries. Hmm, interesting!! I don't want to diminish the reputation of Tendulkar, because he is a champion and an all-time great, I only do this comparison in response to those who don't recognise Ponting's standing as an all-time great.

Posted by dkrk on (January 4, 2012, 9:46 GMT)

Completely agree with u @tiger11. Ponting will remain an inspiration to me as well to become an achiever in life although whatever others may consider of him (brash and pragmatic), he showed his fighting skills and hardwork proving that he is not as arrogant as he is perceived to me and playing for his team first rather than himself.

Posted by AidanFX on (January 4, 2012, 9:36 GMT)

@ SRT_Genius - Not for Indian batsman the ain't!

Posted by 5wombats on (January 4, 2012, 9:35 GMT)

@Nutcutlet - man, you said it! Ball too round, bat too wooden, pitch has grass on it (heaven forbid), sky too blue, it doesn't count because of what happened in 2003, india are ODI champs so this doesn't count, it doesn't count because it's not in india, etc, etc....

Posted by Raju_Iyer on (January 4, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

They say pictures can speak a thousand words and I have never seen a picture of Ponting, smiling this way before. Great moment for Test cricket!

Posted by wix99 on (January 4, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

It was great to see Ponting get a century after scoring a few half centuries in recent matches. However, I still think the selectors need to give Ponting a retirement date. If he retired at the end of this series then he would be going out on top.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

this is one of the great comeback stories in recent years..with dravid having replicated the same in 2011 before again losing his touch. As a player, Ponting has been one of the all time greats and when it comes to scoring runs when they are needed the most, no one comes near to ponting.. laxman may be second bt a lot more inconsistent..dravid and kallis follow after them..i am a big SACHIN fan and respect and admire every achievement of his and knw 4 da fact tht it will take many yrs for someone to emulate wot he has done, bt ponting having been a part of more than 100 test wins in his 160 test career.. i doubt if any player wud get tht honor..yes he had an amazing bowling attack and a gr8 never did he ever shied away from performing..yes he had an extended period of scoring runs widout hitting a century bt mind u..he scored them..was instrumental in the win in the 2nd test vs SA and played a crucial role in the 1st test at MCG. way to go ponting!! I SALUTE U!!

Posted by Richie_The_Bat on (January 4, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

@SRT_GENIUS yeah, this pitch has inflated the indians averages ...... bowling that is.

Posted by CricLook on (January 4, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

He is a champion both technically in the game & mentally in character. He should retire when he wishes to go. Still he is the best batsman in australian team. He deserve more respect. Heads off to you champ..!..

Posted by dms1972 on (January 4, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

Both Tendulkar and Ponting are amongst the all-time greats. It's as simple as that. But for those of you who like to compare Tendulkar and Ponting and diminish Ponting's record by claiming the bowling is weaker than it was in the 90's, the simple solution is to look at their respective records from 1st Jan 2000 to now. Ponting 10,820 runs at an average of 54.64 with 34 centuries, Tendulkar 9,488 at an average of 55.48 with 29 centuries. Excluding their records against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe; their records are Ponting 10,301 @ 53.65 with 32 centuries, Tendulkar 7,853 @ 50.02 with 21 centuries. You might say why not use the nineties instead, but Ponting was really only starting out in Test cricket, whereas Tendulkar had played the whole 90's. The 2000's onwards, they both played throughout and were both established Test batsmen. Apart from Tendulkar inflating his record by playing many more Tests against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, they were basically facing the same bowling.

Posted by din7 on (January 4, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

Truly a well deserved 100. i m big fan of ponting and yes there were times when i thought ponting could never come back in form. THANKS ponting u proved me wrong. this will be among most inspiring for most people. Accepting things and fighting all odds u did it ricky. it was heartning to see even some australians were calling for his retirement after 3 world cup wins, leading the best team ever in cricket and more than 26000 runs in cricket and yes playing in 100 wins. u will always inspire me in my life!

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

great to see a living legend finally get what he deserves.. ponting has always been my favourite cricketer, however 6 months ago i was beginning to have thoughts along the lines of "i wish he retired 3 years ago when he was averaging 60 so that he could have been remembered as 2nd to bradman", watching his revival over the past 4 or 5 tests beginning with the half centuries and then the ton today has been a pleasure and i am now glad that he is still around.. i hope he can do as tendulkar did before him and have a burst back into supreme form..

Posted by satish619chandar on (January 4, 2012, 9:07 GMT)

This is somewhat expected one.. Facing the Indian bowling is the best shot Punter can get to regain his form.. His innings was exemplary as he ahd to set tempo after 3 wickets were lost for nothing.. The manner he got the pulls going was good to see.. Wish he gets one or two years more!! Indian batting was the one which gave them a good support last decade.. Bowlers were always effective ONLY when batting gives them runs to play with.. The guys who made the team better travelers again bought the team back to where it was by failing in the two most important tours they were expected the most at the fag end of their career.. Surely this wont take the shine from their service to the team.. Wish they do what they did previously in the tours.. Fans can't tolerate another Engalnd like drubbing..

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

memo to Indian batsmen, 1. don't try to play a front foot cover drive as it is not KOLKATTA OR MUMBAI. 2. try to stay on the pitch , don't try to score to save your position in team, i have realized once you are in 20s you start playing IPL. 3. pls all pray for heavy rain.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

Now please press the panic button or even there won't be left any button to press either....

Posted by khansview on (January 4, 2012, 8:58 GMT)


Posted by Firoz_Raja on (January 4, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

Well Played Ricky Ponting. He very well deserved the century. As far India is concerned, more trouble is awaited as the tour progresses. India can't win with just 4 bowlers (out of which only Zaheer is a test level).

Posted by sark on (January 4, 2012, 8:47 GMT)

awesome player and a fighter.. Salute him for his come back and determination, truly an example for the yougsters.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 4, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

Great comeback by the Pontiff. Keep it going, Pup. Awesome sight watching you guys batting together.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

If the world cup win in 83 heralded the emergence of a golden 30 years of Indian cricket with players like Gavasker, Vengsarker, Shastri, Kapil,Aazaruddin, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly, Shewag and Kumble the 2011 World cup win marks the end of Indian cricket as we know it.

Posted by PrasPunter on (January 4, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

a fine century from Punter and a masterpiece from Pup !! together they make a great combo. But the job is only half-done. Indians cant be underestimated - they have an enviable batting lineup and the pitch has flattened. So we need to remain focussed to make the best out of the current reasonable strong position we are in. For the moment though, Congrats !! you both are guns !!!

Posted by UAETigers on (January 4, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

Well done Punter!!! This is a true moment for a legend!! Wishing the same to the great Trio of Indian Team (VVS / Sachin / Dravid)

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

Dravid felt so happy to see this occassion as he clapped his hands in support for Ponting.. Dravid wished to see this moment.. but not in Indian series.. but happened in Indian series

Posted by Major_Hammad on (January 4, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

Congratulation to Ponting and his fans, Well done Punter. 2012 is Ponting Year, many Hundreds and Fifties will come in 2012 by Ponting. Best of Luck Ricky Ponting.

Posted by RandyOZ on (January 4, 2012, 8:36 GMT)

What an absolute legend! This innings reminded me of the one's from his 52 innings stretch in the mid-2000s, where he averaged 76 and is only second to Bradman for the same period in any cricketers career in history.

Posted by 5wombats on (January 4, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

Wombats did say Ponting would plunder this indian "bowling". So it has proved.

Posted by AussieGreekCricketLegend on (January 4, 2012, 8:26 GMT)

I cried when he got his 100 -- what a champion. What will . What strength! This man can not be broken!! That dirty shirt image will live forever!! Thank you Punter!

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 8:25 GMT)

This guys is good...!! Good to see that Ponting not talking much and his bat doin thge talking...!!

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 8:24 GMT)

I was glad to be there today (and yesterday) to witness Ponting's rebirth and Clarke's fine captain's knock. Hopefully big 2012 for Ponting ahead!

Posted by dms1972 on (January 4, 2012, 8:22 GMT)

I guess all the Ponting-haters will diminish this century by saying the Indian bowling was no good, Dhoni can't captain, and the pitch was a batting paradise. No matter what you people say, Ricky Ponting is one of the all-time greats! So what if he hasn't done so well in India? Take a look at Tendulkar's record in Africa, it's not good, but it doesn't diminish his reputation as an all-time great.

Posted by m_kamb on (January 4, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

well played RICKY.go go go ricky

Posted by big_al_81 on (January 4, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

I'm pleased for Ponting, despite being an England fan. I really hope this will demolish some of the sily nonsense about him being dropped - the bowling is looking a little more promising for Australia but there's no-one to replace him in the middle order so they should stick with him and he's shown why. It's great to hear (and see pictures) of a real smile of pleasure at a terrific sporting moment for one of the all-time greats.

Posted by Happy_AusBang on (January 4, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

Thanks to the Indian bowlers for feeding Ponting and Clarke plenty on their pads and taking all pressure off them. Did the bowlers see where the Australian bowlers got most of their wickets - fullish on the off.

Posted by Aspraso on (January 4, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

Nothing beats playing against India to run into form !!

Posted by Nischal82 on (January 4, 2012, 8:11 GMT)

Excellent hundred from Ponting. I wish from here on you keep scoring tons every match or two! High expectations but yeah I would love to see it. The last test showed how useful of a batsman he is for Cricket Australia. It is not always scoring hundreds but how well you take the pressure in critical situation. Had he not scored fifties in the last test, Australia would have lost the test & it would have been a huge negetive impact on their morale going into the second test. Ponting is good to stay in the playing eleven for at least 2-3 years. Go - Ponting - Go!!!

Posted by AidanFX on (January 4, 2012, 8:11 GMT)

Man I am glad he finally got the monkey off his back. Great innings by he and Clarke. Although this pitch offered a bit for bowlers, I never felt the 199 and the early 3 wickets did justice to how good this Sydney pitch is for batting. Many comments floating around here have made out this is some king of bowlers paradise/ batsmen's worse nightmares - totally not this case and my feelimg has proved correct. All the hype of Tendulka's milestone - nice Ponting got there first to overcome his own struggle. Channel 9 messed up with Ponting's single which brought up the century - the camera missed the view of the stumps; but im y end I concede this added to the drama and the suspense of the occasion. The scenes afterward were perfect for the occasion - perfectly summed up by the author.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 8:10 GMT)

what a fighting inning from the greatest batsman of our era..i salute punter.YOU ARE TRUE GOD..sachin should learn from ponting that to make score for the cause of team is much much more important than for individual records....Whitewash awaits for india as they will not win at PERTH too when harris will join the party too...

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

No wonder Dhoni places deep point and deep square leg to early. He has been reduced to a One day captain.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (January 4, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

It may be Clarke's day, but I will always remember this match for Ponting's century. Madly takes a single when there was no run and would have been cleanly out, and takes a dive, hitting his head hard on the ground. There was so much noise and excitement, he didn't know if he was out or not out and looks to his right. When he hears the cheers, he gets up, his front muddy from the pitch, and raises his bat. Clarke comes out, laughing with happiness that Ponting was not run out. It was a horrible decision to go for the single and had Zaheer's throw been direct, Clarke would have had a complete different expression on his face

Posted by cricnitz on (January 4, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

Well done Ricky...Its soo good to see a legend score such a fluent hundred. Australia are invincible , if Ponting scores.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (January 4, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

Thank you, Dhoni! Thank you, India: Australia's rehabilitation after the Ashes' trauma last year and some very brittle and fragile performances v SA and, heavens above, even v NZ, is complete! The patient has left intensive care and has returned to work with a vengeance! Now, as an Englishman, I have a love-hate relationship with Oz and Ozzies - and watching India go through their feeble motions as Michael Clarke, Punter and Hussey tore their attack apart without a semblance of fight from the vaunted Indians made me realise that despite all the lame excuses that were trotted out by the Indians last summer, there will have to be a few more found in the Indian lexicon if the cricket world isn't to be subjected to an overwhelming sense of deja vu. How about the boundaries were too short? The ball wasn't round enough? Our best players were suffering from an Australian diet? Go to it, India - your excuses are nothing if not entertaining!

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

The extended careers of Indian senior players have lot to with the policy of Indian Media on Cricket. I am sure if Tendulkar gets a century in second inning all the sins of past two days will be forgot. Same happened at Super Sports Park about a year ago, when Tendulkar got his 50th century. Indian board and Media have created a chain of vested interest. Thus enabling Indian people to hail Cricketers as god and in between carry out a bias view on technology especially DRS. The big names like Mr. Shastri and Gavaskar are helping the cause. Toady all the Cricket boards are somewhat anti to Indian Cricket and it's board. In such a blind frenzy every thing seems good proposed by board and media. That's why Indian media called English tour an aberration., Now after the second we know that it was not an aberration. The truth is Indian board is more keen on creating money that's why they make their players play too much of One day and twenty cricket.

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (January 4, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

Ponting is a true champion, and one of the greatest the world has seen. It was very very depressing to see India getting pounded today,and they are probably gonna be beat 4-0. BUt lot of us Indians were actually pleased for Ponting who was under fire from all and sundry. @ Aussie fans: Please dont even bother about the few Indians who troll these forums trying to start meaningless fights by disparaging the opposition. The fact is that the Aussie brand of cricket has thousands of admirers here, and people like the waugh twins, mcgrath,ponting etc have more fans here than anywhere else in the world bar Australia.

Posted by RoJayao on (January 4, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

Congrats to Ponting and Clarke today, brilliant knocks and about time they showed the young punks how to actually bat in test matches! Is anyone else reminded by Ponting of Allan Border at the end of his career? In the early 90's Border contributed fairly well, making fifties, and every now and then had a day out with a ton but just wasn't the player he once was. He did that for about the last four years of his career until nearly forty years old. Definite parallels there. The end is not far for Ponting, but he's not done yet.

Posted by Kunal_David on (January 4, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

Sambit, what a brilliant write this is... It seems only fitting that the Editor of this wonderful portal, pays homage to one of cricket's finest on his comeback century! Really well written, you've recreated the entire moment so beautifully!

I woke up early this morning (in India) to catch the game & cheered every minute on, and was thrilled to bits when that throw from Zaheer didn't hit the stumps!

Now, I will eagerly await the next few series of Australia... N what a wonderful end to a career it will be, if Punter becomes the top scorer of 2012 & wins the ICC Award for the Player of the Year! Fingers crossed...

Posted by Fourworldcups on (January 4, 2012, 8:00 GMT)

Legend. The greatest modern batsman.

Posted by jplterrors on (January 4, 2012, 7:54 GMT)

Sooo Punter finally got a ton eh, will it be his last? Depends if the selectors keep him round for another couple of years, lol.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

I had lost interest watching Indian Team playing. At least this Team. Its not AGneepath series guy Itz Cookery Series. Shame on Indian cricket Team. Want them to lost very Badly.

Posted by Captain_Oblivious on (January 4, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

Well done Punter, although nearly being run out and covered in dirt wasn't quite a fitting testament to his innings! Also, nice sportsmanship from Dravid.... I've always had the utmost respect for him, a man of real class... unlike most of his team mates...

Posted by harikeshan on (January 4, 2012, 7:50 GMT)

Form is temporary class is permanent. Great comeback, and that too quietly, reminds one of two other greats Brian Lara's Epic 400 and Steve Waugh's 100 when the perennial AXE was waiting to fall.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2012, 7:50 GMT)

Well done Ponting!!

This very same article poses a question to those who call for the head of the Indian oldies. Ponting is being praised now for scoring a hundred, AFTER TWO YEARS of wait. Australia was patient with him, even when he was one of their WORST performers in the last two years. It makes me wonder why the same people who shower accolades on Ponting ask Dravid, Laxman and Sachin to retire when they are the better performers in their team. Surely, Sehwag, Gambhir and Kohli/Raina/Yuvi are worse performers than these three. Still people want the head of the oldies, while they are ready to praise another oldy who just got a century. A classic case of hypocrisy!!!

Posted by SRT_GENIUS on (January 4, 2012, 7:45 GMT)

These flat pitches are inflating batting averages. ;-)

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Sambit Bal Editor-in-chief Sambit Bal took to journalism at the age of 19 after realising that he wasn't fit for anything else, and to cricket journalism 14 years later when it dawned on him that it provided the perfect excuse to watch cricket in the office. Among other things he has bowled legspin, occasionally landing the ball in front of the batsman; laid out the comics page of a newspaper; covered crime, urban development and politics; and edited Gentleman, a monthly features magazine. He joined Wisden in 2001 and edited Wisden Asia Cricket and Cricinfo Magazine. He still spends his spare time watching cricket.
Tour Results
India v Sri Lanka at Hobart - Feb 28, 2012
India won by 7 wickets (with 80 balls remaining)
Australia v India at Sydney - Feb 26, 2012
Australia won by 87 runs
India v Sri Lanka at Brisbane - Feb 21, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 51 runs
Australia v India at Brisbane - Feb 19, 2012
Australia won by 110 runs
India v Sri Lanka at Adelaide - Feb 14, 2012
Match tied
More results »
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