Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 3rd day November 24, 2012

Ponting, Quiney wobble as Watson improves

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Ricky Ponting may have only one more Test to prove his worth to Australia's 2013 Ashes campaign and Rob Quiney's brief moment in the sun appears to be over, after both were nipped out at the batting crease late on day three of the second Test in Adelaide.

Shane Watson's recovery from a calf problem has continued in Adelaide, where he has batted in the nets each day and shown increasing levels of flexibility while running drills under the eye of the team physio Alex Kountouris and the strength and conditioning coach David Bailey. Watson is slated to travel with the team directly to Perth on Tuesday morning, and looks increasingly likely to return to the team for the third Test.

Having acknowledged the need to make runs in this Test or risk slipping ever closer to the end of his storied international career, Ponting followed up his ignominious dismissal to Jacques Kallis on day one by playing crookedly at a delivery from Dale Steyn to drag onto his stumps for 16.

This means Ponting has cobbled just 20 runs in three innings this series, leaving his Indian summer of 2011-12 to recede ever further into the distance. Ponting's time in the national team is reliant on runs, and they are in short supply right now.

"I haven't spoken to the selectors anything about my immediate future," Ponting told Channel Nine on the fourth morning. "I'm sure that conversation is going to come in the near future but nothing has happened just yet. The disappointing thing for me about the start of this Test series is I have felt in really good touch, my Shield stuff early season has been really good and I actually felt I was batting better than I had in a few years...

"I said going into the summer that it really is a game by game thing for me. I can't afford to look any further forward, I've got to keep my head down and score runs. If I score runs then I will get myself selected. If I don't I will leave the door open for someone else to come in my spot. That's where it sits at the moment and we'll wait and see what happens at the end of the game."

Following the end of the South Africa series, Australia's selectors may be inclined to look towards more youthful options for the three Tests scheduled against Sri Lanka in Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney over the holiday period, ahead of tougher assignments in India and the back-to-back Ashes series in 2013. Ponting admitted the precarious nature of his place in the side.

"I'm a realist. I live in the real world and I know if I'm not getting runs I might not make the summer out and I definitely won't be in England," Ponting said. "But we will wait and see what happens at the end of this game. I'm looking forward to the boys playing well this morning and hopefully getting a good win here and we'll see how we go for Perth.

"That is really all it is. I've got no illusions or disillusions about where my cricket's at. It's just a matter of working hard and hopefully when I get a chance to bat in the middle I'm a bit more assertive than I have been in the last couple of games.

"Yesterday's was probably a ball I shouldn't get bowled on. It was back of a length and short and ended up getting chopped onto the stumps, but the first innings I got a pretty good ball. How did I feel form wise? Probably if anything I have been a bit tentative, certainly in the first innings in Brisbane was a tentative shot and yesterday afternoon was a tentative shot. It's not the normal way I play.

"It was a tough situation yesterday as well when the ball was starting to reverse swing and there were six overs to go in the day. I probably needed to be a bit more positive."

Among younger batsmen around the country, Usman Khawaja has proven his batting ability with an outstanding century for Queensland on a treacherous Bellerive Oval surface earlier this month, while Phillip Hughes chose Saturday to make his first Sheffield Shield century for South Australia, an unbeaten innings at the MCG against Victoria. Alex Doolan, meanwhile, struck a compelling century for Australia A against the South Africans at the SCG before the Tests, and as a career No. 3 for Tasmania has useful experience in the top order.

Quiney's dalliance with Test cricket will most likely be a brief one so long as Watson is passed fit to play at the WACA ground, and he will ruminate unhappily on making a pair at Adelaide Oval. Much as he did in the first innings, Quiney edged a well-pitched delivery angled into him from around the wicket, the chance claimed by AB de Villiers.

After he was widely praised for looking forceful though making only nine runs in his first Test innings in Brisbane, Quiney is now nursing an average of 3.00, and his chances of improving on it have been reduced greatly by Watson's improving fitness.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • on November 26, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    @big4gcricket shield form is a bit diffrent to test form alright hes got his runs on the board in sheild but it hasent transferd to the big stage hes struggling to play they tempo falling over ect time to give some kids a go get ready for the ashes will ponting be a part of the ashes team if hes just filling a spot hes wasting time for some one else to come in and get used to test cricket

  • on November 26, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    Two cricketing giants Ricky Ponting & Sachin Tendulkar are struggling to find their form and score runs against quality bowling of South Africa and England respectively. True that they have done wonders to the Game of Cricket. Time ripe to say good buy. Selectors of respective countries should take a serious decision to include young blood to their respective teams.

  • Johnny_129 on November 26, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    It is sad seeing two aging tigers, Ponting & Tendulkar, struggling like this. Sometimes great men have so much confidence and self-belief that they just do not know when to quit - Muhammad Ali being prime example. I hope both Ponting & Tendulkar can get decent scores or at least end up on the winning side before bowing out of the sport with their heads held high - with such long and distinguished careers, they deserve it.

  • TassieBoy on November 26, 2012, 1:02 GMT

    Interesting all the cries for Khawaja when 2012 1st Class Results to date show Ponting 1191 runs (incl 5 centruiries) at average of 62.68, Phil Hughes 1299 runs at average of 38.20 and Khawaja 1102 runs at everage of 40.81 - unlike emotions, pure stats aren't biased.

  • landl47 on November 25, 2012, 22:02 GMT

    The fact is Ponting, though he has had a great career, has really hit a wall. Going back to the 2010/11 Ashes, he has only had one good series out of seven and that was in Australia against the substandard Indian attack. The other series have been against England, 113 runs in 7 completed innings average 16, Sri Lanka, 124/4/31, South Africa,70/4/17, New Zealand, 99/3/33, West Indies, 146/6/24 and now SA, 20/3/6. He's kept his place because of that Indian series and the lack of young batsmen coming through. However, it's really time Aus bit the bullet and gave some younger players a chance. Clarke needs players who will get better, not veterans going downhill, with back-to-back Ashes series coming up.

  • BG4cricket on November 25, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    I think on the basis of his Shield form this season (which was infinitely better than Hughes and Khawaja) and his record Punter deserves to see out the summer and see what transpires after that. If he does nothing then bring Hughes or Khawaja in for India and the Ashes but I have a feeling he will get some scores and it will be a moot point. Hughes and Khawaja need to make more hundreds I think to force him out yet

  • whoster on November 25, 2012, 20:16 GMT

    Great batsman though Ponting is, I think it'll be in the interests of the Aussies to look to the future. The obvious decline in Ponting's batting in recent years is how he struggles early in his innings. I still think he's capable of scoring runs once he gets in, but against quality bowlers early on, he does look poor. It wouldn't be an excuse to pick Ponting just because no other batsman is banging on the door for selection, but while Clarke and a few others are carrying him in this series, the Aussies should look to the future. I can't see Ponting retiring from Test cricket on his own terms, but it's time for Australia to get ruthless. Would be sad to see him go though - a truly great player.

  • on November 25, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    Surprising how two great batsmen are experiencing similar problems. Ponting for Australia and Tendulkar for India. Between them they hold awesome records but their moons are waning. There are other players waiting to assume the mantle and perhaps Ponting and Tendulkar should reassess their positions and make the right decisions. But cricket will always be grateful to these two giants that blazed the trail.

  • on November 25, 2012, 16:21 GMT

    These are great players that we are talking about - test cricket is not just about statistics; mere presence of players of Ponting and SRT's calibre in the dressing room is enough to pep a side up; yes, they are not doing well now in terms of scoring runs, but a lean patch can come to anyone - be it 25 or 40 yr old... they bring a lot more to the table... often their wisdom and coaching/mentoring skills are not appreciated by arm chair 'experts'. It is a pity, really...

  • stormy16 on November 25, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    As far as I am concerned the main reason Ponting is in the side is to score runs to win the series and after two tests he has hardly looked like bat to ball let alone making runs. His three dismissals have been shocking - almost like a lower order batter. I think Ponting needs to consider what he is trying to achieve here - I dont see how the Ashes can be a reasonable prospect when his only runs have been against India last summer - that's not really saying much when your upagainst quality pace of Anderson and Steyn and co. I am afraid the writing is begining to appear on the wall for Ponting.

  • on November 26, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    @big4gcricket shield form is a bit diffrent to test form alright hes got his runs on the board in sheild but it hasent transferd to the big stage hes struggling to play they tempo falling over ect time to give some kids a go get ready for the ashes will ponting be a part of the ashes team if hes just filling a spot hes wasting time for some one else to come in and get used to test cricket

  • on November 26, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    Two cricketing giants Ricky Ponting & Sachin Tendulkar are struggling to find their form and score runs against quality bowling of South Africa and England respectively. True that they have done wonders to the Game of Cricket. Time ripe to say good buy. Selectors of respective countries should take a serious decision to include young blood to their respective teams.

  • Johnny_129 on November 26, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    It is sad seeing two aging tigers, Ponting & Tendulkar, struggling like this. Sometimes great men have so much confidence and self-belief that they just do not know when to quit - Muhammad Ali being prime example. I hope both Ponting & Tendulkar can get decent scores or at least end up on the winning side before bowing out of the sport with their heads held high - with such long and distinguished careers, they deserve it.

  • TassieBoy on November 26, 2012, 1:02 GMT

    Interesting all the cries for Khawaja when 2012 1st Class Results to date show Ponting 1191 runs (incl 5 centruiries) at average of 62.68, Phil Hughes 1299 runs at average of 38.20 and Khawaja 1102 runs at everage of 40.81 - unlike emotions, pure stats aren't biased.

  • landl47 on November 25, 2012, 22:02 GMT

    The fact is Ponting, though he has had a great career, has really hit a wall. Going back to the 2010/11 Ashes, he has only had one good series out of seven and that was in Australia against the substandard Indian attack. The other series have been against England, 113 runs in 7 completed innings average 16, Sri Lanka, 124/4/31, South Africa,70/4/17, New Zealand, 99/3/33, West Indies, 146/6/24 and now SA, 20/3/6. He's kept his place because of that Indian series and the lack of young batsmen coming through. However, it's really time Aus bit the bullet and gave some younger players a chance. Clarke needs players who will get better, not veterans going downhill, with back-to-back Ashes series coming up.

  • BG4cricket on November 25, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    I think on the basis of his Shield form this season (which was infinitely better than Hughes and Khawaja) and his record Punter deserves to see out the summer and see what transpires after that. If he does nothing then bring Hughes or Khawaja in for India and the Ashes but I have a feeling he will get some scores and it will be a moot point. Hughes and Khawaja need to make more hundreds I think to force him out yet

  • whoster on November 25, 2012, 20:16 GMT

    Great batsman though Ponting is, I think it'll be in the interests of the Aussies to look to the future. The obvious decline in Ponting's batting in recent years is how he struggles early in his innings. I still think he's capable of scoring runs once he gets in, but against quality bowlers early on, he does look poor. It wouldn't be an excuse to pick Ponting just because no other batsman is banging on the door for selection, but while Clarke and a few others are carrying him in this series, the Aussies should look to the future. I can't see Ponting retiring from Test cricket on his own terms, but it's time for Australia to get ruthless. Would be sad to see him go though - a truly great player.

  • on November 25, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    Surprising how two great batsmen are experiencing similar problems. Ponting for Australia and Tendulkar for India. Between them they hold awesome records but their moons are waning. There are other players waiting to assume the mantle and perhaps Ponting and Tendulkar should reassess their positions and make the right decisions. But cricket will always be grateful to these two giants that blazed the trail.

  • on November 25, 2012, 16:21 GMT

    These are great players that we are talking about - test cricket is not just about statistics; mere presence of players of Ponting and SRT's calibre in the dressing room is enough to pep a side up; yes, they are not doing well now in terms of scoring runs, but a lean patch can come to anyone - be it 25 or 40 yr old... they bring a lot more to the table... often their wisdom and coaching/mentoring skills are not appreciated by arm chair 'experts'. It is a pity, really...

  • stormy16 on November 25, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    As far as I am concerned the main reason Ponting is in the side is to score runs to win the series and after two tests he has hardly looked like bat to ball let alone making runs. His three dismissals have been shocking - almost like a lower order batter. I think Ponting needs to consider what he is trying to achieve here - I dont see how the Ashes can be a reasonable prospect when his only runs have been against India last summer - that's not really saying much when your upagainst quality pace of Anderson and Steyn and co. I am afraid the writing is begining to appear on the wall for Ponting.

  • on November 25, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    @dmqi..lol..tat was funny..but i guess punter would strike back in the 3rd test with a 50 and so do tendulkar

  • on November 25, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    Ricky is being selfish. Sure he is a champion batsman, and he has done a lot of things in the past, but the present is what matters. Speaking of the present, time SRT goes as well. Regardless of what happens, Pontings last test should be perth, regardless if he makes centuries in both innings. He got out in this test match both times playing extremely poor shots, the first innings dismissal especially made punter look less then ordinary.

    The selectors need to stamp their authority. Trevor Hohns copped a lot of flak for years on giving the tap on the shoulder to guys like Ian Healy (ODI, test) M Taylor (ODI) M Waugh (Odi and test) S Waugh (ODI) but it was always for the benefit of the team. Give the tap to punter, and get Kwawaja in, give him a few tests to prepare for the indian tour where his wrists can be potentially destructive, punters past in the sub continent has been shoddy, theres no point keeping him there anymore. Thanks for the memories but its time to go.

  • on November 25, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    wow what a hot topic i think Ponting on current form has shown he has lost alot of skills required for test cricket pitty yes but there comes a time in your career where you have to step down before you get the boot My team:1. Warner ( holds place for now)2. Cowan,3. Watson,4. Khawaja,5. Clarke, 6. Hussey, 7. M Wade ( Current batting form not real good suprised hes still got his spot) 8. Siddle 9. Starc 10 Hillfenhaus 11 Lyon ( P Hughes back up opener) Spare Bowlers seem to be a problem no young fit players think youth is the key here need to develop a few more young guns as well as old heads

  • Mary_786 on November 25, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    @Meety agree with you mate, Khawaja is the long term number 3 for Australia and Hughes would open. @Rahul_Ashok well said mate, hopefully Watto is back next test, he should never have been left out for this match and i don't think Khawaja and Hughes are too far from call ups after impressive shield runs this year.

  • Ragav999 on November 25, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    On one hand, there are fans who are asking him to retire considering his performance and form in the last few years and on the other, there are haters filled with jealousy and bitterness of his stupendous success and extraordinary career waiting for the axe to fall on one of the all time legends.

    Those who are recommending Watson as a specialist batsman, should keep in mind that Watson's purple patch as a batsman is over. He was never a great batsman in Sheffield shield either. He is a powerful hitter and a match winner in T20 but not in tests.

  • on November 25, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    Poor shot choice by Punter in the 2nd,remember when his forward defence was a long stride forward and his head was over the ball?It's not there any more and probably the reason why he's being bowled or lbw so much in recent times.Any cricketer at any level should look at Huss,the way he drives is copybook,foot to the ball and head over it and the ball runs along the ground.He plays very similarly in defence,he & Punter are the same age so Punter can do it.I hate to watch great players go like this when it's not really a big problem in his technique,Stuart Law now's the time to prove your position as batting coach

  • Antir on November 25, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    Oh well the Quiney experiment did not work out but he should not have been put in at number 3. So Watson comes back into the side.

    Unfortunately, there is no one to replace Ricky. Until the younger batsman are more seasoned nothing should change.

    My pick would be Hastings or Butterworth at 6 of course that means moving Clarke and Hussy to 4 and 5 which is what has been happening anyway.

  • Meety on November 25, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    @hris on (November 24 2012, 14:02 PM GMT- don't like the idea of Khawaja opening in Tests anywhere except maybe India or SL. I think he is a 3rd drop, so I'd swap Hughes & Ussie in your "into the future" team. I'd also look at Maxwell instead of Watto. I am starting to form the opinion that Watto is not a viable short, mid or long term Test option for Oz. @Chris_P on (November 24 2012, 21:40 PM GMT) - great that our shabby below par bunch of hacks are just a couple of sessions away (weather permitting), a hold of the #1 position (at least until the 3rd Test). What will do when we have some decent players???? Answer - be #1 for 10 years - again! == == == I WANT Punter to pull off a ton at the WACA. I think that he was unlucky in the first 2 innings, was dissappointed he got a start of sorts at AO. His pre-test form was top shelf, & I think the conditions at the very least made it as tough to survive as in the tests & he kicked butt. IMO - he still has it. Good luck champ!

  • realist1 on November 25, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    C'mon Punter, just Go. You have entertained us more than a decade now you should make way for the younger generation. Give them the chance that was given to you when you were young so that you can become one of the greatest. Now lets see what the young generation could do. Pup and Huss are doing great and can be the mentor, Sadly, Oz cricket need new and fresh blood and unfortunately approaching 40 years old you can't provide that.

  • SpadeaSpade on November 25, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    Punter is a champion of Australian cricket and has made his mark if the games history books.

    But this is the Australian cricket side , I have no time for sentimental thinking when it comes to picking the team. Its simple the Australian 11 should consist of the best 11 players for the conditions on hand. No Player is greater than the game or the team. I for one will stand and applaud the champ as he takes his final bow, But i would stand up for selectors right to force him out if he is no longer in the best 11. That Simple

    If you want sympathy go an play an amatuer sport , but at professional level its simple, Perfromance is the primary factor. Punter is on notice i feel but I will be right behind him to get amongst the runs in Perth .

    Go Aussie

  • rustyryan on November 25, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    Punter-probably the last of Australian giant. Though Hussey is still there and Clarke is becoming one. Good luck Ponting.

  • dmqi on November 25, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    As long as Tendulkar plays, Ponting should be playing to see who makes more under 10 scores.

  • Sunil_Batra on November 25, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    @TheLoneStranger is correct, Khawaja is the man to bring in but only if Watto is not fit. I feel sorry for Quiney, he got 2 very good deliveries but he is a good batsman from what i have seen of him in shield cricket. As for Punter he deserves the Perth test to prove himself and if he fails then he will probably make the tough decision himself, but the legendary batsman deserves to make a call on his own career, he has earned that.

  • on November 25, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    Play Ricky directly in the series vs India...many a career have been resurrected against the Indian bowling attack.....

  • TheLoneStranger on November 25, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    Quiney should never have been picked ahead of Khawaja in the first place, but selectors are renowned for making stupid selections rather than sensible ones. Watson and Khawaja in; Ponting and Quiney OUT. I've said it many times before, but Watson is FAR greater value to Australia as a specialist batsman than as an all-rounder but, year in and year out, the selectors defy logic (as usual) and Watto continues to sustain injuries, almost all of which are from......you guessed it, BOWLING!!! Wake up, selectors! You've already cost Watson and Australia his services in numerous tests by continuing to play him as an all-rounder. For his sake and for Australia's, allow him to finish his career as a specialist batsman!

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 25, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    If Ponting thinks he is out of form, he just needs to come to India to get back his form. We Indians are notoriously famous to bring form back into struggling batsmen. Good luck Ponting. The whole world is going to miss you when you walk into the sunset or your selectors drop you.

  • on November 25, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    Another young option to look at is callum ferguson

  • Paul_Rampley on November 25, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    Punter is an Australian legend but i feel even he thinks its getting close to make a call on his retirement now. If he does retire then selectors need to look at either Khawaja or Doolan who have looked solid at 3 this year. Would like to see a Tasmanian replace Punter but I watched Khawaja's century against our attack on a green track and he looked a class above.His fielding and runnings looks sharp as well

  • sahbas_s on November 25, 2012, 4:30 GMT

    don't worry Ponting fans. Aussies next trip is going to be India and we Indians have always got this habbit of bailing out the out of form opposition batsmen. they've done it in the past with Ricky also. So, take flight to India and come back with loads of runs Ricky..All the best

  • Mary_786 on November 25, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    Agree with CricHorizon however saying that I think Punter should stay for the Perth test and should he retire on his own terms that I think Khawaja is the best player for the team. He has 2 man of the match awards against NSW and Tasmania on tough pitches from the last 2 games, the last of which included 138 while Tasmania got 95 as a team. The bulls are top of the table in Shield and defending champions, yet we don't have a single player in the Aussie team. Get Khawaja in and also have a good look at Burns who is a future batsman.

  • on November 25, 2012, 4:05 GMT

    Ponting is a too good batsman to fail. As age catches up, some adjustments need to be made. He is no longer the best #3/#4 batsman he was before, but his worth to his team remains. Clarke should push Ponting to batting at #6 after Hussey. I would like to see Dhoni do the same with Sachin Tendulkar in the Mumbai Test. Tendulkar and Yuvi need to swap places for this Test.

  • on November 25, 2012, 3:47 GMT

    two great players, Sachin and Ponting.. both short of runs, confidence and getting bowled. Wonder how much time will they take to understand its time to go!!!!!

  • krik8crazy on November 25, 2012, 2:43 GMT

    Aussie selectors need to wake up and smell the coffee. Ponting is not going to break Tendulkar's records anytime soon. Not too long ago he was in Bradman like form and looked all set to overtake him but that time has passed. Ponting's powers have declined and since he won't go out on his own, he needs to be shown the door. And, he should take fellow pensioner Tendulkar with him into retirement too.

  • on November 25, 2012, 1:25 GMT

    Ponting will never retire. He is from a generation of professional cricketers that have had it too good. Its for this reason we have selectors.

  • thectexperience on November 25, 2012, 1:19 GMT

    For mine, Khawaja is the next one in. He has the class and so deserves some time to warm to the task and reach the status of the current middle-order of Clarke and Hussey. Even with the ability he has, Clarke was no overnight success. In the same vein, Khawaja deserves his chance. In contrast, at best Ricky will last it out through the Ashes series. If you look at the probabilities, he could end up being a massive liability by that time. Definitely agree with Ezuth that Clarke has to move to 4 and Hussey to 5

  • on November 25, 2012, 0:51 GMT

    Ponting back to no.3 or Clarke moving up to no.3 or Watson back to no.3? Whatever the case, no.3 is no problem when you have Hussey and Clarke batting so well at no.5 and 6. So no need to worry. After all India were whitewashed with Shaun Marsh scoring 3 ducks at no.3.

  • Moppa on November 24, 2012, 23:06 GMT

    PS: Any reports of Mickey Arthur indicating it was the best pair he has ever seen? PPS: A hypothetical - if Ponting is retained and smashes the Sri Lankans all around Bellerive, would it prove anything relevant to our trip to India or the Ashes? I think not. So why wait to find out?

  • Moppa on November 24, 2012, 23:03 GMT

    It's always hard to right off a champion, but @CricHorizon is right. Time's up for Ponting. He was never convincing in England, even in his pomp. Whilst he can be devastating when he gets in, those days are too few and far between and seem less and less likely to be on difficult tracks or good opposition - exactly what you don't want in a Test batsman. Our lunging friend is way off the mark as usual - I doubt any serious cricket observer touted Quiney as Ponting's successor, just as an injury stop-gap. The damning mark on Quiney in this test is his Shaun Marsh-esque footwork - back foot off the ground and moving at the point of contact. He was in great position to play both balls... about the time he was caught! (as Marsh was in Perth in January). Also reminiscent of Phil Hughes in his last Test stint. While I have medium-term hope for Hughes (pending a view of his 'new' technique), Khawaja is the man now, with Doolan a smokey (based on reports of a good technique, not his numbers yet)

  • paddy-k on November 24, 2012, 22:56 GMT

    hard to imagine this but one of the headlines might soon scream 'Ponting dropped'..... reviewing his recent performances against quality bowlers one would understand that the new generation might just have an edge over punter

  • on November 24, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    Ponting should be gived space to decide his own fate. Drop him down to No: 6 and move Clarke and Hussey to 4 and 5. I am sure he will be an asset for the Ashes.

  • Chris_P on November 24, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge, Over here now, are you? With your team having lost 7 out of 12 tests this year, have you given up hope ,sport? Read this & be ill, we win this test, we will be the new #1, You team loses, another spot will be dropped.

  • VivGilchrist on November 24, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    If this actually gets posted I'd just like to say I'd take Watson on one leg of Quinet any day. Trying to justify his spot with the ball makes it look even more desperate that they are trying to keep Watto out of this team. If Aus lose this Test, the non-contributions of Ponting and Quiney will be pivotal.

  • Buggsy on November 24, 2012, 21:16 GMT

    SurlyCynic, at least Ponting and Tendlkar don't break down every series, though I wish they would just to push them on their way... Kallis' time is nigh as well, but for different reasons.

  • wellrounded87 on November 24, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    I think either Hughes should come in replacing Ponting and open with Cowan. Move Warner back into number 6/7 so he can play a role similar to what Gilchrist used to do. Come in and smash the tired bowlers on an old ball.

  • xylo on November 24, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    Shouldn't Aussie fans be happier with Khwaja failing and learning what went wrong rather than Ponting failing and trying to do the same?

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on November 24, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    Yet again Ponting fails and the guy touted as his replacement looks an equal joke. Australia, long without depth in their bowling, have been made to look empty of any talent in their batting. The cupboard is long bare.

  • morriarty on November 24, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    Ponting like steve waugh before him is a professional and is paid well so wont be going anywhere without chucking a tanty or two along the way.

    He has at least a couple of million reasons not to retire so he wont unless pushed by someone shining to take his place after Quineys 9 with a rocket but alas two googy eggs ponting will survive >If quiney had hit 200 and ponting 2 low scores Ponting would be toast.

    Unfortuantely Khawaja needs a bit more maturing Hughes needs some more proof of his technique against swing and doooley is largely untried The latter will be tried soon enough.

    Someone needs to stand up and push Ponting out ...it hasnt happened so he will stay until the ashes is my guess..

    Thasnks all its a fun game

  • on November 24, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    Honestly, the unfortunate thing for Ponting is that he tends to attract the best from the opposition, which also speaks for his class. This probably pumped him up during most of his career and he made it work for him. At this stage, he still attracts the very best and that is why he is getting dismissed. His dismissals have not been to bad balls but very, very good deliveries. The problem is, he still attracts that sort of attention from the opposition but is not able to work it to his advantage anymore. I don't see the Ponting of old when he walks out to bad anymore, exuding confidence and attitude. Instead, he looks like he is hoping that he is not on the end of that once-in-the-innings fiery spell from a bowler that he keeps getting out to. The thing is, Ponting at the crease spurs the opposition to be at their best, making life easier for those around him, to some extent. Today, nobody found it easy, but the emphasis is again on Ponting getting out.

  • ozwriter on November 24, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    watson in for quiney. khwaja in for ponting. simple.

  • SurlyCynic on November 24, 2012, 14:10 GMT

    Both Tendulkar and Ponting are struggling, age has clearly caught up with them. Which makes the form Kallis is in all the more remarkable, as he is nearly their age and bowls too. He is still improving his average with they are both in freefall.

  • hris on November 24, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    maybe in a years time - i would like to see a team with 1. Warner, 2. Khawaja, 3. Hughes, 4. Burns, 5. Clarke, 6. Watson, 7. Wade, 8, Cummins, 9. Pattinson, 10, Starc, 11, Lyon.

    But seems unlikely. Especially the fast bowlers - they seem very fragile. It will probably take them a few years to get their fitness where it need to be for long spells as Siddle and Hilf are doing. Though i must say there's a lot to like about Siddle. And im still not conviced about Cowan. Warner will always be a hit and miss, we just need to look through those times, like India do with Sehwag. And hopefully Maxwell or young Marsh can be there to fill in when Watson is injured. Also Paine need to put some pressure on Wade i feel.

  • tommyhawk on November 24, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    Both Ponting and Tendulkar have had legendary careers. It is sad to see them struggling so pitifully at this time in their careers. When your time is up, its up.

  • Sunil_Batra on November 24, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    Brettig is correct, our top order woes can't continue. The pitches at the moment in shield cricket favour the bowlers hands down but Khawaja is showing the other batsman how to play on these pitches. With Watson now most likely to be moved lower in the order to allow him to bowl Khawaja is the obvious candidate to come in at 3 as the second leading shield scoerer. Cummon selectors reward performance as per the Argus review

  • KhanMitch on November 24, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    Good article by Brettig, he has listed the options for our top order well and I agree that Khawaja and Hughes need to be bought in. Khawaja top scored against a start NSW attack when all other Aussie batsman(Warner, Watson and Clarke) failed and also outscored Tasmania on his own. Surely its time to reward performance. Hughes is also going about his way in scoring heavily this season.

  • on November 24, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    Ponting MIGHT just have one more big innings in him. Would be fitting if he could walk away on a high ...

  • Mary_786 on November 24, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    @hris i agree with you bud, I think our top order woes are showing that Khawaja and Hughes are the future and they are both the top run scorers in shield this year. Surely its time now to bring in these guys so we can get them ready before the ashes. Khawaja in particular looks alot sharper between wickets and his catching has been fantastic this season.

  • Sinhaya on November 24, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    I wont be surprised if Ponting gets a chance to regain form when Sri Lanka comes down.

  • AhmedEsat on November 24, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Khawala has had a raw deal!

  • hycIass on November 24, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Agree with SK5983 and hris, get in Watson and Khawaja should be bought into the squad as he is been getting serious runs in shield. Khawaja has showed the technique this year and his 138 was listed by Lehman as the best shield innings he has seen. Khawaja and Hughes are the future of Aus batting.

  • mikey76 on November 24, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    So the merry go round continues for the Aussie top order. Ten or fifteen years ago they had an embarrassment of riches to choose from. The players touted now wouldn't get near the sides of pre 2007. Ponting is done, easy runs against a poor Indian attack just papered over the cracks of a shot technique and reflexes.

  • on November 24, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    i think punter deservs to play more..It could be happend for any batsman..He was unlucky though today.. I think he will serve aussie much better during the next test

  • Marcio on November 24, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    I doubt Ponting will be dropped. He looked good, till he got that inside edge onto the stumps - pretty unlucky. Clarke managed quite a few of those - only they went for 4 each time. Undoubtedly the 3rd test will be his last if he fails.

  • Sanj747 on November 24, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    Ponting and Quiney should be dropped for Perth. Ponting is pretty much done and over the hill. Khawaja and Watson are the right incumbents.

  • QingdaoXI on November 24, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    Bring in Watson and Khawaja in next match at perth in place of Quiney and Ponting. Sorry but i think Quiney has already played his last innings in Test match carrier and same me be go Ponting, But he should go on his own rather than drop.

  • hris on November 24, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    Its back to the two former NSW boys- Hughes and Khawaja it seems, and rightly so. They are the future of the oz batting lineup.

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  • hris on November 24, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    Its back to the two former NSW boys- Hughes and Khawaja it seems, and rightly so. They are the future of the oz batting lineup.

  • QingdaoXI on November 24, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    Bring in Watson and Khawaja in next match at perth in place of Quiney and Ponting. Sorry but i think Quiney has already played his last innings in Test match carrier and same me be go Ponting, But he should go on his own rather than drop.

  • Sanj747 on November 24, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    Ponting and Quiney should be dropped for Perth. Ponting is pretty much done and over the hill. Khawaja and Watson are the right incumbents.

  • Marcio on November 24, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    I doubt Ponting will be dropped. He looked good, till he got that inside edge onto the stumps - pretty unlucky. Clarke managed quite a few of those - only they went for 4 each time. Undoubtedly the 3rd test will be his last if he fails.

  • on November 24, 2012, 11:37 GMT

    i think punter deservs to play more..It could be happend for any batsman..He was unlucky though today.. I think he will serve aussie much better during the next test

  • mikey76 on November 24, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    So the merry go round continues for the Aussie top order. Ten or fifteen years ago they had an embarrassment of riches to choose from. The players touted now wouldn't get near the sides of pre 2007. Ponting is done, easy runs against a poor Indian attack just papered over the cracks of a shot technique and reflexes.

  • hycIass on November 24, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Agree with SK5983 and hris, get in Watson and Khawaja should be bought into the squad as he is been getting serious runs in shield. Khawaja has showed the technique this year and his 138 was listed by Lehman as the best shield innings he has seen. Khawaja and Hughes are the future of Aus batting.

  • AhmedEsat on November 24, 2012, 11:47 GMT

    Khawala has had a raw deal!

  • Sinhaya on November 24, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    I wont be surprised if Ponting gets a chance to regain form when Sri Lanka comes down.

  • Mary_786 on November 24, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    @hris i agree with you bud, I think our top order woes are showing that Khawaja and Hughes are the future and they are both the top run scorers in shield this year. Surely its time now to bring in these guys so we can get them ready before the ashes. Khawaja in particular looks alot sharper between wickets and his catching has been fantastic this season.