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Ponting's Ashes avenue kept open

Daniel Brettig

November 27, 2012

Comments: 103 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting is bowled for the second time in the Test, Australia v South Africa, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 3rd day, November 24, 2012
Ricky Ponting has scored only 20 runs in three innings against South Africa © Associated Press
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Selection panel support for Ricky Ponting's place in the Australian Test team remains unanimous, and the coach Mickey Arthur has stated emphatically that the former captain is still a much-needed component in plans for next year's Ashes series.

In a staunch defence of Ponting, Arthur said there had been no discussion about his place in the team in the selection meeting to choose an extended squad for the third Test against South Africa in Perth, and that the panel's eyes were still on Ponting's usefulness over the next six months, leading into the first of two back-to-back bouts with England.

"All I know is inside that dressing room, and privately, we've all backed Ricky Ponting," Arthur said. "If Ricky's scoring runs, we certainly want Ricky Ponting around for the next six months. We want Ricky Ponting to go to the Ashes, there's no doubt about that. Like any batsman, though, you've got to keep scoring runs, and that's by Ricky's own admission. I'm 100% sure and confident Ricky will come through in Perth.

"We're hoping, we back Ricky, we unanimously back Ricky Ponting to get us some runs. By his own admission Perth is a big test for him ... but Ricky's prepared brilliantly, he's really given us everything we can possibly ask for."

Ponting, who has been named captain of the Prime Minister's XI to play West Indies in Canberra on January 29, had said he expected to discuss his future with the selectors ahead of the Perth Test, given a poor run of scores in this series despite entering it as the highest run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield. Ponting seemed bothered by the manner of his dismissals as much as his low scores, possibly intuiting the signs that his famously decisive batting had lost a small but critical measure of sharpness at international level.

Former captain Ian Chappell, still an influential figure in Australian cricket and close to the selector Rod Marsh in particular, believes Perth should be the final stop in Ponting's career, allowing a younger batsman, likely to be Phillip Hughes or Usman Khawaja, to re-establish themselves in the team against Sri Lanka, ahead of assignments in India and England. 

"I think the selectors should say to Ricky Ponting, 'Mate we're happy to give you a fond farewell in Perth, but you've got to announce your retirement before the game', for the obvious reason that the selectors could get badly embarrassed if he goes well," Chappell told ESPNcricinfo. "But if you do it that way it then gives the selectors the opportunity to play a couple of the younger players.

"You've got Hughes making some runs, Khawaja now starting to make some runs. They come in against Sri Lanka, and as a selector what you're trying to do is give young players the best possible chance to succeed, so I think that would be the ideal thing for Australian cricket - to finish it off in Perth."

Rob Quiney's exit from the squad for the third Test may mean a swift end to his fleeting moment on the international circuit. Arthur said Quiney remained a part of the selectors' wider plans, but significantly mentioned Hughes and Khawaja as the next men in line, based on the form they have displayed in domestic matches this season.

"Rob Quiney knocked the door down and got selected on the form he showed throughout our local domestic competition and that's the way we as a panel always want to go," Arthur said. "You've got to reward good domestic cricket form. I had a quick chat to Rob, he's been simply outstanding with everything he's done since he's arrived in our group.

"Obviously he didn't get the runs he wanted but for everything else he's been outstanding. The message to him is keep knocking the door down because you never know what's around the corner and if he keeps his name up in lights he'll certainly get another crack at some stage.

"At this stage Quiney is right up there and I guess you can't look past Phillip Hughes, and Usman Khawaja is making a really good case as well. We've got some young players who have a taste of international cricket and when called up, or when needed, ready to step into the breach."

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 30, 2012, 15:49 GMT)

@Hammond: I wouldn't worry if I were you mate - Randy probably thinks it was actually Australia that kept winning by an Innings in the Ashes. All those innings defeats he's had to banish from memory, too much for one young mind to take :)

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 30, 2012, 15:47 GMT)

Ponting - A genuine scorer of runs in all the orthodox areas of field. A career stained, however, by ill-discipline on the field. He was unquestionably one of the most un-sportsmanlike cricketers that has ever played the game. That aside, he was lucky enough to lead the best team Australia ever had, with Mcgrath/Warne/Hayden, and hence he has many a fine victory to his name. His captaincy skills, however, were infamously bad, and in 2005 the world saw his ineptness in the field as he was out-captained spectacularly by Michael Vaughan, and every Ashes series since then has been marked by the English cricket team captain Out-captaining the Australian one. His hundreds on flat wickets against inept early-2000 English bowling will stay long in memory for Aussie fans, a time so long ago now that they were better than England. How the tables turned for Australia. And how they were turned for Ponting, by an England side that dominate over them every time they meet.

Posted by Hammond on (November 29, 2012, 0:12 GMT)

@RandyOz- yeah, Ponting, Englands destroyer, who holds the record for the most ashes series lost as an Australian captain. More like England's savior..

Posted by IndiaRulesEverybody on (November 28, 2012, 22:36 GMT)

I firmly believe that Pointing still has a lot of cricket left in him at the club level. Well, actually the Aussies are a club level team who failed to shut out a match which was for the taking. So no surprises that a club level player is eligible to play for a club.

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 28, 2012, 16:59 GMT)

Ponting, England's destroyer, will be up and about for the Ashes. Expect another headingly masterpiece from the best since bradman.

Posted by zenboomerang on (November 28, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

Looking at Pontings form from the last 3 years (nov 2009) his overall batting has been @38, yet take out the home & away India Tests it drops down to @28 - I think most would say that India's bowling attack was one of their weakest in many a year as the Eng & Oz results showed... Ponting hasn't done anything much against NZ, WI's, SL, Eng, SA in home or away series during this time, while his only other good score was against Pak (where he was dropped on zero & a sitter at that) on a flat Bellerive pitch... If there was a perfect time to retire it was last summer on a high note & thus giving some of the younger batters a chance to settle into the Test team in the WI's before this SA series, SL, India then back to back Ashes...

Posted by redneck on (November 28, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

pontings still got plenty of runs in him!!! and he is still one of the best fielders both throwing and catching going around. should not even be thinking of retiring before the sydney ashes test!!!

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (November 28, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

The way he got out in the 1st innings at Adelaide Oval was that of a man who is destined for the scrapheap. The aussies might be in denial, but they are always in denial.

Posted by anver777 on (November 28, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

Ponting deserves one final ashes fairwell for his services to Aus.... it will be a great honor if he achieves that before he quits !!!!!

Posted by ScottStevo on (November 28, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

Any Australian supporter asking for Ricky to retire needs to have their head examined, or should stick to watching golf or whatever else it is that they're actually into. He mightn't be turning his starts into tons, but he's made countless scores of around 45-70 in the last few years and hasn't ever looked like anything other than a world class bat, including our last tour of India where his record is poorest, he made 71, 72, 77 and 51* consecutively. Fair enough, it was an odd looking dismissal against Kallis the other day but I understand how it happened. He got beaten by that balls movement in the air (and I would predict a lot of very good batsmen also would by that one) and, as any good batsman would, tried to move his back leg around to get something on it to at least give the umpire a choice to make. Anyway, I'm really sick of these ageist witchhunts. It was both he and Hussey not so long ago - purely based on age. Wish we could be supportive of one of our finest batsmen ever..

Posted by ven9 on (November 28, 2012, 9:19 GMT)

Ricky will do a good job in Perth.Sure he will be in Ashes.A great captain who got a good history in International cricket should be respected.I request all the selectors of Australia to understand his situation and give him confidence and try to motivate him.Please no stress for him to talk about his retirement.This is my first comment . Thanks, venkat.

Posted by Drsajid33 on (November 28, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

You know Ponting should have retired from cricket in 2007 with dignity and name for himself and Australia...But some Players don't leave untill they are humiliated..Comeone give some room to new players..We are quite bored old guy..Sorry but no sorry...

Posted by   on (November 28, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

Ponting is very in the team... If people need to change someone it should be Wade and Quiney... Haddin and Watson should be there... A left arm quick should be there in the team... Either of the Michess... Ponting has still left....

Posted by Andross on (November 28, 2012, 8:11 GMT)

@ RobTay14, while all the comments you make are true, I think that they could be lived without, the concern is, when Clark doesn't make a century in some match, where are australia going to get all their runs? The most important thing for a top order batsman is to make runs, and right now, that's what Ponting's not doing.

@Mervo totally disagree, Haddin dropped just as many catches, and did nothing with the bat when he was in the side, and Wade has the advantage that he is a lot younger and improving. Maybe in the future a better keeper than Wade will turn up, but I seriously doubt it will be Haddin. IMO Wade is still AUS's best keeper currently.

Posted by Meety on (November 28, 2012, 7:25 GMT)

@Ahadd Ali - sorry mate, you are way out of line. Reality is there is a thing called benefit of the doubt. Every batsmen who has played cricket for any length of time gets favourable & unfavourable calls. Usually ablances out in the end!

Posted by   on (November 28, 2012, 7:05 GMT)

I think Ponting s one of the greatest batsmen the sport ever produced. I'm very happy to see him again at the ashes. But i think he should retire after ashes because one have to leave before any one ask "why don't you leave". he shouldn't be like Sachin or Jayasuriya who didn't leave when the time is right.

Posted by Mervo on (November 28, 2012, 5:17 GMT)

Wade is the one who really needs to watch out. He doesnt have over 40 Test centuries. No runs and dropping catches. Haddin is in the best form ever with another great score today!

Posted by No_1_again on (November 28, 2012, 4:37 GMT)

@TheFridge31 My dreams always come true you know because I always dream the reality. You see after Clerk's captaincy how much we have improved. Even the current SA series shows that ( not like what you did against them on your home soil). We love beating you guys :-)

Posted by freo75 on (November 28, 2012, 3:32 GMT)

Jeez it's already looking pretty desparate for Australia for the Ashes. The likes of Johnson, Warner and Phil Hughes being bandied about below plus the fact that they cant seem to keep their array of military medium pacers fit (Cummins, Pattinson, Harris etc.) makes me think its going to be even worse for them than last time around. England to win 5-0.

Posted by Nerk on (November 28, 2012, 2:55 GMT)

@Clyde - totally agree with your call there. Players should be picked because they deserve a place in the team. If Ponting is not batting to international standard, then he should not be playing international cricket. To put it simply, if Ponting wants to stay in the team, he has to score runs like all the other batsmen. No-one should be selected on reputation alone.

Posted by RobTay14 on (November 28, 2012, 1:56 GMT)

While I think his form with the bat is a bit low at the moment, and maybe because of his age he won't get much better when it comes to international standards, but there are other reasons to keep him. While he doesn't officially captain the side anymore, it is clear from watching them on TV that he has a lot of say in the strategies, and really does help Clarke lead the team in terms of bowling changes, field placements, speeches and general leadership. He is also a great slip fielder, and on top of that will get runs every now and then. And who knows maybe his form is just in a bit of a slump at the moment, and will still return.

He has also been such a great servant to the country and is arguably on of their greatest players of all time, and because of that I really think, from such a stellar career, he should be able to choose when to call it a day.

Posted by Ravendark on (November 28, 2012, 1:50 GMT)

I don't think the issue is how many runs he has left in him. The issue is that he is keeping a young batsmen out of the team and thus depriving them of the experience. It's unfair to expect the newcomer to walk into #3 and start making the same kind of runs as Ponting. They need to find a young guy with a solid technique and a good temperament, put him in at #6 and give him the opportunity to develop.

The Aussie selectors have done the same thing to the dozen spin bowlers they tried after Warne. "You didn't perform like Shane Warne immediately so you're dropped." "You didn't perform like Ricky Ponting immediately so you're dropped." It's a ridiculous policy and the team has suffered for it.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (November 28, 2012, 0:34 GMT)

I am sure Ponting will play next test and get some runs. Quniey was crap. Khwaja could be a better replacement. Austrailia desperately need Starc. to me he is best find among all young fast bowlers. He is very impressive and he is gona be future of aus bowling.

Posted by   on (November 28, 2012, 0:26 GMT)

Ponting has the ability and the pure spunk to lift his game and to pose a very different challenge to the Old Enemy. He needs to play the next Ashes. And God knows Australia needs this embittered warrior if they want to have any chance of making a fight of it. Play on, Punter: your best may be behind you, but your mediocrity is still ten years ahead.

Posted by HOMEBREW on (November 28, 2012, 0:13 GMT)

I'd like to see Ricky make Hobart his final test, as a thank you to all who have surported him from his home state and Austaralia. Then bring in Khawaja from the boxing day test onwards. I'd also like to see Jackson Bird in the 1st test against Sri Lanka to replace Hillfy. Hillfy's action as pointed out by the 9 commentary team so far from both tests still looks like he's in 20/20 mode.

Posted by   on (November 28, 2012, 0:07 GMT)

ricky ponting can bat. he had plenty of help from umpires during his career. there were many instances when he was out and not given by the umpire. these days michael clarke is the umpires' clarke's innings of 200+ in the last test he was plainly out LBW when he was on 20 odd but not given out by the umpire.ricky ponting, like others of his ilk don't know when to retire. he will only score runs when he gets help from the umpires and in this present series that help is going to michael clarke.

Posted by zoot on (November 28, 2012, 0:06 GMT)

As an England fan I'd love to see Ponting in the Ashes team next summer. The batsmen I want Australia to drop are Clarke and Hussey.

Posted by Meety on (November 27, 2012, 23:59 GMT)

@featurewriter on (November 27 2012, 12:54 PM GMT) - sorry mate, have a look on the Indian articles, I would say it is running 60/40 to drop Sachin. @Jono Makim - I am wary of any moving of Pup from #5 in the order. The theory is correct, to move to #4 - but I would hate for it to be the catalyst for his great vein of form to end. I'd rather move Hussey to #4. Speaking of which my team for the WACA - based on the squad selected is (in order) 1. Cowan, 2. Warner, 3. Ponting, 4. Hussey, 5. Clarke (c), 6. Wade, 7. Hastings, 8. Starc, 9. Siddle, 10. Hilfy, 11. Lyons. 12th - whoever! We MUST go down swinging for a victory, we don't play for draws - IF we want #1 spot, we have to beat the Saffas. I would love to select Watto - but IMO he has not played enuff cricket to justify a spot - so I swap Quinney with Hastings, Starc for Patto, & shuffle the batting order around to accomodate. I am tempted to go Hazlewood for Lyon - but that would depend on how much of a monster the WACA will be.

Posted by BG4cricket on (November 27, 2012, 23:27 GMT)

My view is that Ricky deserves the rest of the summer and we reassess after that given his overall record and more importantly terrific Shield form early which is significantly better than all other contenders. Of the contenders Khawaja has made progress but needs more eds as well as demonstrating an improved ability to rotate the strike which was his problem before and is still the case with a very high ratio of boundaries this season. Bailey just doesn't have the runs on the board and Doolan needs more time - good stats to date but needs to show over a longer period and Kleinvelt made him look ordinary at the start of his Aus A innings when the bowlers were still having a crack. Hughes looks much improved and despite all the negativity he has by far the best record to date and is really the logical choice but he still needs to keep posting big scores until then.

Posted by BravoBravo on (November 27, 2012, 23:25 GMT)

Ponting is the one of the greatest batsman of the era. He has more than 100 test wins in his career. He has always been a match winner, his comparison to Tendulkar (who is just a record holder, but never been a match winner), by some biassed fans, is riduculous. If anyone come close to him, it will be JK (Kallis) in current time or Lara or Inzamam during their time. IMO, if Ponting doesn't able to make runs in forthcoming, then he should himself take the graceful exit. I salute you Mr. Ponting for your contribution to the game, and wishing that you will be doing so for another 2-3 years.

Posted by L4zybugg3r on (November 27, 2012, 23:18 GMT)

I still can't believe people are defending Ponting, I mean 3 hundreds in the last 3 and a half years since July 2009. 1 of those was a double hundred vs Pakistan but he should've been caught for a duck (it was a sitter) and the other 2 were vs a pretty weak Indian bowling attack. I said it before last summer he should've retired after India toured Aus even if he did well - at least then he could leave on a high. Did he really think it was going to get better than that? I seriously hope the selectors aren't thinking of taking him to the Ashes, England will have him for breakfast again. As for replacements, I would've preferred Khawaja spent more time in FC cricket piling up runs but I think they just need to take that risk at this point, Ponting is not going to get any better.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (November 27, 2012, 22:45 GMT)

I have always found Ponting an odious little man, but a great batsmen undoubtedly. I agree if no one better is coming along then surely he deserves a bit longer, Tendulkar has been poor for 2 years! It seems a bit strange talking of the Ashes when there is so much cricket between now and then. Interesting comment re: 4 or 5 slips as WI had for Holding, Garner, Marshall... I know you have some promising if injury prone quicks but is Siddle of Hilfy worthy of mentioning in the same breath. Looking forward to the Ashes next year the banter with Aussies is so much better than the humourless SA and frankly irritating Indians (actually hope you win the last test).

Posted by Buckers410 on (November 27, 2012, 22:24 GMT)

what about Joe Burns. He has scored more tons than khawaja this half of the season already. And Steve Smith is a batsman now, he should be close to the team aswell. he has scored 2 tons and 5 fifties in SS since the start of the season.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 22:22 GMT)

The simple fact is that Ponting is top of the Sheffield Shield averages, meaning he has performed better in that format than his rivals. You cannot therefore make the case that he is being outperformed by Hughes or Khawaja. In that case, the incumbent keeps the job, it's that simple. Quiney doesn't keep his job - he's not the incumbent, he's a stop-gap.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 22:20 GMT)

really pointing deserve a chance in perth to prove his class and form

Posted by anton1234 on (November 27, 2012, 22:01 GMT)

At his best, naturally more gifted than Tendulkar, but despite an illustrious career, Ponting has been been out form for some 4/5 years now. In fact, one could say his decline started in the 2005 Ashes series. First captain to lose The Ashes since 1986/87 completely decimated his mental balance. He has been in the team on account of his greatness rather than form for a long time now. He is a walking wicket.

Its almost sad to see this once great player keep playing because he doesn't to give up his salary and endorsements. Can't say I blame him but if he isn't careful his average could get close to 50 from 58 a few year back. Just settle into the commentary box, Ponting.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (November 27, 2012, 20:55 GMT)

It's interesting how Arthur has said selection is based on Domestic performance. Well Hazlewood Starc and Johnson have all been outperformed by Gannon and Cutting as bowlers. And Cutting has outperformed Quiney and most others with the bat as well yet they're not even considered?

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 20:05 GMT)

As no one is exactly knocking down the door in Shield cricket, who are all the armchair crictics saying should replace Ponting? Hughes, Khawaja, Quniey, have all been given chances at Test level and blown it. Not to mention the experience and knowledge Ponting brings to the team, and he is still the best fielder in the team. I'm backing him to play the Sri Lankan series, off to India, the Ashes in England, and finally the home Ashes series where Australia will shtoomp the Poms and Punter will score tons in each innings of his 185th and final Test at the SCG in early 2014.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 19:11 GMT)

Hugely encouraging news for England. All that now remains in order for us to successfully defend The Ashes is for Haddin, Johnson, Doherty & North to be recalled, & for the Aussie selectors to persist with Cowan, Quiney, Ponting, Lyon & Hilfenhaus while bowling Watson & Siddle into the ground in India & continuing to overlook Hughes, Khawaja, Burns, McDonald, O'Keefe & Bird. It'd also be extremely convenient were Cummins & Pattinson to remain crocked until the beginning of 2014. Thank you for the early Christmas present, Mr. Inverarity.

Posted by hhillbumper on (November 27, 2012, 18:43 GMT)

lets hope he does get picked.Would be good to give him the same send off that Tendulkar got.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

Ponting is an ordinary player always struggle against good bowlers. I remember SHOAIB AKHTAR clean bowled him many times in his career.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

Cricket is the game of uncertainities. Come guys, grow up, u can't expect the guy to score tons and tons of run all way long. A few hick ups are obvious whether it's Sachin or Ponting. They too know that it's the time close to their dusk but let them take their own calls. People forgot that Hughes and khwaja got their due chances, surely they have opportunities waiting for them, but don't be rude to the greatest entertainers of all times like Sachin or Ponting. It's them who brought the audience to grounds. Without them, cricket was ordinary in this era.

Posted by Texmex on (November 27, 2012, 15:31 GMT)

Even though I am an India supporter I am sure that Ponting will regain form if he manages to save his place till the India tour.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

I do think that Clarke n selectors r thinkin something along the lines that if Ponting the highest scorer in the Shield can't get runs in intl matches from where do they get their next set of young batsmen..infact the cupboard is completely empty when you see guys like Cowan n Quiney getting what ppl like Hodge, Love n Lehman missed (not to include many more of their ilk)...Aussies seriously need to rethink from where they are going to get the next set of batsmen in Test, ODIs n T20...startin at the top Warner is not a guy to be relied upo, Watto is too injusry prone, Punter n Huss are not gettin any younger n lets admit Pup's astounding form is not going to last definitely we are on very thin ice...ideally it should be like the fast bowling scenario where the complete unit can be replaced for the next match...its time the selectors need to do some serious thinking abt the young batsmen

Posted by Clyde on (November 27, 2012, 15:03 GMT)

I don't like this idea of picking players for games or series other than those immediately to be played. It is a rip-off of the paying public. Is debatable whether Hughes is better than Ponting. Either is OK. But don't let's pick sides that are not so good now just to serve the wild theory that we are building a team. It is not sporting. It is disgraceful. Let's do away with weird notions that interfere with what is popularly verifiable, what is on the field.

Posted by Trapper439 on (November 27, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

I really hope that Ponting gets some runs in Perth. Even if he doesn't, he would deseerve a send-off in a final Test at his home ground in Hobart. I'd be less sympathetic to his desire to tour England again next year if there were other players beating down the door for admission to the Test team. But there really aren't.

As for the people who are claiming that Clarke is "hiding" from the new ball by batting at 5 and should move up the order, please get a grip on reality. He's scoring a phenomenal amount of runs at 5. Why on Earth would you move him when it's obviously his best position? That makes no sense at all.

Posted by GlobalCricketLover on (November 27, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

SA can only hope that he plays at Perth. Two less wickets to worry about to win the match :) I have only seen Khwaja killing the team's momentum when he is batting. If Hughes alone is the other option, it inidicates Aus cricket is not in good shape..their only strength is their excellent pace backup.

Posted by landl47 on (November 27, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

The problem is not so much that Ponting should be dropped, it's that there is no-one who has made an overwhelming case to replace him. It won't have escaped the selectors' notice that Hughes and Khawaja, who have made runs in the Shield this season, spent the Winter playing in the English county championship and averaged 35 and 34 respectively (and Khawaja was playing in division 2). That's not form that demands selection for the Ashes, though as RandyOZ will confirm, the English County Championship is tougher to score runs in than the Shield. However, Clarke needs players who are improving, not veterans going downhill, if he is to lift Australia's side to the level needed to beat England in England. Burns looks to be the best of the younger players- Aus might want to give him a run and let him get experience.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 14:27 GMT)

PHIL HUGHES has had more then enough chance's to prove hes got what it takes to play test cricket but yet time fail's and its not his technique that is his biggest problem (still a problem btw) its his attiude he only seems to care about making 100 not anything else someone reading this might be like but thats a good thing right no he need to play everyball he face's as if hes one the 10s to 20s cus in the past what i have seen from Phil Hughes is a man who can't refocus after getting a century or hitting a really sweet 4 or 6 he gets stuck in a momment this is why Ponting has the selectors on his side over Hughes cus the selectors understand that this game not just about stats and numbers but about heart and the will to dig deep when the score is 4/50odd and you have to go out and face a bowler whos fired up cus hes just two or 3 wickets and is looking like getting another one can you fight for your country i dont think Hughes can im happy to be proven wrong

Posted by ali00 on (November 27, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

I want Punter to leave the Cricket and i think Ponting's time is over.Let other youngsters to come like Usman Khawaja and Philip Hughes we need youngsters to take the roles of captaincy when player like Clarkey retire. I am not really big advocate of ponting and i really want him to give other youngsters to give a chance.

Posted by whoster on (November 27, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

The dilemma for Australia is that there's no batsman banging on the door to replace Ponting. Having said that, Ponting will have to score runs soon to keep his place. Great batsmen deserve more leeway when they're out of form, but it'll be hard for the selectors to justify picking him if he fails to score significant runs in Perth.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 14:23 GMT)

Agree with Ian Chappell on this one; time for Punter to make his way from the field into the commentary box.

Posted by TheFridge31 on (November 27, 2012, 14:20 GMT)


Dream on mate , that will never happen again , that was a legendary Aus team , you were always going to go down from that but its suprising how far you have actually fallen , Clarke and 2 old fogeys is all you have batting wise , still no spinner and Siddle and Hilf wont scare England , Pattinson looks decent though.

Get used to the new order , by Jan 2014 England would of won the last 4 Ashes series and 5 out of the last 6 , payback is sweet.

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 27, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

@featurewriter on (November 27 2012, 12:54 PM GMT) really? no one is calling for Tendulkar's head? You should read the comments from Indians on some Ind/Eng articles! Besides Sheff Shield runs don't count for much these days, don't your selectors pick on T20 form now a la BCCI? eg. Warner & Watson.

I don't see why Clarke doesn't move up to no.3 for you guys, he's a country mile better than anyone else and I always think you want your best bat at 3. Why does he insist on hiding down, away for the new ball, at 5? He's good enough to play it.

Posted by V-Man_ on (November 27, 2012, 13:47 GMT)

I like ponting but i fear he might end up playing one series too many. i don't think he will get a big score at perth but the selectors will keep him for the SriLankan series. in that series he will probably get couple of big scores just like he did against india last summer and everyone will say he is back. he has answered the critics. then he will go to india and will be embrassed but still will make the ashes tour. and thats where it will end. he will either be dropped or forced to retire. if i saw myself getting out the way he did in Adelaide against kallis, i would've called it quit the next day.

Posted by V-Man_ on (November 27, 2012, 13:47 GMT)

I like ponting but i fear he might end up playing one series too many. i don't think he will get a big score at perth but the selectors will keep him for the SriLankan series. in that series he will probably get couple of big scores just like he did against india last summer and everyone will say he is back. he has answered the critics. then he will go to india and will be embrassed but still will make the ashes tour. and thats where it will end. he will either be dropped or forced to retire. if i saw myself getting out the way he did in Adelaide against kallis, i would've called it quit the next day.

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 27, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

Punter was great in his day, he's just average these days though BUT the selectors have the big problem that there is simply no one out there that is better, so they have to suport him, I guess if you can't have a batsman int he team for runs you might as well have someone in for experience and motivation to remind the youngsters of the 'good old days'. Hughs and Khawaja have both already failed at test level, Quiney has now too.

Can't wait for the ashes - Warner ready to chuck his wicket away, cowan a bunny, watson won't score more than 60-70ish, Punter a walking wicket, Cloarke is the one to fear and Huss, but even huss can't have much left in the tank, then wade... and now we hear they're bringing old Mitch Johnson back, these really are great times we live in! What happened to all these 'amazing' young bowlers Aus had? Or are the all crocked now?

Posted by Tapesh007 on (November 27, 2012, 13:36 GMT)

Guys..... ponting has been a true servant for oz cricket.... he should carry on but there is a time for every thing still i m with my hero sir ricky ponting, nice to see that oz skipper and coach both are favouring ponting. love u ricky, u are the truly champion

Posted by uea2009 on (November 27, 2012, 13:18 GMT)

Ricky Ponting is an excellent batsman! However as he is getting on a bit there will always be a clamor to drop him if he has a dip in form. Australia should stick with him as he is a great batsman whose just had a couple of bad tests and more worrying for Australia they have no one to replace him with! So don't do anything stupid Australia!

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 13:11 GMT)

Lots of good points raised here, most notably that whoever comes in for Ponting will be doing so under pressure to perform, as there is no-one around with the credits for an extended run. Personally I think they need to push Watto down to five and Clarke up to 4 and then focus on finding a long term number 3. Be it Khawaja, Hughes, Burns or whoever, its the no.3 spot that needs filling by a specialist batsman. This would then leave us with a long term top 4... there's plenty of allrounders coming through to replace Watto and Huss is good for 18 months yet. The point is, can Australia go forward as a team now with Ponting still there? He may win a match or two for us in the next twelve months but then you still need to find an adequate replacement, as well as one for Hussey at the same time. I think Australia is going well enough as a team to start looking for a new number three.

Posted by on (November 27, 2012, 12:58 GMT)

Give him one more chance and am sure he will prove all these people asking him to be dropped wrong , cmon guys , he is a class act ,myself an Indian but i used to support Australia when ricky ponting comes to bat ! he is a fighter and has at least 1 year of international cricket left in him

Posted by bumsonseats on (November 27, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

australia are in the same boat as india were an elder statesmen is past their sell by date. both say the right things but its just a fact of life at nearing 40 you and your body just cannot do what you did in your prime. if RP and ST were both retired after the ashes v england and the tour of england by india. a batter could have come in and had 2 years to fit into the teams. im not surprised by the BCCI as the leading indian players rule the roost. but the aussies as far as i can remember have never let a player go to this age it just does not happen. perhapsothers on here can tell me a guy who been older than ponting still playing. there hand have been tied due to the lack of talent coming though. the cupboard seems bare ian chappell has done a piece on cricinfo were he speaks of just that. i worry that pontings greatness will be diminished by been in another loosing ashes squad, he already has that record.

Posted by featurewriter on (November 27, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

All this talk about Ponting not batting well. Seriously, did anyone watch him during the Shield matches prior to this Test series? A big hundred, some fifties and an average of 100+. And what about last summer? Man, how soon we forget. Put it into perspective, Tendulkar hasn't scored a Test hundred for more than two years. No one is screaming for his head. We need to have more respect for Ponting's talent and what he brings to the game. All the talk of Khawaja and Hughes, yet these guys were given ample opportunities, only to fail - miserably. I think Hughes will return and be a long-term Test player. Still not convinced about Uzi. If Cosgrove lost about 20 kilos he'd be in the team. The guy is far more talented than anyone else running around outside the Test squad.

Posted by Fyzochindian on (November 27, 2012, 12:46 GMT)

Pathetic..absolutely pathetic the way the the coaches, selectors and other players keep supporting Ponting. Every series for the past two years we've heard comments like "he still has alot to offer the the team", "his experience is invaluable" and "he looks good in practice in the nets". The reality is he's past him prime (he'll be 38 next month), underperforming, and keeping youthful, talented batsmen out of the squad. I agree with Ian Chapell. It's time for Clarke, Arthur and Ponting himself to stop grasping at straws and prepare a nice farewell like they did for McGrath and Warne.

Posted by gnanzcupid on (November 27, 2012, 12:36 GMT)

Ricky is a liability in team australia. He is becoming a free wicket. It will hurt australia.

Posted by voice_of_reason on (November 27, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

I think I speak for all Poms here when I say we would love to see Punter on our shores for one last hurrah. We would also love to see Hughes in the team, with that textbook technique. What textbook he was reading we're not quite sure. Just as well Hussey keeps himself fit or Clarke wouldn't have anyone to bat with. Talking of keeping fit, will there be any fit quicks coming to England next year? We'd actually like to see some of these young guns but they all seem to fall over if they play more than a couple of Tests in a row. Seems like we might get comedy Mitchell again. Fantastic. Rather him that young Mitchell who looks like he can bowl after a stint with Dizzy in Yorkshire. Can't wait, got my tickets already.

Posted by challagalla on (November 27, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

Will be sad to see Ponting go, a cricketer I admire a lot. I know that is the Aussie way but I would personally like to see him do well next ashes and retire at the top with the ashes in the bag. That would compensate for those 2 ashes series lost. I wish the selectors give him that. Yet I understand he has to perform in Perth or make way for a younger player. One thing I fail to understand is why we have 2 back to back ashes. It takes something away. I am from the old school and like to see a gap of two or three years between series , so it builds up that certain sense of mystery and anticipation. I guess its economics and tv scheduling. Keep going Ponting , we true cricket lovers back you.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

I love listening to the delusional Ponting fans and how great he is. In 4 of the past calendar years your beloved punter has averaged less than 40, in the other 2 years: 2008 and 2012 he has averaged 47 and 49 . His numbers dont justify his continued selection, Ponting the undoubtedly great player has been in massive decline for 6 years, his best games have come on perfect batting decks against weak bowling lineups( sorry india 2011-2012 touring side) and against pakistan( led by salman butt and his bowling buddies). He is a major part of australias batting problems and selfishly plays on when the right thing to do is retire for his reputations sake and that of australia's test side

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (November 27, 2012, 12:06 GMT)

Agree with Macca, Khawaja is the best replacement for Punter at 3 or 4 as Hughes is best suited to opening the batting. However Punter deserves the Perth test and I am also predicting he will get a big one in Perth, a 200 could be on the card as the Perth pitch at present is much better for batting then it was in the past.

Posted by othello22 on (November 27, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

Good to see level heads within the Aussie camp. What short memories we all have! Ponting is not the problem, no-one was whingeing when he was carrying the Aussie batting last year against India after regularly appearing at the crease at 2/20. Everyone is pining for Hughes and Khawaja all of a sudden but 12 months ago they had their chances and blew them. Uzi and Hughes will get another shot but they have to be made to earn their way in through big, consistent runs at Shield level or else they will just fail again. By contrast, Ricky Ponting has been playing international cricket for 18 years and has scored more runs than anyone bar Sachin. After 166 test matches and about a gazillion runs scored against all comers, he's tried, tested, proven and can retire when ever he damn well pleases. Get off his back people, he will only make you look foolish again when he notches up a ton in Perth.

Posted by Hammond on (November 27, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

I really hope he does play, that will effectively mean Australia will be batting with 10 men only.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

As I said before Ponting needs to make way. He has no more techniquee and no confidence when he bats. He is not comfortable and looks more unsure. If he is selected for the Ashes he will be a burden to the team. Poor selection will always result in failure, eg if Mike Hussey was selected for the 2005 Ashes Australia might not loose the series. Australia could not bowl SA in 148 overs, desite one bowler short, isn't someathing wrong with the bowling? Bring back McDermot so they could stop bowling short and start bowling on a good length. How many batsmen are caught in the slips off Ausie fast bowlers these days? Not too many. Bowling too short, you only need 2 slips with the new ball. Take a page from the days when Lloyd and V. Richards used to employ 4 to 5 slips for Marshall, Garner, Holding etc.That's what made them win matches.

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (November 27, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

I wonder why people even question Ponting! He had a great series against India. Just two bad games in this series but there still games to be played in this series. Just half a bad series and the talks are on again. Will you please give him some peace of mind. He will perform. If you guys must write about non-performers over a period of time and help them take the retirement decision, write about Sachin Tendulkar who is the only person still "enjoying" his cricket. Even his most die-hard fans (including me) just can't find a way to enjoy the sort of cricket he is playing these days.

Posted by decko on (November 27, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

Ok let's keep it real! Ricky Ponting is the best Australian cricketer we have known since Bradman. The man brings so much to the team not just his batting. Yes, he hasn't been batting well for a couple of years now but he is a legend. He has a few big knocks still in him and I'm sure they are just around the corner. I hope to see one in Perth but with the pressure he is under it's unlikely. Please everyone just get off his back and let the legend leave the game when he is ready. Tendulker is 39 and he still plays and isn't doing so well but no one complains. Well almost. Give him 2 more years to help advise the younger guys in the team, there's no one better than Ricky for that and just give up the whinging. The complainers don't seem to know anything about cricket anyway. I bet you don't even watch half of the games. Complaining won't change a thing, let the man play!! Keep on keeping on Punter I love to watch you bat mate. A true legend of the game!

Posted by cricmatters on (November 27, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

Very few test players can find the right time to leave the game like Andrew Strauss did recently. Some of them have to be dragged out of the game, kicking and screaming. The very competitive nature which got them success in the first place prevents them from seeing the writing on the wall. Age is just a number and should not factor in the decision whether a player should play or not unless his fitness becomes a real issue. We have seen Michael Hussey and Jacque Kallis win or save matches for their respective countries. It takes a lot to find a good Test player who can adept his game to suit all conditions. Rob Quiney is a good example of the old adage that all that glitters in domestic cricket is not Test match gold. In my personal opinion, both Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar have missed that glorious exit to end their illustrious careers on a high and just dragging along to prolong the inevitable. This game can be so cruel some times.

Posted by No_1_again on (November 27, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

Still fresh memories of 5-0 thrashing of POMs and I want that again and we need you Punter.

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (November 27, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

this is nothing but ricky ponting is close to break sachins record in test..and they dnt want him to retire before that...they will give many opurutnity to him until he gets their.. same way indian board is not droping sachin tendulakr and just allow him to score more runs than ponting..make him to play untill ponting retires or sachin on top.. we can remember gavaskar pushed his career for 1 more year to complete 10000 runs with his poor form ..and after that how border played for alustralia alomst 2 year withoiut any form untill he crossed gavaskar !!!..

if my words are wrong .see how austrailan board virtually asked or dropped steve o , hayden , m wough ,martin etc when they are in prime form just to give oppurutnity to y different rule only for ponting ?????

Posted by TheFridge31 on (November 27, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

Phillip Hughes and David Warner for the Ashes ? as an England supporter , yes please!

Clarke is the only batsman to fear , he was great it 2009 and at the moment is possessed by Bradman , hopefully Bradmans spirit leaves Clarke before he departs to England.

Posted by wix99 on (November 27, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

It's time for Ricky to walk! He has been one of the greatest batsmen of all time. However, there is nothing to be gained by sticking around for a few more Tests and making mediocre scores. Even if he makes a decent score who is to say another younger batsman couldn't have done the same.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

Sorry, I cannot see the Aussies winning the Ashes next summer as England will have a strong strangehold on th Ashes. They will NOT reliquish that easliy and will fight to keep the AShes in England where it should be.

Posted by Mary_786 on (November 27, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

@Meety and @Onlinegamer55 agree with you mate, Khawaja would be the right man to bring in for the Sri Lankan series but i feel that Punter being a legend of Aus cricket is tough to let go. I hope he gets runs in the Perth test and once Punter does retire then Khawaja is the long term number 3 for Aus. He has scored on some tough pitches this year in shield to show he has what it takes to be the number 3 batsman.

Posted by popcorn on (November 27, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

This is GREAT NEWS! I am thankful to the Selectors,the Coach, Mickey Arthur AND to Captain Michael Clarke who have RECOGNIZED Ricky Ponting's TRUE WORTH to the Team - unlike ex cricketers like Geoff Lawson and Dean Jones. NONE of the NEW FINDS have proven themselves - Rob Quiney is the latest - Usman Khawaja is the closest who can step in. Forget Phil Hughes,Shaun Marsh - they are One Test wonders. I am confident Ricky Ponting will be INSTRUMENTAL in our winning The Ashes in England next (theirs) summer,and HELP RETAIN it with us they come to tour us next summer. Did you watch his cat-like razor-sharp fielding in the Adelaide Test?And at 37? Any one to beat him? It will be his 38th birthday on December 19 - a day after the Hobart Test against Sri Lanka. Happy Birthday,Punter!Show your deteractors who you really are!

Posted by thebrotherswaugh on (November 27, 2012, 10:08 GMT)

#3 & #4 have been consistent nightmares for OZ over the last 2 years - why not go with five genuine bowlers - the extra bowler they pick is just as likely to score the 10-15 runs we usually get from either of these positions. If we had any real batting depth, this discussion would be a moot point as Punter would have been shown the door around the same time he lost the captaincy (but we haven't). Anyone who thinks he'll do well in English conditions is kidding themselves - the swing & seam will bamboozle him - he's well past his prime and those 'glory days' are not coming back. He will be picked for England - but if he averages higher than 30 I'll be very surprised.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (November 27, 2012, 9:56 GMT)

I hope he starts to regain a little form so he plays in the ashes.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

How can a batsman who came into the first test with the most runs in the domestic season thus far now be classified as out of form?.Ricky just like Sachin is now due to stop playing test cricket,it is simple as that.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (November 27, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

What an embarrassment these legends SRT, Ricky, Schumi have become to their fans. The teenage fans remember them as failures as they dont know their past for eg Ponting of early 2000s (particularly 2005-2006) , sachin in late 90s (particularly 1998 where it was all about one man army and the year i was studying my 10th standard and cricket was the only game we knew) , schumacher in early 2000s. When i heard about sachins back problems i (like many indians) were deeply saddened that his career could be over. But now i am sure many of his fans (including me) wont be so saddened if he retires immediately (Just like not too many fans gave a damn for schumis second retirement).I wish ponting a great success for next 6 months and coming ashes. But i dont think Australian fans are not emotionally attached to ponting.

Posted by Moppa on (November 27, 2012, 9:31 GMT)

Ponting's decline has been long and persistent. His average since January 2010 is around 35 and since Warne and McGrath retired is around 40 (that's about 60 Test matches ago). His average before then was 59!! Whilst 40 might be as good as whoever else is going around, Ponting's getting worse whilst Khawaja et al are getting better. Ponting was never much chop in England, even in his pomp - I think he'll be a walking wicket against a swinging Duke ball at 38 years of age (and I haven't even mentioned the preceding tour of India). Worst case scenario is that he succeeds against SL (which is likely), then fails in India and England and we're left with a sudden change in the middle of 10 back to back Ashes Tests. Not that far-fetched, unless the selectors act with some bravery. Would be nice to keep his fielding though...

Posted by Antir on (November 27, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

None of the so called potential replacements have done enough to replace Ponting. Nothing has changed in the performances of Khawaja and Hughes yet. Is anyone else proving themselves a serious contender? No.

Honestly, Brad Haddin is the best batting option to come into the side at the moment. A proven performer with the necessary experience.

Posted by onlinegamer55 on (November 27, 2012, 9:28 GMT)

Australia have one test match against South Africa, three test matches against Sri Lanka and four test matches against India before the Ashes. Let's say that's 8 test matches for Ricky Ponting before the Ashes. I think it's a difficult decision primarily because batting stocks in Australia are so thin at the moment. If you're going to drop Ricky Ponting, then you'd better be decisive as to who should replace him. If the guy who comes in fails in two test matches, then his head shouldn't be on the chopping block or else you've got a selection merry go round going. I'm really confident that Phillip Hughes can be great and I'd love to give him have a crack soon but if he's given a crack, then it has to be in the long haul. Hughes, Khawaja and Quiney seem to be on the selectors radar at the moment as should Doolan since the selectors care about form. The thing is that Hughes is clearly improving his game every day and I don't want him back in before he's ready. A difficult decision.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 27, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

Would be great to see Ponting in the Ashes again, getting out to Anderson yet again or bowled through the gate by rippers from Swann. There again England won't mind bowling at any of Australia's 'batsmen'. That DVD of the last Ashes is still a good watch, and an accurate representation of how these bungling club-standard Aussies play quality bowling.

Posted by unregisteredalien on (November 27, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

The only two incumbent or potential Aussie batsmen showing a perfect combination of form and consistency are M Clarke and M Hussey. All the others are hit one day, miss the next (eg Cowan and Warner), recently in form (eg Khawaja and Hughes), or falling out of form (eg Wade and Quiney). That's no disrespect to any of those guys, who are all in the frame for good reason, but all have tasted failure themselves, and I don't see that any of them have a compelling case to take Ponting's place. They may be the mid-long term future but Ponting had a huge recent series and a huge start to the domestic summer and it's too soon to write him off on the basis of a couple of cheap dismissals against RSA. It isn't like he's been the only one.

Posted by TomLundy on (November 27, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

C'mon Punter! Make sure you get to The Ashes mate, then you can make up for The 2005 Debacle. As an Aussie in England it was hard to take, still raw even now....and i lost £300 to the poms in the pub! I've got every faith in ya! Just watch the nibble outside off.....

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 27, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

Australia don't need Ponting. What they need is a batsman who is going to perform, be it Ponting or someone else. I don't necessarily think that Ponting shouldn't play out the rest of this series but if he's not performing after that and someone else looks like they could then the selectors would be irresponsible not to discuss the possibility of replacing him. Given that he's already been dropped from the ODI squad, I just don't believe that there hasn't been some discussion on the topic of his place in the Test team.

Posted by Sanj747 on (November 27, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

@CricketMaan Spot On. Ponting needs to take a look at where things are at and call it quits.

Posted by vj_gooner on (November 27, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

Cometh the occasion, hereth the man! I sincerely hope Punter rises again. One last hurrah!

The Ashes in England should be his last series, win the Ashes and then retire! Is there a better stage than that?

Posted by CricketMaan on (November 27, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

Current players living in denial mode in Tests (form, age, reflex etc. etc.) includes SRT, Ricky, Zak, Dhoni, Bhajji, Misbha?...any more? More recently Dravid, Laxman and Boucher and Strauss called it at the right time and earned respect.

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

a fair opinion but phillip hughes has had plenty of chances at test level. khawaja is a better option but he too has not scored many runs at test level.personally id prefer to have ponting there for those two ashes series if he can perform for the rest of the summer.then get over to england for the county season

Posted by Pablo123 on (November 27, 2012, 8:11 GMT)

Geee, I don't know. His form is in a temporary slump. As a Saffa, I would not like to see Ricky go. Age has nothing to do with his form, so I hate reading that word - 'age' - He and Jacques Kallis basically started their careers together, and Jacques still has plenty of years left in him - I don't see why Ricky can't turn this around. Come on chap ! - show them ( just not against us in Perth :) )

Posted by Meety on (November 27, 2012, 7:56 GMT)

Torn on this issue. I think Arthurs & the NSP can't commit to Punter to the Ashes so far into the future. We have one more Test v Saffas, a series v SL, a tour of India before the Ashes. In that time, Punter COULD fail every innings - where will we be then? IC is absolutely correct that the series v SL is a great time to blood a new batsmen (or give another shot to Hughes & Khawaja). At the same time, legendary batsmen don't grow on trees, & is there really a 50+ batting average waiting to take over? Hughes maybe, Khawaja possibly - then you get to batsmen who are still too raw to guage. I am leaning towards giving him one last chance, if he fails - "retirement", if he performs against the Saffas at the WACA, he'll score runs in England. The annoying part of the lead up to the Ashes is, the Indian Test tour. I'd really prefer it get pushed back to AFTER the home & away Ashes. Good performances in India - have little bearing on performance in England - IMO!

Posted by   on (November 27, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

Punter is waiting Sachin to quit and vise versa! both are on the verge of leaving this wonderful game of cricket, lets show the talent in your last game at PERTH and KOLKATTA and bid farewell to this wonderful journey!!! good luck to both of you!!!

Posted by northumbriannomad on (November 27, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

Not really a huge vote of confidence, when you look at it, is it? He seems to be saying Ponting is staying put, but if you look carefully he's saying "He's got one last chance at Perth and if he blows it, he's a goner."

Posted by vivek3 on (November 27, 2012, 7:33 GMT)

Sidney gate incident has taken a toll n RICKY..he's a great player...n AUS ..still needs him, apart from MICHAELS (Clarke n HUSS)....there isnt enough experience in the RICKY..should stay.n

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (November 27, 2012, 7:18 GMT)

Ponting isn't out of form. He is in magnificent form, career best form, at least domestically. Look at the runs he has scored in FC matches in the past year. He has done brilliantly in ODI domestic and T20 domestic too. He just had a couple of pieces of bad luck in the last 2 tests. He is far from out of form. And who domestically is ahead of him? Certainly not Rob Quiney. David Hussey is probably seriously in contention but he is supposedly too old - in spite of being Michael's younger brother, so that is that, it seems. But I would hate to see Peter Forrest, Marcus North, Rob Quiney, Shaun Marsh or Phillip Hughes back - as they all stunk and cost Australia matches. Hughes needs to change his technique before being considered and Shaun Marsh should stick to the short formats.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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