Ricky Ponting's international retirement

Australia's second-best, without a doubt

Think not of Ricky Ponting as the batsman of the last couple of years - and particularly the past fortnight. Remember that for almost a decade Ponting was the best batsman in the world's best team

Peter English

November 29, 2012

Comments: 76 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting top-edges the hook that brought his downfall, West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain, April 19, 2012
The strokeplayer who drove and pulled and strode with the surest of feet © AFP

In the end, as with all drawn-out terminal declines, the end comes as a relief. Ricky Ponting, unquestionably Australia's second-best batsman, will not be in palliative care for much longer. A pensioner of the modern game, previously delirious for a reprieve, he is reluctantly reaching for the off switch.

With age comes the ability for spectators to follow a player over an entire career, providing perspective rather than judgments of childlike devotion. Through Ponting's 17 years there have been periods of awe, discomfort, deep admiration and, sadly, for the past couple of years, sympathy. Watching him and knowing that, barring gifts presented by India, the conclusion would provide short-term tarnish to a cricketer with only a handful of equals.

So long has Ponting been involved that he carries no dominant image. Instead his is a life best viewed through a kaleidoscope, a pattern of sparkling segments mixed with light and dark reflections. He has been worshipped for unprecedented deeds, and forced to stare deeply into mirrors.

The flipside to an unruffled 96 on Test debut at the WACA was a dressing-room implosion that shocked senior team-mates. Then 20, Ponting had only been schooled in cricket. Important life lessons, like knowing how to tailor a goatee, were still to be learned. It took a not-so-sweet transvestite to help end The Ricky Horror Picture Show of his adolescence. An image of a dazed and bruised Ponting outside a Sydney nightclub - and the subsequent playing ban - led to a life with more maturity, consistency and control.

Toughened by the then mandatory early-career sackings from the Test team, he recovered from a tour of India in 2001 that could have ruined him, turning into the most assured batsman of his generation. The venues on his list of Test centuries read like a Phileas Fogg adventure: Sharjah, Colombo, Fatullah, Bangalore, Durban, Leeds, Bridgetown, Georgetown, Cape Town, and old Sydney Town.

At their best, Brian Lara undoubtedly possessed more dazzle and flourish, and Sachin Tendulkar swung a broader blade alongside greater single-minded desire. But Ponting was technically smoother and never seemed to hit the ball hard. His drives through the offside were mere pushes, his pulls found the boundary with a swift swivel of his tiny body. Going back on tiptoes to aim short balls forward of point, his power appeared to come solely from gravity pulling at his bat. In reality his forearms bulged and his handshake was as firm as his stare.

Until his muddled haze since the 2010-11 Ashes, Ponting had attained refinement as a man and batsman. Of course, there were still times when his inner Mowbray mongrel required muzzling, usually under extreme pressure in the biggest contests. However, after the damaging India series at home in 2007-08, he evolved again to become a leader and statesman, a captain who team-mates and supporters could adore.

Ponting even became gracious in defeat, something he rarely had to bother with until Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne retired. Having entered the Test side shortly after it toppled West Indies in 1995, he had to wait until 2009 for it to slip suddenly from the summit. Instead of creeping away, he stayed on determinedly, clinging to the hope of a return to the peak. Fittingly, if he wins his last Test against South Africa over the next week, that goal will be conquered too.

Through the latter stages of his captaincy and overall career, he was confident enough to answer any question thoughtfully and honestly. Except the one to himself about his own form. The Ponting of earlier eras might have slipped off the field, but he never slid as uncertainly at the crease as when bowled by Jacques Kallis in the first innings in Adelaide. Whatever happens at the WACA, the fall is already the saddest sight of the summer. It should not have come to this.

For Ponting has been truly a batsman through the ages, from golden boy to gold watch. Like those treasured-yet-doddery elderly relatives, think not of Ponting as the batsman of the last couple of years - and particularly the past fortnight. He isn't the grandparent with the fading memory and absence of skills. Remember that for almost a decade Ponting was the best batsman in the world's best team. The strokeplayer who drove and pulled and strode with the surest of feet.

Peter English is former Australasia editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (December 2, 2012, 17:29 GMT)

People asked my tribute to Ponting.........Well PONTING WAS THE GREATEST BATSMAN ever,even greater than DON BRADMAN as Don never played one day matches but Ponting did

Posted by Hammond on (December 1, 2012, 13:18 GMT)

@Sir_Francis- sorry, just can't see Punter facing the bowling that Dougie faced with no lid on and averaging 48 in test cricket. Walters didn't do well in England, and Punter never did well in India. Both had great hook shots. But Ricky had the far easier ride as far as bowling attacks go.

Posted by SamRoy on (December 1, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

In my humble book Neil Harvey was light years ahead of Ponting as a batsman. Greg Chapell never travelled to India and didn't face the famous Indian spin quartret in India but rest of his record is far superior to Ponting as he had faced far superior bowling attacks. Ponting's golden run coincides with the period between 2002-2006 when no team except Australia had a world class bowling attack except England for a year between 2004 to 2005. SA with Pollock losing his pace (and becoming less threatening) and the consistent but slightly one-dimensional Ntini leading the attack was only good but not great. India were good only at home. Same for Sri Lanka. Pakistan lost its stalwarts (the two Ws) and the rest were useless. So, its grossly unfair on Harvey (especially) and G. Chapell to call Ponting the best Aussie batsman since Bradman.

Posted by thenoostar on (December 1, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

The Ponting of 2005 was truely a sight to behold! As fine a player as Lara or Tendulkar at their best at that point.

Posted by vj_gooner on (December 1, 2012, 5:07 GMT)

Punter's most adorable traits were his arrogance & ruthlessness! The world admired them!

Posted by Sir_Francis on (December 1, 2012, 3:05 GMT)

Douggie was my favourite cricketer but he wasn't as good as Ponting. However I agree with everything else Hammond wrote.

Posted by   on (December 1, 2012, 2:04 GMT)

Guys, calm down..... He probably means he's the second best *current* Australian batsman ;-)

Posted by ScottStevo on (November 30, 2012, 21:09 GMT)

@nonsufficitorbis, Sorry, but I disagree! Without his "stars" Dhoni's team has slipped into mediocrity, Jayawardene and Khan have done very little (unless you're talking ODI's - in which case you'd be moronic to do so as Ponting outclasses them post our legends retirements), and you could argue that Smith hasn't done anything without his own legends in his side. Strauss has been quite a good captain though, although, the guy basically copied Ponting and even took his number in ODI's! AS for Gilchrist being more important to the side, you couldn't be any further from the mark there, buddy...PS Test avg away 45.81, ODI overall avg 42.03 away 45.04 - shocking!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 30, 2012, 19:53 GMT)

Disgraceful behavior on the field leaves him well down the final ranking of top test batsmen. What a wasted career, he could've been so much more.

Posted by krik8crazy on (November 30, 2012, 19:19 GMT)

At his peak Ponting went through a Bradmanesque phase piling on runs and centuries at an unbelievable pace. However, to call him the best after Bradman would be a disservice to Border and Waugh. They both did well in adversity and in an era of stronger bowling and conditions that weren't overwhelmingly in favor of batsmen. Ponting lost his aura after he lost the services of his match winners. Without a strong opening pair and match winning bowlers and an outstanding keeper batsman, he lost his stutter and became a mere mortal. He thrived when Australia were at their peak but when it was time for him to shore up the team and lead them through a lean phase, he failed. His stubbornness and the Aussie selectors' reluctance to drop him after yet another Ashes debacle resulted in a long drawn out struggle that was largely fruitless.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2012, 18:53 GMT)

Ricky has had a magnificent career. Whether he is the second best Australian batsman is a matter of opinion. Who is to say he not better than the rest (Bradman excluded) of the Aussie batsmen. I am a big Greg Chappell fan, so in my opinion Greg was better. It is a great bar argument. Ricky had a great career, lets leave it at that!!

Posted by ARad on (November 30, 2012, 16:40 GMT)

There are a lot of rosy colored glasses on display. Ponting is undoubtedly a great batsman but his decline did not start only after the 2010-11 series. Since 2006, he hasn't averaged over 50 in any calendar year. He only played 4 tests in 2007 but even if one doesn't count it, he has passed 40, yes FORTY, only in 2008 and this year (mainly thanks to the Indian bowling and Adelaide track) since then which means he has not been a Test quality batsman for a while now.

Posted by dickiebrewsters on (November 30, 2012, 15:52 GMT)

Re- Langer's comments about lack of respect in England for Ponting & him getting booed to the wicket. This is partly a tongue in cheek response to a pantomime villain, and partly to do with the way Ponting has carried himself at times. Langer must be blind if he does not see this

Posted by   on (November 30, 2012, 15:12 GMT)

Kippax, Trumper, Darling, Hill, Jackson, Ponsford, Bradman, Morris, Harvey, Lawry, Chappell0, Border, Waugh, Hayden, Ponting. The competition is stiff and while he undoubtedly merits inclusion on the list of the 15 greatest Aussie batsmen, to claim Ponting was number 2 is as ridiculous as it is utterly myopic. In the final analysis, Victor Trumper averaged 39.04 in an age when the best managed just a shade over 30, Border 50.56 while batsmen were given the epitath "great" if they got to anywhere between 40 and 45 (Gooch, Greenidge, Gower, Haynes, Boon, Taylor, Crowe). Ponting will end up with an average of about 52 in an era where plenty of batsmen average more than 50.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (November 30, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

@Abhishek.2626- For some one of Ponting's stature Indian media's adulation is the last thing - being a trivial matter-the very low standards of Indian Media(in general ) not fit for discussing a world champion. Even Tendulkar is not spared being insulted by India's own media . Another 2 poor tests for him and the media will reach new lows to degrade their own stars . Ponting has the fame and admiration of 'world' media -from Aus to the U.K and beyond.....Indian media is one of the worst ....I am sure most people have my same opinion.

Posted by symsun on (November 30, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

Though Ponting has ups and downs because of his behavior, I must agree he is also a TRUE LEGEND of Cricket. He surely stands along with Sachin, Dravid, Steve Waugh, Lara, Kallis and other legends. FYI.. I am from India.

Posted by Hammond on (November 30, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

Greg Chappell was a better batsman in every way who played against far better attacks and ended up with a better record. Second best? Big call, you are ignoring 120 years of Australian test cricket by making such a call. As for me, I would say that McCartney, Ponsford, Jackson, McCabe, Barnes, Harvey, O'Neill, Walters, Border, S Waugh were all better former players, not to mention Clarke and Hussey that are already better batsman and are still playing. Good? Yes. Great? Hardly.

Posted by jimbond on (November 30, 2012, 8:31 GMT)

Among the Australian players I have seen on TV, He would be at par with, or slightly behind Border and Steve Waugh. Before my time, I have heard there were players called Greg Chappell and Neil Harvey who could bat. This ranking thing is the most meaningless game that the media like to play. When Border captained his first test, the current captain was in tears and Aussies were getting thrashed, and he was able to turn it around. To get through Waugh, as a batsman or as a captain, one needed to have a bulldozer. And Ponting had his dream run after the likes of Akram, Donald and Ambrose called it a day. But despite all this, he was one who gave great pleasure with his game, could take away the game in a session, never gave up his attack or agressive intent. Those who rank may look at different things, but the bare fact was that the Aussie team of the last two decades was much stronger with Ponting in it, and he contributed to their invincibility for such a long time.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

2009? 2005 was not so flash as I remember.

Posted by R.Sankar on (November 30, 2012, 7:34 GMT)

For sure, a great player and among the best of his time. But second after Bradman? Not sure. What about Neil Harvey, Greg Chappell, Alan Border?

Posted by Abhishek.2626 on (November 30, 2012, 6:48 GMT)

One of the greatest cricketers of this era. Too bad the Indian media doesnt treat him on par with a Sachin or Kallis. Such a straight forward guy. Gave his 100% for the team. no wonder his teammates were moved to tears. Shows how much they love him.. All the best for ur future endeavors punter.

Posted by   on (November 30, 2012, 2:51 GMT)

A true Legend . THE RICKY PONTING :)

Posted by   on (November 30, 2012, 2:27 GMT)

Ricky has had a magnificent career and has been a treat to watch over the past 17 years. Having said that I just don't see him as the Aussie #2 of all time. I grew up watching Allan Border and for mine he'll always be #2 purely for his incredible numbers given the poor sides had to captain in the mid 80's and the bowling attacks he had to face. Ricky captained the Aussies at at time when we had the best bowlers and most of the best batsmen going around. AB managed a career average above 50 having to face the likes of Holding, Garner, Marshall, Ambrose, Imran Khan, Akram, Haddle in their prime. The unfortunate thing for Ricky is that the Aussies started to slide just as his career was ending so it's hard to gauge how he would have done in AB's shoes. Michael Clarke has the chance to regain the Ashes in England next year - a feat only AB has achieved in 78 years!

I wish Ricky well in his retirement and thanks for some amazing performances over the years - he'll certainly be missed

Posted by kriskingle on (November 30, 2012, 1:57 GMT)

Dont you think you have carried th terminal decline and death metaphor too far?

Posted by PadMarley on (November 30, 2012, 1:45 GMT)

He is the best Australia has produced!! well he probably was a bit too late to encounter Holdings, Garners, Marshals, Hadlees... but he surely did super well against Akram, Waqar, Aktar , Walsh, Ambrose, Murali, Kumble, Donalds, Styn, etc ... may be he was a few micro points behind great lara and sachin... yet he is among the top 5 batsmen world has ever produced... and thats serious stuff!! Thanks for the entertainment!

Posted by Shaynej on (November 30, 2012, 1:40 GMT)

2nd best?? Better than McCabe or Trumper?

Posted by Meety on (November 30, 2012, 1:15 GMT)

I love the guy. I believe he stayed on for the good of Ozzy cricket, however, IF he had of retired 3 years ago, he could of claimed the 2nd best Ozzy batsmen tag. His decline has meant IMO, Greg Chappell holds that honour. There is no doubting that between 2002 to 2007, statistically Ponting was the greatest batsmen SINCE batsmen ever. 2007 was a long while ago though. I would struggle to slot Punter into my all time ozzy XI though. He would definately be 12th man at least for his fielding!

Posted by   on (November 30, 2012, 1:14 GMT)

Second best? hardly. I would not rate Ponting in the top five of Australian cricket. The likes of Hayden were better. Ponting struggled in areas which stopped him being right up there.

Posted by landl47 on (November 30, 2012, 0:05 GMT)

The best player of the pull shot I've ever seen. One of the most sure-handed fielders around the bat. One of the grittiest players of all time- no matter how desperate the situation, Ponting never, ever gave up. He is in the great tradition of Australian cricketers which has made Australia the most successful, and the hardest to beat, of all cricketing nations. He will never be forgotten.

Posted by dinosaurus on (November 29, 2012, 23:16 GMT)

" Also he has got the luxury of NOT batting against Warne, McGrath or Lee." Ah, but that's just it. He made his name batting against them and others in the Sheffield Shield. At that time, the best producer of Test players ever.

Posted by OzWally on (November 29, 2012, 23:10 GMT)

Watching this next Test and at some point, Ricky's last innings, will definitely bring a tear to the eye. Hate to see him leave, but it is the right time.

Posted by crankypete on (November 29, 2012, 22:55 GMT)

strange! great story but nothing to do with the headline. i'd still have G Chappell ahead of him, and Border 84-8 just behind.

Posted by nonsufficitorbis on (November 29, 2012, 22:53 GMT)

Sorry, don't agree. A lot of his captaincy achievements were due to legends like Warne, Gilchrist, Hayden, Mcgrath and even symmonds. I would rate Jayawardene, Dhoni, Younis Khan, Smith and possibly Strauss, too as better captains.

They worked with lesser no. of legends and delivered some great results.

As a batsmen too, Gilchrist was more precious to the legendary aussie team than Ricky. Last but not the least, his average outside australia is ordinary, at best. [almost same as Sehwag's outside India]. Yet, the aussie media will try to lable sehwag as a limited player and Ponting as some legend. Double Standards, much?

He's a good player, but there is no need to hype him up without the numbers and the intelligence to interpret those numbers.

Posted by markatnotts on (November 29, 2012, 22:24 GMT)

Yep I am a "pom", but "Punter" although ridiculed over here in recent times, was I am sure deeply respected by proper cricket fans all over the world. His record speaks for itself. You don't play 160 odd Tests for nothing, and doesn't he hold some kind of record for Tests on the winning side as well as his mountain of runs at an excellent average? One of the best clinical dispatches of an only marginally short ball, and also one of the best fielders ever in the key point position. Good luck mate for whatever else you do with your life and thanks for the memories!

Posted by Beertjie on (November 29, 2012, 22:09 GMT)

Superb tribute - very well written Peter! @alamgir17, precisely my wish, too! One last hurrah from the great man.

Posted by Sixtus on (November 29, 2012, 22:02 GMT)

SECOND BEST - you must be joking - have the courage to acknowledge HE WAS AND IS THE BEST. Yes the DON was good - but in his era - whether the DON would be good in this era is another question. Whether Ponting would have been good in the DON's era - 100%. So let us not compare and let us at no point say RICKY is second best. The DON was the best in his era and RICKY is the best AUSTRALIAN BATSMAN in this era. This is coming from a Indian settled in Australia who did not like Ricky - most probably because he won too many matches on his own. GOOD ON YOU FELLA - RICKY you did give the game many memorable moments.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 21:37 GMT)

It's so sad to see the greatest competitor in the last 20 years leave the arena....Yes he was not Lara or Tendulkar, he was so much more than either of the aforementioned...He was a leader, a crisis-master, a thinker, a no-holds- barred street alley brawler only looking for a win. Cricket will miss Ponting...As a Bangladeshi, I can still remember that innings at Chittagong where he engineered the ultimate escape....Hats off to you Ricky, you will always be that belligerant teenager at WACA who came out to dominate and dominate you did

Posted by Kaze on (November 29, 2012, 21:33 GMT)

Sorry but he isn't second best. His stats maybe better than many before him but not of the same quality. It's like saying Sachin or Lara were better than Gavaskar or Sobers just plain idiotic. Lara struggled with McGrath, imagine the mess he would have been in facing up to Lillee and Thomson without a helmet. Greg Chappell and Allan Border are a class ahead of Ricky, but Ricky has been fantastic he has done everything worth doing in the game.

Posted by PeterMyton on (November 29, 2012, 20:55 GMT)

Are you sure Peter English? 2nd best ever? Greg Chappell? Marginally better average, no helmets against the might of the West Indies? His World Series Cricket average... No cheap tests against Zimbabwe or Bangladesh? Prasanna, Chandra, Bedi, Venkat in India? Inti and Qadir? Hadlee, Kapil, Imran etc etc etc...

Are you sure?

No doubt about it - Ponting is/was a wonderful player - a brilliant attacking innings leading no 3. But it's too easy to just throw 2nd best to Bradman at him when you're misty eyed over a great player's retirement. It doesn't do a lot of great other baggy green wearers a lot of service. And I'm English....

Posted by Nottsman on (November 29, 2012, 20:46 GMT)

Great player and great career.......will be a long time before someone else wins that many test matches and has that type of personal record. He was the best batsman in the worlds best team. Statistically he will be in second place behind Bradman for Aussie batsmen. Greg Chappell is still the best Australian batsman I have seen.....I feel he played against better bowlers on more bowler-friendly pitches, but congratulations to Ponting on an amazing career.

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (November 29, 2012, 20:27 GMT)

ponting was match winner from day one. great player and awesome team player. miss you.

Posted by LAKingsFan on (November 29, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

Best in the current generation. Lara,Ponting,Dravid and Kallis are the best players and entertainers in the last two decades. With 3 of them retired, Kallis too will go in a year or so. And there will be vacuum for a few years. It's really a sad day for the cricket. I love ponting's pull shot in which he murdered the so called Indian pacers. A true champion. Undoubtedly a team player. He decided to quit when he felt it's the time. Hats off, Ricky. I wish you all the success post retirement.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

Without stating anything that belittles the moment as big as Ponting's calling it a day, I beg to regurgitate yet another time why on earth people, the so-called cricket Pundits in particular, (anyway who is this chap Peter English) forget to mention or deliberately omit Jacques Henry Kallis when they talk of niceties about cricket's best showmen. Ponting's effervescence, no one doubts. Given. Sachin's broad, straight blade too is a point. Lara, at his best, was able to remind of atrocity that a batter can possess with willow in his hand that only Viv seemed to have. Now, what is Kallis's fault: Only that he combine them all, all the time. Perhaps, now, we the people do not need elite's opinions to declare the truth to be true. As there is no other way. Its almost tantamount to sliding the standard of game when one forgets Kallis, the game himself.

Posted by Aussasinator on (November 29, 2012, 18:08 GMT)

A fairly longish overstay. The Australian Board's assertion a few days ago that he is in their plans for the back to back Ashes was for public consumption. In realisty they would have sounded him " mate pack up now while we talk good". This is what happened when he quit ODIs. He was making defiant statements till the last day and overnight he announced retirement. He was good in timing his strokes but not his retirement, like Steve Waugh or Glen Mcgrath or Hayden.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 18:07 GMT)

Go into retirement with joy RP. You were the best batsmen since Viv Richards and the most entertaining player of the era. I will always recall your genius against pace bowling. Second only to the Don, you entertained us fans for almost 2 decades.

Cheers to you mate.

Posted by KirGop on (November 29, 2012, 18:06 GMT)

Not second best!

Theres a tendency to rate Bradman #1 of all time. I rate him #1 of HIS time and reserve judgement regarding all time. Reason being Sir Don played ONLY in Engand and Aus.

All those huge centuries were scored in exactly two sets of conditions. To me that takes the sheen out of those copious achievements. No telling how he would have done on the maidans and gymkhanas. Would he score or complain about dysentery?

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 18:03 GMT)

no-one will achieve what you achieved for example 100 test wins, 34 world cup win streak, hattrick world cups. those are some great team achievment. you will be missed but never forgotten

Posted by ScoreField on (November 29, 2012, 17:36 GMT)

One of classics of our time, treat to watch his pull shots - good luck man...

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

There is no second thought, He is the Second Best in Australian Cricket. We are going to miss the one of the finest batsman. Thank you Ricky and best of luck for your retirement life.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

Lovely bat,stylish,majestic and courageous....2nd best in Australia yes, but some of the qualities above in a competitive era with wonderful bowlers even the great Don couldn't match.... To me the generation of Sachin, Lara, Ponting and inzy was out of this world....would miss his majestic strokes

Posted by CamS71 on (November 29, 2012, 17:23 GMT)

The author states: "Australia's second-best, without a doubt". Actually Mr English there's every doubt because he just isn't. Now I will state now that I do think Punter is a great bat. But 2nd to Bradman....really. In my viewing time alone he's behind Greg Chappell, Allan Border & poss Steve Waugh. Ponting has scored most of his runs during the period of possibly the least threatening bowlers / pitches in Test history against attacks often blunted by one of the great opening partnerships in history, without ever having to face one of the best opening bowlers (McGrath) in history. Or Warne.

An all-time great, yes definitely, but still wouldn't make my all-time Aussie Test 11.

I do however wish him all the best for the future.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 17:10 GMT)

Someone described ponting as the 'last man standing of the immortal Australian side of 2000's' and now with him retiring,the immortal side will only be seen in the history books altough i have to admit i hated him most of the time just because i was a supporter of the opposite team,which most of the times ended losing.but now i am pained by the way he has to retire.sure,he did retired on his own terms,but clearly he had no desire to quit,he did it because he was not able to perform and that he was becoming an elephant for the team. In the future i will always remember Ponting as the man who was a part and a leader of the Destructive and Immortal Australian era and as a batsman who pulled like no one else did. and obviously i will never forgive him for his 140 run in the finals of 2003 world cup that cost India the cup because i cried that day. gilly,warne,mcgrath,hayden,symonds,lee lead by Ponting and you guys came together and did form one hell of a team that rocked world cricket

Posted by Beazle on (November 29, 2012, 17:05 GMT)

The second best Australian Test batsman I have seen behind only Greg Chappell who faced better bowling on worse wickets and emerged with a higher average. But Ponting was a better one day batsman than Greg.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 17:04 GMT)

One of the best batsman of all time, magnificent fielder and fantastic puller of the cricket ball, the prime man of the australia's success and domination for over a decade, best of luck Punter

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 17:03 GMT)

Without stating anything that belittles the moment as big as Ponting's calling it a day, I beg to regurgitate yet another time why on earth people, the so-called cricket Pundits in particular, (anyway who is this chap Peter English) forget to mention or deliberately omit Jacques Henry Kallis when they talk of niceties about cricket's best showmen. Ponting's effervescence, no one doubts. Given. Sachin's broad, straight blade too is a point. Lara, at his best, was able to remind of atrocity that a batter can possess with willow in his hand that only Viv seemed to have. Now, what is Kallis's fault: Only that he combine them all, all the time. Perhaps, now, we the people do not need elite's opinions to declare the truth to be true. As there is no other way. Its almost tantamount to sliding the standard of game when one forgets Kallis, the game himself.

Posted by jacoblrfc on (November 29, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

Even as an englishman, i have to admire Pontings career. He seemed to always score vital runs at important times, and those are the most useful and character defining runs. True legend of the game.

Posted by Sanawana on (November 29, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

Part 2: but that criteria omits too many great batsmen just because some great batsmen have not played 20 or more first innings after losing the toss. So I changed the matches played from 20 and above to 13 and above to include some great aussies like Hayden and Langer and amazingly they were in the top 5 after KD walter and AB Devilliers. Ref: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;innings_number=1;orderby=batting_average;qualmin1=10;qualval1=matches;template=results;toss=2;type=batting If the criteria is changed to 5 minimum innings then MS Sinclair, KD walters and Hanif Muhammad tops the list. But I was looking for Bradman in the list and couldn't find a single test in which He was sent to bat after losing the toss. Maybe they didnt keep the record.

Posted by sawifan on (November 29, 2012, 16:32 GMT)

Such a great player, tough and uncompromising! Despite what some might think, he was an honest player, wore his heart on his sleeve and called a spade a spade. My only gripe with this piece is calling his runs against IND last year 'gifts'. Does that mean that the early/ mid career runs of Cook/ Bell? Pieterson and others should be judged as gifts too? Of course not! Runs from Indian bowlers away are always 'gifts', its only their batsmen who kept them alive. Punter, a true champion. Played hard, played FAIR. Good luck in your future!!

Posted by dadasupporterNO.1 on (November 29, 2012, 16:31 GMT)

@citizenkc,@Kushan Panapitiya oops how on earth did i forgot him!!!!!!may be i was thinking about human beings only....

Posted by Sanawana on (November 29, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

Part 1 :Stats do not always show the right picture and the greatness of a player but there I was playing on statsguru, just to find out how a batsman will fare on the criteria I set. One way to look at batsmen's skill is to look at how they average on bowler's friendly pitches. The assumption here is if a pitch is bowler friendly, the captain who wins the toss will opt for bowling and so by finding the first innings average of the batsmen will show us which batsman has fared well. So I set the criteria like this. Your team lose the toss and you are asked to bat (because it is bowler friendly pitch if you are asked to bat first). If you score well on that pitch, it means you have overcome the bowler friendly conditions. First I set the number of games more than 20 and the result according to average was like this. S fleming, J.Miandad, S.waugh, Tendulkar, Ponting, Gooch, Kallis, V.Richards. (continued)

Posted by peterhrt on (November 29, 2012, 16:16 GMT)

Only three of Cricinfo's ten Australian experts included Ponting in their all-time Australian XI, so there must be some doubt about where exactly he stands among the country's batting heroes. Certainly behind the two immortals Bradman and Trumper. Certainly ahead of more prosaic run-compilers like Border and Steve Waugh. Ponting belongs in a select second group who combined high-class technique and strokeplay with consistent runs at a healthy rate. The others, in order of appearance, are probably Macartney, McCabe, Harvey and Greg Chappell. All could take apart the best bowling rather than just stay in against it. Ponting was not as pleasing on the eye as some of the others, nor at his best on slow turning pitches (average 26 in India). But he handled the fast short ball better than Chappell, or Bradman for that matter, and was more run-hungry than McCabe and Harvey. With no recorded weakness, Macartney scored faster than all but Trumper. Ponting probably ranks fourth or fifth.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

My favourite player since I knew cricket!Those pull shots,sharp catches at slip,brilliant captain too.Each time Punter walked to the crease I would struggle to be calm,coz I wanted a century and got it many a time too!!Will always miss him,feel blessed to have watched you Ricky,happy retirement!!

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

Truly a legend, not just in modern Cricket. Probably one of the greatest players to have ever played cricket. Maybe everybody wants a great to be compared with Bradman but comparisons are odious. Ponting would have been Ponting even during Bradman's days. It is not right to compare cricketers from two different eras. As far as I am concerned, he is one of the greatest players to have wielded the willow. Hats off Punter. Not many can match you.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 15:56 GMT)

one of the greatest example how to lead with legends like gilly, warney, etc......great fielder.....best puller of cricket ball in modern era ...

Posted by alamgir17 on (November 29, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

No doubt the best Australian batsman of the modern era. Will miss him every time Australia plays a test match. Praying earnestly that he scores a hell lot of a runs in his last test & he does it without fear. All the best to Punter.

Posted by citizenkc on (November 29, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

second best??????? sorry who is better than him???

Some chap called Bradman, apparently.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

@dadasupporterNO.1 oh man im soo thrilled to answer this its Bradman of course.. now i know why you call yourself dadasupporterNO.1 LOLZ

Posted by citizenkc on (November 29, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

As an Indian fan, I dreaded seeing Ponting walk to the crease, but really that was because he was so devastating. He was the incomparable force behind Australia's success in the 90s and 00s. Congrats and happy retirement. Top 5 players in the last 25 years? (in alphabetical order): Kallis, Lara, Ponting, Tendulkar, and Warne (I would pick Murali instead of Warne, but I think Warne's allround record is better: batting in tests, 17+ vs Murali 11+ and 125 catches vs 72).

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 15:26 GMT)

He is one of the best player of all time.Some records of the best ODI captain is going to live for long long time: 1. Most win in ODI - 165 (76.14%). Border is 2nd highest in terms of numbers: 107 (but 61.42% only). Only these two won more than 100 matches so far. 2. Most matches as ODI captain - 230. Only SP Fleming (NZ) was the 2nd highest with 200+ matches (218). Among playing captains nearest is MS Dhoni (127 matches, won 73). Rest (who lead more than Dhoni) are retired.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 15:14 GMT)

As a stroke player and a big match player, Ponting is peerless. Ruthless in his approach, his world cup final hundreds come to mind. His retirement brings an end of era one felt for Richards, Lara, Lloyd and Greenidge.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

Good luck Mr. Ponting in your future en devours... you have been a great source of entertainment over the years... thank you for that... I personally am sorry to see you go... because I think you still have some cricket left in you... but its your decision... CRICKET will definitely miss you... good luck again...

Posted by   on (November 29, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

One of the greats of the modern era, one of my all time favourties. It is sad that he is leaving the game, but has contributed a lot on the International arena which will live forever in the memory of all the cricket lovers. I will miss you Ricky.......... God bless you and thank you for providing the entertainment of the highest level. Faisal Qureshi, Lahore, Pakistan.

Posted by dadasupporterNO.1 on (November 29, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

second best??????? sorry who is better than him???

Posted by saurabh13987 on (November 29, 2012, 14:23 GMT)

undoubtedly the best batsman in the worlds best team...the legends are departing this year with only one or two bad series....after RD and VVS its RP....hope so the trend stop over and not continue to depart the greatest of all :(

Posted by whoster on (November 29, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

A true champion of the game, and yes, undoubtedly Australia's second best batsman since the incomparable Bradman. I loved his fierce fighting spirit, and although this got him into trouble occasionally, it showed the passion he had when playing for, and captaining his country. His pull shot was one of the most wonderful sights you could see on a cricket field, and in his prime, was one of the most exciting and destructive batsmen around - on top of his incredible run scoring. Australia should be very proud of what he's achieved, and it just won't be the same next year when the Aussies visit our shores without him. A happy retirement to a living legend.

Posted by A.Ak on (November 29, 2012, 14:16 GMT)

He is surely one of th best. Also he has got the luxury of NOT batting against Warne, McGrath or Lee. Also his fielding is one of the best ever.

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