Australia news December 6, 2012

Ponting was fearless - Viv Richards

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Viv Richards has hailed Ricky Ponting's brashness and "show-no-fear" attitude as among his greatest traits, and Shane Warne has lauded Ponting's habit of making runs when Australia most needed them. Ponting farewelled Test cricket with Australia's loss to South Africa in Perth this week and on Thursday, Warne and Richards, in Melbourne in the lead-up to Friday night's Big Bash League opener, reflected on Ponting's 17-year Test career.

"Certainly he's up there with the very best," Richards said. "What I love about him more than anything else, you look at the way he walks out to the crease. He always has presence. There is a tenaciousness about him. He walks out and believes. He's not going to be intimidated by no one. I would like guys like that. I appreciate seeing guys who come out and have a particular presence."

The same words could have been used to describe Richards, one of Wisden's five cricketers of the century, a man who never wore a helmet and stared down fast bowlers all over the world while nonchalantly chewing his gum. Although the careers of the two men did not overlap - Richards retired from Test cricket four years before Ponting made his debut - Richards saw plenty of Ponting's batting and was impressed by the attitude he displayed from his very first match in 1995.

"A young batter who wants to make it, you cannot feel like you have one foot in and one foot out," Richards said. "You've got to make that crease your house. Ricky always made the crease his house. I've always been in his corner as a player because of that brashness, he's an in-your-face sort of guy. Show no fear. Batsmen sometimes can be intimidated by a guy from how far he runs up, but you just put that at the back of your mind and bat with what you have. Ricky, to me, certainly did that."

Richards is part of the BBL this year as a batting mentor for the Melbourne Stars, who are captained by Warne, a man who played 85 Tests alongside Ponting. Although Warne was not always enamoured with Ponting's captaincy decisions, he said Ponting's ability to score runs when Australia faced potential trouble was one of the reasons the team was so successful.

"It was fun to play with Ricky Ponting," Warne said. "I met him as a 16-year-old at the cricket academy in Adelaide. He was a guy who was pretty tough and an uncompromising sort of player. He will definitely go down with Greg Chappell and Allan Border and Bradman as the greatest batsmen Australia have had, and he'll hold up well on the international stage.

"He loved a scrap, he loved a fight, he was always good when the team really needed him he put his hand up. That's a really good characteristic in any player. It's not about how many runs you get, it's about when you get your runs and when you take your wickets. I think Ricky always got the majority of his runs when Australia really needed him. That was a standout characteristic of his. He was good fun to play with and tough as nails."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ranveerrsingh on December 9, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    Ponting was a selfish cricketer as well who refused to retire from ODIs and had to be thrown out of the ODI team. He knew that he would be dropped from the Test side as well shortly which is why he retired before that happened!! If Ponting had the team goal in mind he would retired many many months ago.....and even when he retired he answered by saying that "he felt too much pressure to score runs and therefore could not contribute" instead of saying that "it was time to make way for some young guns". Viv Richards was a fantastic batsman but then, he never had to face his own pace bowlers. I remember Viv stating some years ago that the best batsman he has seen was Gavaskar purely because of his ability to score a mountain of runs against the WI pacemen!

  • zenboomerang on December 9, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    Bradman managed a Test 50 or century @52.5% every time he went out to bat... In Tests (50's + 100's) - Tendulkar @36.6% - Lara @35.3% - Ponting @35.88% - Kallis @37.3% - Amla @36% - Cook @34% - Sobers @35% - Viv Richards @37.9% - all remarkably similar rates of conversion, some considered among the greatest batsmen ever, yet all are way below Bradmans rate of good scores to innings played... Says it all really...

    Bradman also missed out on playing cricket between late 1938 & late 1946 - 8 years when at his peak (30-38 years old) - the most productive years for most batsmen... So there is a reasonable likelihood that his record would have been even better if not for the war...

  • cricindian.com on December 9, 2012, 22:50 GMT

    Lara and Ponting don't even average 50 while playing tests overseas.....while Viv Richards could not average 50 playing at home!! Does any one of these have an ODI double hundred? NO. Tendulkar has the best all round record....in both ODIs and Test cricket....has to be the greatest ever!!

  • zenboomerang on December 9, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    @cricindian.com ... Why don't you just read cricinfo's player profile on "the Don"...

    Quote :- "Sir Donald Bradman of Australia was, beyond any argument, the greatest batsman who ever lived and the greatest cricketer of the 20th century"...

  • Jojygeorge on December 9, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    We Aussies just cannot accept the fact that SRT is better than Bradman. While Bradman could not make just 4 runs to make his test average 100 due to immense pressure, SRT also struggled to make 100 international hundreds but in the end he succeeded!! While comparing eras also look at the conditions under which the runs were scored, Bradman scored all his runs in just two countries Eng and Aus where the conditions are sutied for fast bowling whereas SRT has played on raging turners, fast bouncy pitches and seaming pitches and bowlers who were just exceptional like Warne,Murali, Ambrose, Walsh, McGrath,Akram, Waqar, Akhtar and many more!! There were no bowlers of such high quality during Bradman's era and what about the LBW rule during Bradman's era?......still Bradman got out LBW 6 times in his career.Hadlee,Bob Willis and Naser Hussain are not Indians but they have clearly mentioned on air that SRT is the greatest batsman of all time!! Swann also said the same just recently!

  • on December 9, 2012, 20:51 GMT

    Bradman would have struggled on raging turners? Seeing as he dismantled every spinner he faced including Bill O'Reilly who was probably better than Warne. Brandman was twice as good as the next best of his era. How could you possibly rate anyone else above an average of 99.94? He smashed the Indians in Australia. he smashed the South Africans and would have also done so on their own turf if you look at Neil Harvey and the like in 1949 (Bradman was much beter than Harvey). Daylight second.....

  • Mitcher on December 9, 2012, 2:24 GMT

    Indians fans who say Sachin is better than bradman ( be assured, it's ONLY Indians) are probably the same ones who said: Indian would beat England in England; would beat Australia in Australia; would teach England a lesson in India... So, how did those pearls of wisdom work out?

  • warnerbasher on December 8, 2012, 22:33 GMT

    The only way you can compare eras is judging players against the performance of their contemporaries and Sir Don average 40 more than anyone else he played with or against. Extraordinary performance and he didn't have the opportunity to feast on Bangladesh bowling either!! Tendulkar is not even the best player in his own era much less comparing him to Sir Don. Lara and Ponting for me are the 2 best players in the last 20 years because they played their cricket with the team goal in mind. Kallis and SRT were/are single minded accumulators who seem intent on furthering their own ambitions. Further Lara and Punter had the added burden of captaincy a job that proved clearly beyond SRT's capabilities. Self absorbed cricketers don't make good captains. However like a previous poster anyone who saw Sir Viv in his prime knows that he leaves the other 4 in the shade when it comes to batsmanship

  • Flying_Turtle on December 8, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    If he keeps up his form , I think Alastair Cook will be mentioned along the likes of Lara, Kallis, Sachin, Ponting. He has been in sublime form for 3 years. Now with the English test captaincy under his belt, seems to going from strength to strength. Amla and Clarke also have time and opportunities to leave the game as all time greats IMO

  • cricindian.com on December 8, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    landl47, I support the Indian team...Garry Sobers is a good one......i appreciate the fact that you are not commenting on someone's batting because you haven't seen him bat. Just wish that the ignorant Aussies would do the same......more than half the current Australian population have not seen Bradman bat, but all of them say that he was the greatest.....wonder why!! It just sounds hilarious!! I just checked up Garry Sobers' records on cricinfo and he averages less than 25 against New Zealand!!

  • Ranveerrsingh on December 9, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    Ponting was a selfish cricketer as well who refused to retire from ODIs and had to be thrown out of the ODI team. He knew that he would be dropped from the Test side as well shortly which is why he retired before that happened!! If Ponting had the team goal in mind he would retired many many months ago.....and even when he retired he answered by saying that "he felt too much pressure to score runs and therefore could not contribute" instead of saying that "it was time to make way for some young guns". Viv Richards was a fantastic batsman but then, he never had to face his own pace bowlers. I remember Viv stating some years ago that the best batsman he has seen was Gavaskar purely because of his ability to score a mountain of runs against the WI pacemen!

  • zenboomerang on December 9, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    Bradman managed a Test 50 or century @52.5% every time he went out to bat... In Tests (50's + 100's) - Tendulkar @36.6% - Lara @35.3% - Ponting @35.88% - Kallis @37.3% - Amla @36% - Cook @34% - Sobers @35% - Viv Richards @37.9% - all remarkably similar rates of conversion, some considered among the greatest batsmen ever, yet all are way below Bradmans rate of good scores to innings played... Says it all really...

    Bradman also missed out on playing cricket between late 1938 & late 1946 - 8 years when at his peak (30-38 years old) - the most productive years for most batsmen... So there is a reasonable likelihood that his record would have been even better if not for the war...

  • cricindian.com on December 9, 2012, 22:50 GMT

    Lara and Ponting don't even average 50 while playing tests overseas.....while Viv Richards could not average 50 playing at home!! Does any one of these have an ODI double hundred? NO. Tendulkar has the best all round record....in both ODIs and Test cricket....has to be the greatest ever!!

  • zenboomerang on December 9, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    @cricindian.com ... Why don't you just read cricinfo's player profile on "the Don"...

    Quote :- "Sir Donald Bradman of Australia was, beyond any argument, the greatest batsman who ever lived and the greatest cricketer of the 20th century"...

  • Jojygeorge on December 9, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    We Aussies just cannot accept the fact that SRT is better than Bradman. While Bradman could not make just 4 runs to make his test average 100 due to immense pressure, SRT also struggled to make 100 international hundreds but in the end he succeeded!! While comparing eras also look at the conditions under which the runs were scored, Bradman scored all his runs in just two countries Eng and Aus where the conditions are sutied for fast bowling whereas SRT has played on raging turners, fast bouncy pitches and seaming pitches and bowlers who were just exceptional like Warne,Murali, Ambrose, Walsh, McGrath,Akram, Waqar, Akhtar and many more!! There were no bowlers of such high quality during Bradman's era and what about the LBW rule during Bradman's era?......still Bradman got out LBW 6 times in his career.Hadlee,Bob Willis and Naser Hussain are not Indians but they have clearly mentioned on air that SRT is the greatest batsman of all time!! Swann also said the same just recently!

  • on December 9, 2012, 20:51 GMT

    Bradman would have struggled on raging turners? Seeing as he dismantled every spinner he faced including Bill O'Reilly who was probably better than Warne. Brandman was twice as good as the next best of his era. How could you possibly rate anyone else above an average of 99.94? He smashed the Indians in Australia. he smashed the South Africans and would have also done so on their own turf if you look at Neil Harvey and the like in 1949 (Bradman was much beter than Harvey). Daylight second.....

  • Mitcher on December 9, 2012, 2:24 GMT

    Indians fans who say Sachin is better than bradman ( be assured, it's ONLY Indians) are probably the same ones who said: Indian would beat England in England; would beat Australia in Australia; would teach England a lesson in India... So, how did those pearls of wisdom work out?

  • warnerbasher on December 8, 2012, 22:33 GMT

    The only way you can compare eras is judging players against the performance of their contemporaries and Sir Don average 40 more than anyone else he played with or against. Extraordinary performance and he didn't have the opportunity to feast on Bangladesh bowling either!! Tendulkar is not even the best player in his own era much less comparing him to Sir Don. Lara and Ponting for me are the 2 best players in the last 20 years because they played their cricket with the team goal in mind. Kallis and SRT were/are single minded accumulators who seem intent on furthering their own ambitions. Further Lara and Punter had the added burden of captaincy a job that proved clearly beyond SRT's capabilities. Self absorbed cricketers don't make good captains. However like a previous poster anyone who saw Sir Viv in his prime knows that he leaves the other 4 in the shade when it comes to batsmanship

  • Flying_Turtle on December 8, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    If he keeps up his form , I think Alastair Cook will be mentioned along the likes of Lara, Kallis, Sachin, Ponting. He has been in sublime form for 3 years. Now with the English test captaincy under his belt, seems to going from strength to strength. Amla and Clarke also have time and opportunities to leave the game as all time greats IMO

  • cricindian.com on December 8, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    landl47, I support the Indian team...Garry Sobers is a good one......i appreciate the fact that you are not commenting on someone's batting because you haven't seen him bat. Just wish that the ignorant Aussies would do the same......more than half the current Australian population have not seen Bradman bat, but all of them say that he was the greatest.....wonder why!! It just sounds hilarious!! I just checked up Garry Sobers' records on cricinfo and he averages less than 25 against New Zealand!!

  • landl47 on December 8, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    I can't comment on Bradman because I never saw him and neither, I'm pretty sure, did anyone commenting here. I can tell you that the best batsman I have ever seen was not Tendulkar or Ponting or Kallis or Lara or Viv Richards, it was Garry Sobers. I think you'll find that pretty much everyone who has seen all of them would say the same thing. @Deeps Joshi: Ponting's record as a captain was great when he inherited a side containing Hayden, Langer, Martyn, Gilchrist, Warne, McGrath and Lee. When they retired his record dropped off dramatically and Michael Clarke, inheriting a much weaker side, has looked much the better captain. Ponting lost The Ashes three times, not a record he will be proud to own, and failed to bring through new players to replace those who retired . Great player, but not a great captain.

  • tappee74 on December 8, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    People will have a lot to say.Opinions continue to fall like rain,but how do we judge great players? Some look at excitement, others look at stats and yet there are those who look at temperament.Overall its all component of this great sport we call cricket.Rickey Ponting to my mind has fulfilled every facet of requirements.He is a top class player who ranks with the best.His record is a testimony of greatness,with an avg: of 51.85,41 hundreds.62 fifties in test,and 30 centuries and 82 fifties in ODI this gentleman from Australia is on top of the clouds.In today's batting, there are a few names that have touched the platform of greatness.In that group is Sachin Tendulkar whom I think is the best ever,Kallis a master piece,Shivnarine Chanderpaul solid as a rock,as a matter of fact as he ages he has gotten better,I think he is the most difficult to bowl at,Amla a revelation,Sangakara a beauty to look at,Jayawardene,Cook, Smith,Hussey,Clarke and there are quite a few more.

  • Moppa on December 8, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    I'm baffled as to why Tendulkar v Bradman came up in the comments here. Richards does not mention Tendulkar, Lara, Bradman or anyone else. Warne simply states the obvious when he says Ponting will be rated with G.Chappell, Border and Bradman. But... I've been baited. @jojygeorge seems to mix up longevity with excellence. Tendulkar is a great batsman, but the volume of runs he has scored simply can't be compared meaningfully with Bradman's average. What makes Bradman stand out from all other batsmen of all eras was his conversion of 50s to 100s and 100s to 200s - he had an insatiable appetite for runs. It is absurd to state that he wouldn't average 50 now. Whether he would average 60 or 75 or 99.94 is moot, but there is no doubt that he would dominate often enough to be the outstanding bat of any era. I think it is petty and demeaning to put Bradman down in the way some do here.

  • Ricas on December 8, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    Viv was the man. We all get parochial about who is the best. I am an Aussie but like a lot of us my age we all get a bit sentimental about Viv. He reckons Ponting owned the crease. When Viv swaggered out to bat he owned the stadium, including the opposing team. If not the best he had to be the coolest in history. Test cricket reached its zenith when Lillee was charging in with his Mo and gold chain intent on knocking Vivs head off (no helmet of course) and Viv stood there chewing his gum intent on smashing Lillee into the stands. Now the fast bowler would be no balled for bouncers and then told to miss a few games to rest his tired little footsies.

  • Jojygeorge on December 8, 2012, 2:44 GMT

    Hammond, typical Aussie arrogance when it comes to Bradman.....SRT has enough statistical records to beat Bradman at any given time......

    if playing without helmet against quicks is a criteria for becoming the greatest then Gavaskar is the greatest batsman ever because he averaged 65 against the Windies quicks without using a helmet!! Bradman would have struggled on the raging turners in the sub-continent.....make no mistake!! It's only the Aussies who consider Bradman the greatest, Nasser Hussain, Hadlee, Bob Willis also have at different times stated that SRT is the greatest batsman ever.....

  • Jojygeorge on December 7, 2012, 23:34 GMT

    Hammond, if you are relying on statisitics to state that Bradman is the greatest ever then you are wrong because SRT has got enough statistical records to beat Bradman. Also, Bradman himself has said looking at SRT bat that he bats like him. 1)SRT is the number 1 player for Warne 2) he is the best against whom Ponting has played according to Ponting himself 3)Hadlee has clearly mentioned few months ago that SRT is the greatest batsman ever 4)Bob Wills also in one of this commentary stints during the 1999 WC clearly stated that SRT looks like the greatest batsman ever. SRT is the greatest batsman for most of the cricketing world apart from us Aussies......i know it is painful for us to admit it.....but that is how it is......no one cares about our opinion only which is masked by patriotism to a large extent!!

  • Jojygeorge on December 7, 2012, 21:53 GMT

    Hammond, no use crying sour grapes mate......please check the overseas and home average of Kallis in tests as compared to SRT. Also Kallis has been scoring heaps of runs just recently whereas SRT has been doing it for many years. Please check the cricinfo records for 'Fastest to 10000,11000,12000,130000,14000 runs' in both Test and ODI cricket, SRT beats Ponting, Kallis and Lara in almost all the catergories.

    The problem is we Aussies believe that Bradman would average 99 if he had played today!! None of the cricketing world believes that and if you believe so stop dreaming and move on....as for SRT averaging 15 without a helmet, i am pretty sure Bradman would average that much with a helmet on against Warne,Murali, Akram,Waqar, Ambrose, Donald, McGrath!!

  • on December 7, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    Ponting the greatest captain, as well the one of the great match winner, surely SRT has got lot more runs then him, but SRT is not a match winner at all, like LARA who surely have less runs, but won the matches at his own, for me SRT play for his own runs then thinking of winning the matches at his own

  • Ragav999 on December 7, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    @Greatest_Game: Kallis is a great batsman but his runs come at a much slower pace when compared to Sachin, Ponting and Lara. But Kallis can be considered as the greatest and most complete cricketer of all time rather than just as a pure batsman. @popcorn: Michael Hussey is as good as Ponting at his peak. I believe Hussey would have averaged around 60 to 65 had he made his debut earlier.

  • Hammond on December 7, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    @Jojygeorge- sorry mate, have heard it all before. Bradman averaged Tendulkars test average against a Bodyline attack with no helmet on. I can imagine Sachin averaging about 15 against such an attack. Tendulkar isn't even the best batsman of his own generation, Kallis takes that cake. Sachin is the best Indian batsman ever, but that really isn't saying that much. I can't think of half a dozen test batsman (not including Bradman) who were superior to SRT.

  • Hammond on December 7, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    Ponting will always be remembered as an embarrassment in my country Viv, precisely for the reasons that you admired him.

  • Jojygeorge on December 7, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    Barnesy4444 and mixters, it is only us Aussies who consider Bradman to be better than SRT.... because 1) you state that Bradman played against most of the modern test nations...however,they were all played in Aus or England,easy to get used to the conditions 2)Bradman never played against spinners on the sub-continent or the Windies quicks in WI 3) the ICC records also state that SRT is the highest run scorer in both Tests and ODI....do not restrict yourself to some old ICC ratings 4) please check out the lbw rule during Bradman's time which more than makes up for uncovered pitches, Bradman still got lbw 6 times 5)Bradman could not handle the immense pressure to score just 4 runs in his last innings to make his average 100, SRT has been handling pressure from 1billion 6) Bradman never faced bowlers like Akram,Waqar,Murali,Warne,McGrath,Donald,Ambrose,Walsh 7) remember SRT also has 18000 ODI runs at a strike rate of 86....just astonishing!! Very Very sorry mate....SRT is the Greatest!!

  • on December 7, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    Bravo bravo, yes bradman played on uncovered pitches, but did u know that the lbw rule was too much in favor of the batsmen during his time. look it up mate, I'm sure u will be surprised.

  • Beertjie on December 7, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    Take note you impostors of greatness: "It's not about how many runs you get, it's about when you get your runs" (Shane Warne).

  • HatsforBats on December 7, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    I remember a stats article on this website comparing batsmen across a 52 test period. There was Bradman at the top then daylight, then Ponting, Lara & Sobers. During the peak years of a batsman (28-32) between 2002-2006 Ponting averaged 74. He was truly extraordinary.

  • on December 7, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    Ponting will be not only be remembered as a best batsman but as a best captain as well..hardly one can match his leadership

  • Jojygeorge on December 7, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    Barnesy44444, we Aussies have got it drilled into our system that there is no greater batsman than Bradman.....which is why we get emotional or patriotic when he hear that someone else is better than Bradman. Also, remember that we, Aussies were not willing to play Bangladesh as often as we play the Poms because we just love playing the weak English bowlers (till about 4 years ago) and smashing them everywhere!! It is not SRT's fault that we did not play Bangladesh too often......maybe we were more concerned about our stats against the Poms..... Just one last point, do you believe that Bradman would be averaging 99 in the current day and age of test cricket.......no way mate.....you must be absolutely kidding if you think so!! Most of the Aussies don't believe that Bradman would average that much in modern day cricket, somewhere close to 60 is what most of them reckon, though that would still be optimistic. Please gracefully accept that SRT is better than Bradman and move on...

  • VivtheGreatest on December 7, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    Rich tributes from two legends of the game and for those who are vociferously arguing whether Sachin, Lara or Ponting is the best I have news for u- For those of us who have seen Sir Viv batting there is only one winner!

  • mixters on December 7, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    @vish2020 looking thru a pinhole as always. Bradman played against most of the modern test nations with the exception of Sri Lanka and Pakistan with great results against all. The reason there are no great bowlers of that era may have had a lot to do with Bradman. The offical ratings place him number one by a lot and lets not forget he played as a young man and a old one. The prime of his career was closed (no cricket during WW2) what might his stats have been if those late 20s early 30s years had him playing test cricket. We will never know like all players his Ave went down as he got older but at 39 he was averaging well into the hundreds

  • cricketdotcom on December 7, 2012, 4:43 GMT

    Sir Viv you told the truth that Ponting was fearless, I think it,s a real truth Bcz the whole world saw his Joburg inning........

  • Barnesy4444 on December 7, 2012, 3:56 GMT

    Jojygeorge, Sachin is a great batsman and good for the game generally, but to say he's better than Bradman? I'm sorry mate, I draw the line there. Stats only tell half the story (you forgot to add that Bradmans average is double Sachins, does that mean he was twice as good?). When did any modern players ever play on an uncovered pitch? You don't think Bradman would have averaged 150 against Bangladesh, for example, a team that Sachin has played against a lot more than Ponting ever did? They are all great players but nobody comes close to Bradman, I'm sorry.

  • Kibbo79 on December 7, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    Seriously creekeetman that comment that Lara never scored runs when his team needed them shows that you never watched West Indies tests. And if by chance you did, it is an embarrassing comment that shows you know nothing about cricket.

  • MaruthuDelft on December 7, 2012, 3:38 GMT

    No @popcorn. Ricky was not even as good as Lara and Tendulkar. Before that we had Viv Richards, Gary Sobers, Gream Pollock and Barry Richards. So he is seventh if we consider he is better than Greg Chappel and Martin Crowe. You should have seen Crowe pulling Ambrose and Akram in the WC 1992.

  • on December 7, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    Viv Richards is the best and most fearless batsmen I've ever seen. Lara not far behind.

  • on December 7, 2012, 3:29 GMT

    " It's not about how many runs you get, it's about when you get your runs and when you take your wickets".- Warne

    Ponting was fearless - Viv Richards

  • BravoBravo on December 7, 2012, 2:42 GMT

    Viv is absolutely right. Ponting won more test matches alone than any subcontinent teams (except PAK) and NZ. Yes , Lara, Izamam, Kallis, and may be Dravid are match winners of recent times. Oher may be record holders but definitely not match winners. Like Viv says "It's not about how many runs you get, it's about when you get your runs and when you take your wickets." Aus has the best WIN to LOSS Ratio in tset matches and ODI's among top 5 teams (AUS, WI, SA, ENG, and PAK). Bottom line is that enjoy the game, and if a person of Viv's calibers make a comment, respect his opinion. He made a truthful comment about Ponting, and definitely Viv is not influenced by the money (from BBL) as some of disguised fan(s) are suggesting here.

  • tappee74 on December 7, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    Its good to hear from Richards.Ponting profile speaks volumes of a great player who will be hailed as a great sportsman,a gentleman and one who was far from pettiness and arrogance.People remember the numerous triumphs on the fields of great players,people also acknowledge the behaviour of players which either inscribe them as immortals or just a player.Ponting is one such player whose name will be inscribed in immortality.

  • on December 7, 2012, 2:17 GMT

    To Jojyeorge.....since you are quoting all those home and away stats......I wonder how some players would stacked up if mutual umpires or DRS was in vogue many moons ago in some countries. I love the notion of the gentleman's game and walking when you now that you hit it and you were out. We dont have to rehash some harsh home decision in formative years that could have made significant differences to some of the stats you just quoted.

  • Imz25 on December 7, 2012, 2:15 GMT

    This is what matters most. Ponting will be remembered by more than just his numbers. Spot on, King Viv!

  • Nathan_R_Patrick on December 7, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    For once, someone "southpaw" is looking at cricket from 35000 ft. I'm so glad that we are talking about beyond the boundaries of nations. Cricket always wins when we see these stalwarts perform. Everyone renders different kind of art but end of the day all of them are artists in some shape or form. Punter sure had unmatched killer instinct and fantastic body language to match that, both on and off the field.

  • aby_prasad on December 7, 2012, 1:29 GMT

    jojygeorge, so ur an aussie eh. heh heh nice try :P, though i like the stats for the fastest 10 runs, 20 runs etc . the point here is ponting won more matches than anyone, when u compare the best batsmen. isnt that what all of these guys play for after all? nywys all of em r legends i agree.

  • SnowSnake on December 7, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    Richards is speaking from a different generation where people did not use helmets. Fearless does not mean anything to me. I don't see any batman having any fear against any bowlers. Fast bowlers rarely cross 145 kmph mark so what is there to fear about?

  • skkh on December 7, 2012, 1:04 GMT

    Ponting was the last of the true Aussie never say die cricketers. That trait is sadly lacking in our players today. He wore his baggy green with pride and passion. In my opinion he was the best Aussie batsman after Bradman. Maybe there are better players from other countries but his selfless trait and him putting his hand up whenever his country needed it and his attitude of not caring for the records stands out and separates him from all his contemporaries. We in Australia will certainly miss him.

  • on December 7, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    Great player...wil be missed in Test Cricket....Hope the Aussies can take some beating now.

  • on December 7, 2012, 0:25 GMT

    One of the few men who fear no one when batting . In this time of cricket I must say LARA, POINTING and TENDULKAR gave us plenty to cheer about . Now we have AMLA on the rise .

  • SouthPaw on December 6, 2012, 23:54 GMT

    All you guys - forget who was/is the best & disregard rankings. I remember, as a kid, being fascinated by Sobers, Lillee, etc., then, as a teenager, watching the fluent stroke-play of GR Viswanath, the solidity of Border & Gavaskar, the mesmerizing fluidity of Holding, the relentlessness of Marshall, then, as a young man watching ChappellG, Azhar, Hadlee, Gower, Botham, etc., and now, Lara, Dravid, SRT, Ponting, Warne, Murali, Aravinda, Sehwag, Laxman, Pietersen, Kirsten, Kallis and so many others. Does it matter who scored more runs or whose average is better? THEY ARE ALL THE BEST! Watch them and enjoy, just as you would enjoy Beethoven, Guns 'n' Roses, Pearl Jam, Santana, Eminem, etc., without comparing or ranking!

  • on December 6, 2012, 23:49 GMT

    Greatest Australian batsman since Bradman? I think Harvey and Border were better than he. His averages: at home 57, away 45. And he was certainly one of the worst-behaved players ever. Poor example.

  • Greatest_Game on December 6, 2012, 23:32 GMT

    @ Popcorn. Ponting was a great batsman, but your'e dreaming if you think that he was better than Kallis.

  • Barnesy4444 on December 6, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    Viv was voted the 4th best cricketer of the century by his peers. Many had better stats but Viv was voted because of the way he scored runs. He never took a backward step, he intimidated bowlers and fielding teams. He could take control and change a test match in a session, hang on, I just described Ponting!! That's why Punter will always be top of the line and certainly better than Kallis.

  • creekeetman on December 6, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    the article mentions viv not wearing a helmet, reminds me of an incident against australia in 1979 where he got hit in the head from a hogg bouncer, an injury that would send most batsmen to the hospital. not viv though, on the field attention, pain killers and he was ready to go again.. helmetless... next ball another bouncer, this one went for 6... lol, i would say he knows a thing or two about being fearless.

  • on December 6, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    Popcorn, Cpl Meanster, I reckon Viv might also object to calling Ponting "best since Bradman".Best Australian batsman since Bradman? Possibly. Greg Chappell (who I saw batting at Taunton as a young man) runs him close.

  • Jojygeorge on December 6, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    Iam an Aussie....Viv wants to make lots of money in Aus from the BBL...this is expected from him!! SRT is the best batsman ever by a long margin, please check the cricinfo records for "Fastest to 10000,11000,12000,13000, 14000" runs in both Tests and ODIs Here is another stunning statistic that confirms that SRT is a cut above Lara, Kallis or Ponting, SRT averages 55 in both home and overseas tests, Ponting averages 46 in home tests and 56 overseas, Kallis averages 54 overseas and almost 60 at home and Lara averages 48 overseas and 59 at home..Kallis, Lara and Ponting bulk up their averages at home and do not perform as well overseas...this gets masked by their home averages Also, Lara averages less than 40 against India while Kallis averages less than 40 against SL Bradman played more than 90% of his matches against England!! He would not have averaged more than 50 in current day and age where Test cricket is played in more than 10 countries SRT is best BATSMAN EVER..period!!

  • creekeetman on December 6, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    lara may have been a great batsman, but he did little for his team when needed, just like tendukar... test cricket is about contributing when it counts, and ponting certainly did that. the best since bradman? no, but definitely up there.

  • moBlue on December 6, 2012, 22:21 GMT

    @ popcorn: not so fast! :) lara, sachin and kallis, the last of whom i consider the greatest (though i am from IND), all three of them had no weakness - not pace, nor spin, nor weakness against any country. ponting did!!! in IND, in 14 tests and 25 innings, ponting averaged 26 with but one ton! ...and in 2001, he was bhajji's bunny!!! not "the best batsman ever" by any stretch of the imagination!!! not even "AUS's second best batter" ever, probably [hussey/clarke might be... neither of them fear spin as ponting did].

  • Chris_P on December 6, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    In hindsight (too bad you can't have it BEFOREhand) he probably played a year too long, but, that said, he did look back to his imperious best last year & probably thought he had 2 more years left. His legacy far outweighs his shortcomings, (which we all have) &, although not a huge fan of T20 & ODI's, that innings in the WC final against India was IMHO, his greatest knock in terms of pure batsmanship. Richards is one who rarely talks up other players, so that statement was very special from the great man himself.

  • thruthecovers on December 6, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    World cricket is in good hands though. Ponting can enjoy his retirement, knowing that Hashim, AB, Cook, Kohli and Clarke of his beloved AUS will take it from here. These and a few others, Nasir Jamshed especially, will take the game to further heights. Just like Ponting, Tendulkar, Lara and Kallis did when ViV retired

  • thruthecovers on December 6, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    The pshychological effect of playing in the best team of his era can not be denied. A team who had the best allround bowling attack he didn't have to face. Testament to his batting prowess diminished once Warne, McGrath, Hayden, the Waughs etc have retired. But a great batsman nonetheless! They were 2/3 down for nothing on occassion, but in a great line-up like that, one of them is bound to stand up. He delivered on most occasions. I can only hope that someone will say the same about HASHIM AMLA and/or AB once they decide to retire one day.

  • on December 6, 2012, 20:29 GMT

    Have a look at 2012 test batting records on CricInfo and you will see Ponting in his "failure" year ranked higher than all but one Indian batsman - he, still in a year of failures managed to be ranked in the top 20 in the world test batsman...an extraordinary career

  • vish2020 on December 6, 2012, 20:16 GMT

    Ponting was a great batsman and I will miss seeing him! Why we always mention Don Bradnan as the best? Did he play on different conditions? England and Aus are same conditions!! He never played in the Caribbean against the "great" Caribbean attack of the day!! He would have failed miserably or he would scored avg. of 50! But in my eyes he is not better than ponting, Sachin, Lara and kallis! The guy is below them for sure!! The attack he played against, did any of them make top 10 bowlers in the history? Yeah thought so!!!!

  • smudgeon on December 6, 2012, 19:27 GMT

    No higher compliment in my book than being talked up by one of the all-time best! I think Viv's nailed it in one - Ricky was fearless. Like him or loathe him for his attitude, you can't deny the man was fantastic to watch. Can't wait to wander down to Invermay sometime in the next 12 months and see Ricky having a bash for Mowbs!

  • Ubaidaleem on December 6, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    Someone with 100 test wins should not go out on a defeat. But may be he played one series too many before realizing that its over. Ideally, he should have left after successful home series against India. Great player nonetheless!

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 6, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    @popcorn: That's quite a bold statement and a false one at that. Ponting was certainly one of the best but he wasn't the 'be all' of batting by any means. Sachin, Lara, Kallis all will have something to say to that.

  • on December 6, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    Brian Lara was the BEST BATSMAN ever in the world since Sir Donald Bradman.

  • on December 6, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    @popcorn - Let's not get carried away!! Ricky was a great batsman. He is up there with Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar as the best batsmen of their generation. Ricky was a fighter and gave as well as he took. He loved to "sledge" players, even though I personally don't care for it. I will remember Ricky as an all-time great!!

  • mikey76 on December 6, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    Popcorn. A slight exaggeration. Gary Sobers, Brian Lara and Jaques Kallis might disagree. Certainly a great player, but not as great as you're making out. He made his debut in 1995 when the great WI pace attack was winding down and he never had to face Warne or McGrath.

  • mixters on December 6, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    @popcorn If you go by the offical rateings of the ICC that would be Hutton and righly so Ricky is the second best since Bradman tied third on the all time greatest rating list with Hobbs. An amazing 24 positions above Tendulkar a very over rated player it seams as his all time high on the rating list is 26. Soon to be run out of the top thirty by Clarke and Amla, Alister Cook will go above him soon as well I think. Opinon is well and good but it is great to see the real greats on the offical lists where they deserve to be Will miss you Ricky

  • on December 6, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    there is fine line between brashness and arrogance, Ponting at-times crosses that line. A great batsman but an average sports person. Nevertheless we will miss u dearly!!

  • on December 6, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    Totally agree with Warne. A player's capability is judged when he delivers when the team needs it the most and Ponting has always delivered. Who can forget that pasting India got in 2003 WC Final. Match was over even before the first half concluded. A fearless daring, bold competitor and add his fielding no doubt one of the best the World will ever see. Who can ever match 104 test wins as a player, 3 WC wins, 2 as a captain, awesome captaincy record. That's a thundering achievement and may take a century to be broken.

  • on December 6, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    It ia sad that his farewell match was spoilt by the Proteas. However, he is one of the greatest batsman ever played international cricket.

  • popcorn on December 6, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    Ricky Ponting was the BEST BATSMAN ever in the world since Sir Donald Bradman.

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  • popcorn on December 6, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    Ricky Ponting was the BEST BATSMAN ever in the world since Sir Donald Bradman.

  • on December 6, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    It ia sad that his farewell match was spoilt by the Proteas. However, he is one of the greatest batsman ever played international cricket.

  • on December 6, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    Totally agree with Warne. A player's capability is judged when he delivers when the team needs it the most and Ponting has always delivered. Who can forget that pasting India got in 2003 WC Final. Match was over even before the first half concluded. A fearless daring, bold competitor and add his fielding no doubt one of the best the World will ever see. Who can ever match 104 test wins as a player, 3 WC wins, 2 as a captain, awesome captaincy record. That's a thundering achievement and may take a century to be broken.

  • on December 6, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    there is fine line between brashness and arrogance, Ponting at-times crosses that line. A great batsman but an average sports person. Nevertheless we will miss u dearly!!

  • mixters on December 6, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    @popcorn If you go by the offical rateings of the ICC that would be Hutton and righly so Ricky is the second best since Bradman tied third on the all time greatest rating list with Hobbs. An amazing 24 positions above Tendulkar a very over rated player it seams as his all time high on the rating list is 26. Soon to be run out of the top thirty by Clarke and Amla, Alister Cook will go above him soon as well I think. Opinon is well and good but it is great to see the real greats on the offical lists where they deserve to be Will miss you Ricky

  • mikey76 on December 6, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    Popcorn. A slight exaggeration. Gary Sobers, Brian Lara and Jaques Kallis might disagree. Certainly a great player, but not as great as you're making out. He made his debut in 1995 when the great WI pace attack was winding down and he never had to face Warne or McGrath.

  • on December 6, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    @popcorn - Let's not get carried away!! Ricky was a great batsman. He is up there with Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar as the best batsmen of their generation. Ricky was a fighter and gave as well as he took. He loved to "sledge" players, even though I personally don't care for it. I will remember Ricky as an all-time great!!

  • on December 6, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    Brian Lara was the BEST BATSMAN ever in the world since Sir Donald Bradman.

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 6, 2012, 18:49 GMT

    @popcorn: That's quite a bold statement and a false one at that. Ponting was certainly one of the best but he wasn't the 'be all' of batting by any means. Sachin, Lara, Kallis all will have something to say to that.

  • Ubaidaleem on December 6, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    Someone with 100 test wins should not go out on a defeat. But may be he played one series too many before realizing that its over. Ideally, he should have left after successful home series against India. Great player nonetheless!