Australia v India, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 1st day December 12, 2003

'I don't care about ratings' - Ponting

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Ricky Ponting: got value for his strokes
© Getty Images

Ricky Ponting pronounced himself "pretty happy" with the way in which he played on the opening day at the Adelaide Oval, though he admitted that Sehwag's dropped catch at gully - when he had made just 17 - was "a big let-off". "It was a good wicket, and a good outfield," he said, "and you got real value for your strokes."

He admitted that the Australians were in command, but cautioned against making too many plans ahead of tomorrow. "We want to get as many as we can, but we also know that it's going to be hard work for the bowlers," he said, when asked about the possibility of enforcing the follow-on.

Ponting's century was his 19th, and the fifth this calendar year, taking his 2003 tally to a remarkable 1149 at 95.75. But he wasn't too harsh on the Indian bowlers when asked what he thought of their display. "They missed Zaheer," he said bluntly. "He's been their best bowler the past couple of years, and he bowled well up in Brisbane. They didn't bowl as well as they'd have liked today, but you can't judge them based on that."

Of Irfan Pathan, he said, "I thought he might have swung it a bit more, having seen him play in India. But he ran in well and will certainly improve, no doubt about that."

Ponting said that he enjoyed batting with Steve Waugh - "the crowd enjoyed it, the reception he got was sensational" - and said that lapses in concentration from Justin Langer, Damien Martyn and Waugh had cost only the individuals, and not the team. There was also praise for Simon Katich - "the way he played after he passed 20 was excellent."

When asked where he rated alongside the modern-day batting greats, Ponting said he wasn't particularly bothered. "Sachin's been the standout player for a number of years, but I really don't care too much about ratings and opinions."

He said a more aggressive and positive approach had helped him to be more successful against the turning ball. "In India a couple of years ago, I didn't back my technique enough, and that cost me," he said. Today, he certainly backed himself, and India paid the price.