Australia news March 29, 2011

Ponting at ease with his legacy

32

Ricky Ponting, who stepped down as Australia's captain in Tests and ODIs, is aware he will forever be known to many as the man who presided over three Ashes series defeats. And he is happy enough to live with that. He said he already has consoled himself with the thought that there were plenty of other achievements speckled across his leadership tenure, even if a harsh-marking public does not regard them with quite so much reverence as possession of the urn.

"There probably are a few people out there who will look at me in that light [as the man who lost three Ashes series as captain], I'd like to think that through my playing time I've achieved a whole lot more than that though, whether that be as a player or as a captain of this side," Ponting said. "It's funny how we talk about losing the Ashes three times, playing in three World Cup-winning teams never comes up very often, winning 16 consecutive Test matches doesn't come up very often, winning 30-odd consecutive World Cup games doesn't come up very often, but that's the world we live in.

"I and all my teammates know, and everyone at Cricket Australia knows what I've been able to achieve in the game, and that's what I'm very proud of."

It was instructive to hear Ponting assess his own achievements, knowing that the greatest Test series victory of his time in the job - conquering the final frontier of India in 2004 - took place while he was in the dressing rooms nursing a fractured thumb. Rather than any Test series, Ponting opted for his maiden World Cup victory as captain in 2003 as the highlight, when his team emerged from the most dysfunctional of beginnings to charge unbeaten through the tournament.

Shane Warne's ignominious departure on event eve due to a drugs ban might have derailed a less united party, while Ponting's unwavering belief in Andrew Symonds was rewarded with a coruscating century against Pakistan in that very first match. Great escapes were made against England and New Zealand, and Ponting's masterpiece of precise destruction - a brazenly-struck 140 - was reserved for the final as India were humbled at the Wanderers.

"I would've liked to have won an Ashes series away, that would've been a nice thing to have done as a captain, and obviously sitting here now I've given up that opportunity to do that, that's something I would've loved to achieve."

"I think if I was to pick one it would probably be the first World Cup that I captained [in 2003], a relatively new captain going into that tournament," he said.

"As everyone knows we got through that tournament undefeated, I made a big hundred in the final and to this day that's probably one of the proudest moments of my career."

There was some level of pride in Ponting, too, at how he had handled the slide of a great team into difficulty. Not so much in the manner of his captaincy on the field, which was at some times reactive and others woefully misguided - including the over-rate farce in Nagpur 2008 when the Border-Gavaskar Trophy was surrendered - but more in how he had kept trying to keep his head while all around him people were losing theirs. Few captains have endured such lengthy inquisitions on their future with as much frankness and even temper as Ponting.

"Whenever you've got questions being asked like that about you going into a big game it's always reasonably hard to deal with, but to tell the truth it's something I've had to deal with for the last six or eight months," he said. "There've been a lot of questions out there about me and my leadership and even my batting at different times, so there's no doubt that's got harder to deal with.

"The thing I'm really proud about is how I've handled it and how I've responded, to be able to respond the way I did with the bat in the last game under probably the most pressure the team and I have been under in a long time, was really satisfying.

"The thing you can't forget either is whenever you've been in a position of responsibility like I've been in for a long period of time, those questions are going to come your way at some stage. "Whoever the next captain might be has to make sure he's ready for that as well."

What remains for Ponting is to concentrate again on his batting, offer advice to younger team-mates when it is sought or merited, and keep one eye on the distant goal of a final Ashes tour in 2013. "I would've liked to have won an Ashes series away, that would've been a nice thing to have done as a captain, and obviously sitting here now I've given up that opportunity to do that, that's something I would've loved to achieve," he said.

Ponting, however, has not set a time-frame for retirement and hoped that, with the burden of captaincy now off his back, he'd be able to perform better as a player.

"[2013] is probably unlikely but it depends how I play, I haven't put a finish date or time on when my international career's going to be over.

"To tell the honest truth I think the fact I'm not captain anymore might give me the chance of actually playing better.

"It'll just keep me a bit mentally fresher than I have been the last couple of years. I think if I'm mentally fresh and got my skills in reasonable order I think I'll be able to certainly bat better than I have in the past six months."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • allforone on March 30, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    Its a sad day which in itself shows the greatness of a man who by the sweat of his brow gave all for his team, country and sport. I can't think of any other - not one, who was more of a team player, whose every criticised effort served the interests of other than himself and his record. I won't be remembering him for his records but for what he gave to the whole. He never claimed to be righteous. He was booed all over the world. He was hated and disrespected by those who feared him. Yes, if you consider Border, Taylor, Ponting, Waugh. Ponting is the odd one. And that's why we love him and honor him.

  • on March 30, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    the guys record speaks for itself . I always didn't like the attitude of the aussies while they were dominant. but other than when west Indies were in there heyday there is no other team that comes close. so i give props where its due Bravo Ricky

  • monish123 on March 30, 2011, 3:11 GMT

    he is the best captain and batsmen i had ever seen in the cricketing world , i and most fans of punter is going to miss him as captain. He taken Australian cricket to new heights now every one know him as captain who loss 3 ashes, but they also consider the amount of runs he made for australia to win the ashes,wc and other trophies and series. people should consider this also. remember hero always rise to occasion he done it many time. After retire as captain he can play free and show his class which we see in his young age. I just hope he retires from the cricket on the high and I am certainly looking forward to some of his more exquisite knocks in the limited period for which he is associated with the game.

  • popcorn on March 30, 2011, 0:14 GMT

    Batsman: Ricky Ponting,Mark Waugh,Damien Martyn,Greg Chappell, Neil Harvey - the most elegant batsmen in the world. What treat it has been to watch them.

    Fielder: Remember the horizontal dive in slips to catch Jamie How? Wow?! And hitting the stumps time after time?

    Captain: The ONLY Captain after Warwick Armstrong 85 years ago to inflict a 5 nil whitewash on England in the Ashes 2006 -07.

    Ricky,you are a Legend,and deserve to be inducted in Australia's Hall of Fame.

  • on March 29, 2011, 23:12 GMT

    Ricky has been a great captain for Australia. people call him captain of great men. it is difficult to put together a team of great individuals as the individual egos pull the team in a completely difficult direction. Look Pakistan had the best team from 96-2000, with the like of inzamam, malik, Waqar, wasim, saqlain and mushtaq. how many trophies did they win during that period except for beating india regularly. How many matches did india win when they had people like dravid, tendulkar, kumble. so having great men does not bring you success. how you bring them to unite to one common cause is the ultimate test for a captain and ponting did that well. he has won the champions trophy with an inexperienced side . Beat Sa in Sa. Won the ODI series in India twice with a set of new generation players.

  • Cannuck on March 29, 2011, 23:02 GMT

    Bohoooo.. poor Ricky, still waiting around to see if lightening can strike again for him. Have no idea to retire when on top.. TOO GREEDY!

  • danmcb on March 29, 2011, 20:53 GMT

    Better look out, now he has this off his chest, he might start making a ton of runs ... anyhow Punter, you had your ups and downs, but respect is very much due. Class player and an honest man.

  • Something_Witty on March 29, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    5wombats is still sore from the 5-0 whitewash in 06-07. Don't worry the pain of that will fade in time. But that's how most people will remember Ponting, sorry. :)

  • on March 29, 2011, 18:44 GMT

    Well...He is a class batsmen...one of the very best fielders...he is the master of direct hits...captained almost the invincible team....they reigned supreme for last 10-12 yrs... Ashes losses really doesn't matter when he achieved so much and on top of just he was always aggressive...so hats off...Ponting... u r really one of the greats...

  • twenty20f1 on March 29, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    Nobody is saying that he has not achieved anything in his career. I don't understand why he is so insecure that he feels the need to list his wins. His problem is that in last 3 years he has performed poorly with bat and as a captain. His childish behavior on and off the field did not help. Clark even though is not in his best form will only be good for Australian cricket simply because he is more mature than ponting ever was.

  • allforone on March 30, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    Its a sad day which in itself shows the greatness of a man who by the sweat of his brow gave all for his team, country and sport. I can't think of any other - not one, who was more of a team player, whose every criticised effort served the interests of other than himself and his record. I won't be remembering him for his records but for what he gave to the whole. He never claimed to be righteous. He was booed all over the world. He was hated and disrespected by those who feared him. Yes, if you consider Border, Taylor, Ponting, Waugh. Ponting is the odd one. And that's why we love him and honor him.

  • on March 30, 2011, 3:16 GMT

    the guys record speaks for itself . I always didn't like the attitude of the aussies while they were dominant. but other than when west Indies were in there heyday there is no other team that comes close. so i give props where its due Bravo Ricky

  • monish123 on March 30, 2011, 3:11 GMT

    he is the best captain and batsmen i had ever seen in the cricketing world , i and most fans of punter is going to miss him as captain. He taken Australian cricket to new heights now every one know him as captain who loss 3 ashes, but they also consider the amount of runs he made for australia to win the ashes,wc and other trophies and series. people should consider this also. remember hero always rise to occasion he done it many time. After retire as captain he can play free and show his class which we see in his young age. I just hope he retires from the cricket on the high and I am certainly looking forward to some of his more exquisite knocks in the limited period for which he is associated with the game.

  • popcorn on March 30, 2011, 0:14 GMT

    Batsman: Ricky Ponting,Mark Waugh,Damien Martyn,Greg Chappell, Neil Harvey - the most elegant batsmen in the world. What treat it has been to watch them.

    Fielder: Remember the horizontal dive in slips to catch Jamie How? Wow?! And hitting the stumps time after time?

    Captain: The ONLY Captain after Warwick Armstrong 85 years ago to inflict a 5 nil whitewash on England in the Ashes 2006 -07.

    Ricky,you are a Legend,and deserve to be inducted in Australia's Hall of Fame.

  • on March 29, 2011, 23:12 GMT

    Ricky has been a great captain for Australia. people call him captain of great men. it is difficult to put together a team of great individuals as the individual egos pull the team in a completely difficult direction. Look Pakistan had the best team from 96-2000, with the like of inzamam, malik, Waqar, wasim, saqlain and mushtaq. how many trophies did they win during that period except for beating india regularly. How many matches did india win when they had people like dravid, tendulkar, kumble. so having great men does not bring you success. how you bring them to unite to one common cause is the ultimate test for a captain and ponting did that well. he has won the champions trophy with an inexperienced side . Beat Sa in Sa. Won the ODI series in India twice with a set of new generation players.

  • Cannuck on March 29, 2011, 23:02 GMT

    Bohoooo.. poor Ricky, still waiting around to see if lightening can strike again for him. Have no idea to retire when on top.. TOO GREEDY!

  • danmcb on March 29, 2011, 20:53 GMT

    Better look out, now he has this off his chest, he might start making a ton of runs ... anyhow Punter, you had your ups and downs, but respect is very much due. Class player and an honest man.

  • Something_Witty on March 29, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    5wombats is still sore from the 5-0 whitewash in 06-07. Don't worry the pain of that will fade in time. But that's how most people will remember Ponting, sorry. :)

  • on March 29, 2011, 18:44 GMT

    Well...He is a class batsmen...one of the very best fielders...he is the master of direct hits...captained almost the invincible team....they reigned supreme for last 10-12 yrs... Ashes losses really doesn't matter when he achieved so much and on top of just he was always aggressive...so hats off...Ponting... u r really one of the greats...

  • twenty20f1 on March 29, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    Nobody is saying that he has not achieved anything in his career. I don't understand why he is so insecure that he feels the need to list his wins. His problem is that in last 3 years he has performed poorly with bat and as a captain. His childish behavior on and off the field did not help. Clark even though is not in his best form will only be good for Australian cricket simply because he is more mature than ponting ever was.

  • on March 29, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    The most i like about this guy is his honesty.This Guy is Pure unadulterated class.Just his latest performances have made us to have this Amnesia but watch out for the Ponting V2.0.

  • 5wombats on March 29, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    What's all the fuss about? Ponting has presided over the biggest decline in Australian cricket since the Packer affair. Since the Greats; Gilly, Warne, McGrath, Hayden, Langer, etc, retired - Ricky has been found out; 3 Innings defeats at Home in an Ashes series should be how this guy is remembered. Spot the odd one out; Border, Taylor, Ponting, Waugh. Mmmm....

  • dsig3 on March 29, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    Well who wouldnt be at ease with his legacy. Its very good. The biggest thing is that he copped so much flak but kept going the whole time without faltering. He did it for the team. The guy bleeds for us even after the media turned on him. Any other player in Australia would have stepped down long ago.

  • on March 29, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Finally he's gone as captain. Fantastic. I'm ecstatic.

    The next good news I'm waiting for is the retirement / sacking of ... Ponting, both Husseys, Haddin, Katich, Lee and all the selectors.

    THEN maestro Michael Clarke can build a new young team of invincibles.

  • indianzen on March 29, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    As far as the dominating Australian times, ponting was lucky and happy to see his team winning as his team had some great cricketers like Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Beven. now the team is loosing, he is shying away to take the name for it...

  • on March 29, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    What he had achieved over the period of time or in his tenure as captain of Australian Cricket Team is simply exemplary . One can't take anything away from him just because he had been on the loosing side of 3 ashes defeat or in the world cup . World will always see him as an aggressive captain who have given his heart and soul while captaining his team and above all as the best batsman of all time .

    I just hope he retires from the cricket on the high and I am certainly looking forward to some of his more exquisite knocks in the limited period for which he is associated with the game.

  • Khan338 on March 29, 2011, 10:50 GMT

    I really feel sorry for ponting but things wont change for aussies with new captain ponting is my favourite player and captain and it will be hard to not see him captaining but i wish ponting very best of luck and hope things go rite for him.

  • on March 29, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    Ashes defeats is silly compared to Ponting's achievement in winning the 2003 and 2007 World Cups. Ricky Ponting has been captain for 8 years and built a team that came closer to invincible than any other since Clive Lloyd's West Indies more than 30 years ago. And he was still a champion batsman, the best in the side, while doing the job for the most part. The Verdict - Ricky Ponting is the greatest team captain in history after Clive Lloyd.

  • jaidev_bhavya on March 29, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    HATS OFF TO THE WORLDS BEST CAPTAIN AND THE WORLDS BEST PLAYER NOW THE WORLD WILL SEE THE PONTING AS ABTSMAN AND SEE THAT HOW HE WINS BACK ASHES FOR AUSTRALIA WITH HIS BATTING , HATS OFF TO YOU ONCE AGAIN RICKY PONTING LOVE U AND ALL THE BEST FOR YOUR FUTURE AS A BATSMAN GOD BLESS YOU WE ALL STAND BY YOU AND FOR YOU FROM THE REAL AUSTRALIAN SUPPORTER JAIDEV

  • on March 29, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Very sad for a great leader to step down like this. But Punter you are a legend, no doubt about that. Now looking forward for your batting.

  • on March 29, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    Yes , I think Australia has been so used to winning that they can only harp on the defeats. Strange though Ponting has been leading from the front, whether it has been the world cup or that final at Johannesburgh or even the loss at Motera where Ponting bat so very differently from 8 years ago and yet made a century. Ponting is definitely a much better player than he is a captain and he has coped with life without McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist, Hayden, Martyn and even Symonds. Never mind the Stuart Clarkes, the Gillespies , the Bichels and even the Macgills. My heart goes out to Ponting for not getting the credit he so richly deserves. When he performed brilliantly even, it was par for the course. When he failed and inevitably Australia lost he copped it. I somehow feel that he will bat much better without the cares of captaincy. Australia needs him to bat well and I know that he will do his best , for he knows no other way. Go Punter go! sridhar

  • Something_Witty on March 29, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    A captain who went unbeaten through two world cup campaigns and was part of another world cup victory? Only the second captain ever to win an Ashes series 5-0? Two Champion's Trophies on the trot? Damn I think there are a lot of captains out there who'd cut off their arms to have that sort of record at the end of their career.

  • on March 29, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    Good luck to you Punter, never witnessed a captain take so much for his team. One os Austrlaias finest.

  • MaruthuDelft on March 29, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    Ponting is a true great; great cricketer.

  • on March 29, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    It is not necessary to step down as captain rickey ponting .It is bad luck for Australia cricket team and whole cricket lovers.

  • on March 29, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    Bye Ricky. Australian Cricket in fact, the game of cricket will miss a captain like you. Bold, futuristic and whatever you might like to be named.

  • ravikiran.bits on March 29, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    Pointing according to me you r one of the finest playersnd great leader! No need to prove anyone that u r 1! its true! your fame in CA would be for ever! one of the greatest captains ausies team has seen! not one of the... u r the 1.!

  • on March 29, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    The king is NO MORE!!! Long live the king!!!!!

  • kaushiq on March 29, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    this 9is such a shame to see one of the great captain take a bow like this. i know that winning an ashes is probably more than winning the world cup to some Australian, but lets not today point out his weakness, but praise all his achievement as an Australian batsman, captain, team-mate and also as a superb fielder that he is. I still believe Pointing is the rightful candidate to be the captain in the current team but i also believe he need a breather. thank you Ponting for giving your fans all the superb memory. hope to see you back as captain soon.

  • bjcm12 on March 29, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    Dear Ricky - You are a legend - 03 ashes loss ? - what is it compared to your records mentioned here. Also your two centuries in your 100th Test is a great achievement as a player. Tell someone to come and beat your records and also win ashes thrice - it will be a day dream - all this one person - hard to achieve isn't it mate. All the best for your future. Jaminda Mendis

  • backwardpoint on March 29, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    Shine on, you crazy diamond. Time for a new leaf in the glittering chapter.

  • on March 29, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    He's been entertaining on and off the field. One of the greats of the 2000 - 10 era standing alongside Tendulkhar, Kallis, Sangakarra, Lara and a few others. They've all given us a great era of batsmen. Ponting included for sure.

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  • on March 29, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    He's been entertaining on and off the field. One of the greats of the 2000 - 10 era standing alongside Tendulkhar, Kallis, Sangakarra, Lara and a few others. They've all given us a great era of batsmen. Ponting included for sure.

  • backwardpoint on March 29, 2011, 6:58 GMT

    Shine on, you crazy diamond. Time for a new leaf in the glittering chapter.

  • bjcm12 on March 29, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    Dear Ricky - You are a legend - 03 ashes loss ? - what is it compared to your records mentioned here. Also your two centuries in your 100th Test is a great achievement as a player. Tell someone to come and beat your records and also win ashes thrice - it will be a day dream - all this one person - hard to achieve isn't it mate. All the best for your future. Jaminda Mendis

  • kaushiq on March 29, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    this 9is such a shame to see one of the great captain take a bow like this. i know that winning an ashes is probably more than winning the world cup to some Australian, but lets not today point out his weakness, but praise all his achievement as an Australian batsman, captain, team-mate and also as a superb fielder that he is. I still believe Pointing is the rightful candidate to be the captain in the current team but i also believe he need a breather. thank you Ponting for giving your fans all the superb memory. hope to see you back as captain soon.

  • on March 29, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    The king is NO MORE!!! Long live the king!!!!!

  • ravikiran.bits on March 29, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    Pointing according to me you r one of the finest playersnd great leader! No need to prove anyone that u r 1! its true! your fame in CA would be for ever! one of the greatest captains ausies team has seen! not one of the... u r the 1.!

  • on March 29, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    Bye Ricky. Australian Cricket in fact, the game of cricket will miss a captain like you. Bold, futuristic and whatever you might like to be named.

  • on March 29, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    It is not necessary to step down as captain rickey ponting .It is bad luck for Australia cricket team and whole cricket lovers.

  • MaruthuDelft on March 29, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    Ponting is a true great; great cricketer.

  • on March 29, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    Good luck to you Punter, never witnessed a captain take so much for his team. One os Austrlaias finest.