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Ponting can make 2013 Ashes - Arthur

Brydon Coverdale

May 1, 2012

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Ricky Ponting watches the ball off the bat, West Indies v Australia, 3rd Test, Roseau, 3rd day, April 25, 2012
Ricky Ponting's form in the Caribbean was good despite his lack of big scores, according to the coach Mickey Arthur © Associated Press
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Australia coach Mickey Arthur has said Ricky Ponting is "not going anywhere" and remains firmly in Australia's plans for the next Ashes tour of England in just over a year's time. Arthur has returned to Australia after Michael Clarke's men completed a 2-0 Test series win over West Indies, a series in which Ponting made starts and finished with a half-century but was the least prolific scorer of Australia's top seven.

However, Ponting was coming off an outstanding home series against India, in which his 544 runs at 108.80 was second only to Clarke. As a Test-only player, Ponting now has no cricket on his schedule until the domestic summer begins in October, and he must then find his form ahead of home campaigns against South Africa and Sri Lanka ahead of the 2013 Ashes.

"I know there was a lot of media pressure and talk around Ricky [in the West Indies], but Ricky's not going anywhere," Arthur told reporters in Perth on Tuesday. "We hope Ricky's scoring enough runs to go to the Ashes, most certainly, in England. Ricky's still got a lot of Test runs still in him, there's no doubt about that.

"I thought Ricky was very unlucky [in the Caribbean]. He was always bubbling away. His form was always good, so no worries about Ricky Ponting at all. Ricky is definitely no way considering retiring, I wouldn't have thought from my conversations with him and he'll be fit and ready to go against South Africa ... I think if we win the Ashes, then maybe he'll go out on the top of his game."

While Ponting has a decade and a half's worth of Test cricket experience to call on, a less experienced pair will also be aiming to regain their best touch at the start of the home summer. The openers David Warner and Ed Cowan were Australia's fifth and sixth best scorers in the West Indies and each managed only one half-century, but Arthur believes they are on the improve.

"I think Warner and Cowan will get better and better," Arthur said. "Ed Cowan came on through the summer ... he got better and better at playing spin bowling. We want Dave to get more consistent but it's not his style. We certainly don't want Dave to lose his character, because that's what made him special."

Some of the Australians have headed to India to take part in the remainder of the IPL and the limited-overs players have series against England and Pakistan during the off season, followed by the ICC World Twenty20. For others like Ponting and Cowan, a long winter at home has just begun.

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

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Posted by 5wombats on (May 5, 2012, 0:13 GMT)

@Geoffrey Anthony Plumridge on (May 04 2012, 11:05 AM GMT) - You're right; @RandyOZ doesn't know anything about cricket. BTW - agree with you about the "Bank" and Mr Ponting in his "dottage". Never mind the global financial crisis - wot about the Australian batting crisis???

Posted by Hammond on (May 4, 2012, 15:37 GMT)

Actually looking at it again England have won 8 out of their last 11 test series. How can anyone but argue that this is an excellent run of test victories worthy of a number one test spot.

Posted by   on (May 4, 2012, 12:05 GMT)

@RandyOz- I am an Aussie who says that anyone who thinks Ponting is the best since Bradman doesn't know anything about cricket.

Posted by Hammond on (May 4, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

@SpecialSauce- England have had 5 whitewashes over Australia since 1877. And they have one the ashes 3 times out of 4 series since they beat "The Unbreakables" in 2005. And unlike Australia they aren't getting big headed about being the number one test side in the world. They have won 5 of their last 7 test series. "Unwarranted"?- complete tripe.

Posted by 5wombats on (May 4, 2012, 10:40 GMT)

@SpecialSauce on (May 04 2012, 02:46 AM GMT) - as before. Rubbish. Our advice; stick to following india....

Posted by SpecialSauce on (May 4, 2012, 3:46 GMT)

@ 5Wombats...Cheyne Devine point is that in the Grand scheme of things Australia is and always will be a far superior Cricketing nation than England lets also look at the number ofplayers each country has put forth since we started playing test cricket Tremlett who debuted in 07 is #636 Watson who debuted in 05 is 391, so it shows how poor Englands players were and how many more players they had to go through to get to where they are now and wheres that? an unwarranted #1 position that they wont hold for more than a year after SA demoralize their B team And remeber it took Aussie coaches and SA players for you to actually win a series Again the Ashes started in 1877 not 2007 and i dont believe that England have ever had a whitewash victory Australia have had at least 2 that i know of it seems that in most sports if England win one big championship they believe they are the best ever and the sport had no history until that moment

Posted by hyclass on (May 4, 2012, 2:08 GMT)

I'm sure that Arthur is charming, but given his insistence that Marsh was a class player and his push into the Test side, I have little regard for his acumen. There's an obvious lesson in the Marsh saga when looking at Warner and Cowan. Despite 11 seasons of accumulated data on where,how and against whom, Marsh did or didn't perform, it was ignored and he was given an opportunity in place of David Hussey-possibly the best performed player never to play Test Cricket for any country. The main validation was that he had a good technique-the most obtuse reason to ignore performance,yet devised.What is so galling is his utter lack of performance against any but the most mediocre attacks in 1st class cricket on the flattest wickets.Brief spells of form are no substitute for observing performance over time. Following his thoroughly predictable debut hundred against an appalling SL attack,his career followed his usual pattern.Theories are all very well,but men of integrity are needed to run CA

Posted by Ragav999 on (May 3, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

I would be worried about Ricky Ponting as an Aussie fan only when there are no haters left to comment on articles about him. Because it really indicates that he is no longer a force to be concerned about by the opposition team and their fans.

Posted by RandyOZ on (May 3, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

The best since Bradman. The poms here really make you laugh when they try and deny this!

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (May 3, 2012, 9:42 GMT)

It must be beneficial for guys like Warner, Wade, Cowen and a few of the other emerging players to have Ponting in the dressing room. He has the most experience and is one of the hardest working players in the side. Ponting is doing much more for the team than just getting runs on the day.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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