Lawry joins batting debate November 25, 2006

Ponting is 'the modern Bradman'

Cricinfo staff

Ricky Ponting brings in the spectators, just like Don Bradman did © Getty Images

Bill Lawry has weighed in to the debate on how history will view Ricky Ponting, describing the Australia captain as "Bradman-like". It comes after Steve Waugh called Ponting Australia's best batsman since Bradman and predicted he would finish his career with more than 50 Test centuries.

Lawry said Ponting's Test batting average of 59.13 from 106 matches told the story. "They are Bradman-like figures and he has been improving steadily over the past three or four years," Lawry told The Australian.

"His career average is [almost] up in the 60s now and could rightly be seen in Australian terms as the modern Bradman. It isn't 99.94, but these days they are playing a lot more cricket under a variety of conditions. Bradman only ever played in Australia or England.

"There will never be another Bradman. His record stands alone. But Ponting is a remarkable player and he brings the crowds to the cricket, just like Bradman did in his day."

But Michael Holding questioned whether Ponting was the world's best batsman. "Comparing eras is so hard," he said. "I really only compare players with who else is playing at the same time and at the moment I would still have Brian Lara as my number one.

"Ricky Ponting is a wonderful batsman and in these conditions he will tear an attack apart if they don't maintain their line and length. You can't try to attack him. You have to keep it in the right spot and almost bore him out. You need to frustrate him out because in these conditions he is too good for that."