The scientific cricketer November 26, 2006

The science behind Ponting's decision

44

In one of this blog's irregular forays into foreign territory, allow me to apply a different Pak Spin to the interpretation of Ricky Ponting's decision not to enforce the follow-on in Brisbane.

Cricket Australia, unlike the Pakistan Cricket Board for example, has been monitoring injuries in domestic and international cricket for over a decade. All credit to the people working on this research programme. One of the conclusions of that research--see Cricket Australia's Injury Report 2005--is that enforcing the follow-on in international matches can increase the risk of injuries to bowlers.

The authors of the report suggest that one of the factors leading to a drop in injuries in 2004-5 was: "the decision to be more conservative with decisions such as not enforcing the follow-on in Test matches in 2004-5." More data are required to test this hypothesis further, and it is not entirely clear whether or not Cricket Australia had a deliberate policy of not enforcing the follow-on. But it does suggest one important reason why--particularly with the age and recent injury profile of Australia's bowlers--Ponting chose to bat again.

Ironic, then, that it was the Australian captain who picked up an injury.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kameryn on January 26, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    It's always a releif when someone with obvious expertise answers. Thanks!

  • Laurence Benson on February 1, 2007, 14:02 GMT

    TO JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA... i am Mark Bensons son and me and Dad have spoken about this a number of times... Ponting never made those comments... innfact he was very pleasant and said what a brave move Dad took... it was the commentators talking rubbish LIKE ALWAYS that made him out to be bad... he is a friendly and nice person... stop insulting the best batsmen in cricket today...!!!

  • Summat on December 1, 2006, 3:03 GMT

    Arshad, this seems to be way above your league, a wicketkeeper does not have to bowl nor does a fielding side have to do a double shift if there is a reasonable way to avoid it and still win a match - some fools never understand or fail to understand modern medical science.

  • Odie on December 1, 2006, 1:28 GMT

    Good point, Arshad.

    And you're right, Cosmos, I think you'll find that anybody would agree with you entirely that all of this behaviour is rather poor. The point is that all teams and players engage in just this type of thing - e.g. Warne, Aktar, Asif (drugs), South Africa (match fixing), Younis and Atherton (ball tampering), England v Australia ("bodyline"), Muralitheran (remarkably suspect bowling action), that God-awful underarm delivery (versus NZ) - and the list goes on.

    The problem that many have is that, whenever something goes against Pakistan et al, all of a sudden race is brought into it.

    Remarkable what such an insidious weapon can do in assisting you with your cause...

    As for the "Kangaroo" comment Cosmos, perhaps you should change it more accurately to "Kiwi". But either way, I find it useful not to engage in nor bother with racist accusations or slurs, these being the last resort of the ignorant advocate.

  • Arshad Kazmi on November 30, 2006, 22:19 GMT

    NOAMAN PALEKAR; what would you say if Flintoff, in response to Ponting'g decision, also got scientific and decided to rest his bowlers to prevent injury and gave the ball to Geraint Jones and Ian Bell to throw some dollies at the Aussies?

    Here's a moot point for you Sport Medicine people: Should the medicine dominate the sport or should it be the other way around?

  • Cosmos on November 30, 2006, 17:51 GMT

    Sure Odie; or maybe he would have kicked a bataman (Lillee to Miandad), thrown an underarm delivery (Trevor Chappell), sworn indignantly at his opponents (McGrath to Sarwan), middle-fingered the crowd (McGrath again), et al.

    Get a life kangaroo!

  • Simpleton on November 30, 2006, 1:00 GMT

    Can anyone remember who the ICC Cricket of the year was ???

  • NOAMAN PALEKAR on November 29, 2006, 12:21 GMT

    Injury prevention,excellent point.As a postgraduate student in Sport Medicine,I have come across alot of studies proving balling long spells and more overs per day causes stress fractures in lumber( lower back)vertebrae.Ponting's decision to rest his bowlers tells us that how much research and better knowledge influence the people who are really concerned and scientific in their approach.I wish we can have same scientific knowledge and approach in our country.(The reason I am doing my postgraduation in Sport Medicine after my M.B,B.S)

  • Odie on November 29, 2006, 9:46 GMT

    Geoff is right. The series is not over...and no doubt Euceph's grapes have not yet soured sufficiently.

    Oh, and as for Javed's comment; "had it been any Indian, Pakistanni or Sri Lankan player, he would have been banned for 10 matches", I would substitute a different conclusion...

    Had it been any Indian, Pakistanni or Sri Lankan player, he would have complained loudly about racism in the game and how he and his mates don't get a fair deal. Who knows? In the ultimate demonstration of adolescent petulance he might well have refused to let his team come back out onto the ground...

  • Shahab Randhawa on November 29, 2006, 8:19 GMT

    This is for Javed A. Khan and Euceph.How can you say that Ponting is the most selfish batsmen in the world? He has won more matches for his team than Lara,Inzi and Sachin have.He is on the verge of becoming the leading century maker in test cricket.Steve Waugh has rated him the best Australian batsmen after Bradman. Richie Beanud has declared him the captain of the Australian best Ashes team of the last twenty years.After the remarks from these cricketing legends, there remains no doubt about Ponting's greatness.And comments from you people cannot dim his greatness and stature.He averages more than 59 in test cricket which is more than any other present player.He has scored more than 1500 runs twice in a year.he has reached to no.5 in LG ICC ALL TIME BEST TEST BATSMEN RATINGS.Had he been selfish ,then he would have declared after his own century which was only 40 runs away which would have taken 10 or 12 overs which would not have affected the eventual match outcome.If he is selfish than what will you call Rahul Dravid when he declared in Multan 2004 whwn Sachin was just 6 runs away from double century.

  • Kameryn on January 26, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    It's always a releif when someone with obvious expertise answers. Thanks!

  • Laurence Benson on February 1, 2007, 14:02 GMT

    TO JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA... i am Mark Bensons son and me and Dad have spoken about this a number of times... Ponting never made those comments... innfact he was very pleasant and said what a brave move Dad took... it was the commentators talking rubbish LIKE ALWAYS that made him out to be bad... he is a friendly and nice person... stop insulting the best batsmen in cricket today...!!!

  • Summat on December 1, 2006, 3:03 GMT

    Arshad, this seems to be way above your league, a wicketkeeper does not have to bowl nor does a fielding side have to do a double shift if there is a reasonable way to avoid it and still win a match - some fools never understand or fail to understand modern medical science.

  • Odie on December 1, 2006, 1:28 GMT

    Good point, Arshad.

    And you're right, Cosmos, I think you'll find that anybody would agree with you entirely that all of this behaviour is rather poor. The point is that all teams and players engage in just this type of thing - e.g. Warne, Aktar, Asif (drugs), South Africa (match fixing), Younis and Atherton (ball tampering), England v Australia ("bodyline"), Muralitheran (remarkably suspect bowling action), that God-awful underarm delivery (versus NZ) - and the list goes on.

    The problem that many have is that, whenever something goes against Pakistan et al, all of a sudden race is brought into it.

    Remarkable what such an insidious weapon can do in assisting you with your cause...

    As for the "Kangaroo" comment Cosmos, perhaps you should change it more accurately to "Kiwi". But either way, I find it useful not to engage in nor bother with racist accusations or slurs, these being the last resort of the ignorant advocate.

  • Arshad Kazmi on November 30, 2006, 22:19 GMT

    NOAMAN PALEKAR; what would you say if Flintoff, in response to Ponting'g decision, also got scientific and decided to rest his bowlers to prevent injury and gave the ball to Geraint Jones and Ian Bell to throw some dollies at the Aussies?

    Here's a moot point for you Sport Medicine people: Should the medicine dominate the sport or should it be the other way around?

  • Cosmos on November 30, 2006, 17:51 GMT

    Sure Odie; or maybe he would have kicked a bataman (Lillee to Miandad), thrown an underarm delivery (Trevor Chappell), sworn indignantly at his opponents (McGrath to Sarwan), middle-fingered the crowd (McGrath again), et al.

    Get a life kangaroo!

  • Simpleton on November 30, 2006, 1:00 GMT

    Can anyone remember who the ICC Cricket of the year was ???

  • NOAMAN PALEKAR on November 29, 2006, 12:21 GMT

    Injury prevention,excellent point.As a postgraduate student in Sport Medicine,I have come across alot of studies proving balling long spells and more overs per day causes stress fractures in lumber( lower back)vertebrae.Ponting's decision to rest his bowlers tells us that how much research and better knowledge influence the people who are really concerned and scientific in their approach.I wish we can have same scientific knowledge and approach in our country.(The reason I am doing my postgraduation in Sport Medicine after my M.B,B.S)

  • Odie on November 29, 2006, 9:46 GMT

    Geoff is right. The series is not over...and no doubt Euceph's grapes have not yet soured sufficiently.

    Oh, and as for Javed's comment; "had it been any Indian, Pakistanni or Sri Lankan player, he would have been banned for 10 matches", I would substitute a different conclusion...

    Had it been any Indian, Pakistanni or Sri Lankan player, he would have complained loudly about racism in the game and how he and his mates don't get a fair deal. Who knows? In the ultimate demonstration of adolescent petulance he might well have refused to let his team come back out onto the ground...

  • Shahab Randhawa on November 29, 2006, 8:19 GMT

    This is for Javed A. Khan and Euceph.How can you say that Ponting is the most selfish batsmen in the world? He has won more matches for his team than Lara,Inzi and Sachin have.He is on the verge of becoming the leading century maker in test cricket.Steve Waugh has rated him the best Australian batsmen after Bradman. Richie Beanud has declared him the captain of the Australian best Ashes team of the last twenty years.After the remarks from these cricketing legends, there remains no doubt about Ponting's greatness.And comments from you people cannot dim his greatness and stature.He averages more than 59 in test cricket which is more than any other present player.He has scored more than 1500 runs twice in a year.he has reached to no.5 in LG ICC ALL TIME BEST TEST BATSMEN RATINGS.Had he been selfish ,then he would have declared after his own century which was only 40 runs away which would have taken 10 or 12 overs which would not have affected the eventual match outcome.If he is selfish than what will you call Rahul Dravid when he declared in Multan 2004 whwn Sachin was just 6 runs away from double century.

  • Talha Ahmed on November 29, 2006, 8:06 GMT

    Ponting's decision was rational one, his intentions were always to win the test match at all costs. He couldnt/didnt risk drawing or losing a match that he could win.

    It is a thing of modern cricket that you are left with so much time in a test match, after having a lead of 450 in the first innings. In this case, he just availed that luxury of giving his bowlers a break so they are fresher for the second innings. I dont think he would have batted had there been only four sessions left by the time England were done. One can safely testify that Ponting in the all the world is one person who does not compromise the winning formula, while I accept that he can compromise on some other virtues :).

  • Arun on November 29, 2006, 4:20 GMT

    Ever since the epic Eden test match involving Laxman and Dravid, teams have been skeptical in enforcing follow on. However another way to look at it is of course a concern for the well being of the bowlers. It is one thing to enforce a follow on on a dust bowl of a wicket in the subcontinent where most often spinners will be doing the bulk of the work and the conditions for batting are precarious. However, in Australia, the wickets are such that getting the opposition out requires long spells by fast bowlers who have to peg away at the right line for hours and be patient. That is hard work and two consecutive innings may stretch quite a few of the fast men. It was an intelligent decision. If Ricky Ponting just wanted to bat some more, he would have gone on and scored his second hundred of the match, so we can easily rubbish that opinion.

  • Horny on November 29, 2006, 3:32 GMT

    Syed, yes Ponting will never be able to forget Luxman and Dravid and has learnt a lesson - this is why he did not enforce the follow on - Is that not being smart or do you want him to be stupid and get burnt again ?? Thank god he did not enforce the follow on and protected his aging bowlers but still won handsomely and inflicted more work on the poms. Not to mention CA collecting the gate for all 5 days from them. Hit when the iron is hot babu. The next test may not last 5 days, either way !!!

  • Karl on November 29, 2006, 1:31 GMT

    Well, well, why should non-aussies like Ponting ? So I agree with Euceph, he is everything you claim him to be and much more (Inzi must have been dreaming of him when he was yawning in the slips and playing London Bridge is falling down at mid wicket yesterday – Maybe Ponting can become Pakistan’s next coach then India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be totally under aussie Control !!!

  • Geoff on November 28, 2006, 23:31 GMT

    Euceph, thanks for your kind comments, but I believe with the shortened series taking place these days, many people have forgotten what winning a five test series is about. Test cricket at the top level is as much about the allocation of resources for outcome as it is about batting, bowling and fielding technique. Because Ponting batted a second time England bowled 200 overs to Australia's 161. Had Australia not batted again, England would have bowled 155 overs to Australia's 161 overs. That is assuming a tired Australian attack on a more batsman friendly pitch, would remove the English batsmen as efficiently as a refreshed one did on the fifth day.

    Furthermore, had Australia not batted again, the English would have been able to justify the loss as being on the wrong end of a worsening pitch. However, by scoring 1/202 Australia ensured they are forced to blame their own underperformance.

    I believe Australia was able to achieve victory on many levels in the first test, but we won't know for sure until later in the series.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 28, 2006, 22:21 GMT

    LOL at the heated banter....it confirms there are OZ's in the field and that too on the losing side.

    Kimberly's quote: "Pigs also fly sometimes" My question is which one is that, an Australian? Sorry you cannot check the gender when they are flying. So was it a male or a female? :-)

    For once I agree with EUCEPH, the point he is trying to elaborate is valid. Ricky Ponting is one of the most selfish players from Australia rather the whole world (excluding Tendulkar and Gavaskar)this declaration may be due to sponsor's influence or CA's influence but, other than that Ponting is Ponting. He belongs to the same category of Dennis Lillee, who has no finesse, no class and no character. I still cannot believe how come Poting got away with that comment against the umpire (Marc Benson) when the later called back Tendulkar to play again after his initial decision (which was wrong) he realized it was an error....BUT, Ponting was so upset and so angry that he went up to Marc Benson and said, "This is a disgrace to umpiring". The only reason he got away is Marc Benson did not report it to the match referee! These are double standards, had it been any Indian, Pakistanni or Sri Lankan player, he would have been banned for 10 matches.

    Dear Mel-Boar-N come on buddy Ostrichs are plenty in Australia and now they don't bury their heads in sand, but in TV sets and computer screens. :)

  • Mohit Jham on November 28, 2006, 21:15 GMT

    This is for Euceph only...If you think the Aussies are arrogant then hell ya they have all the right to be. If any other team has it in them to crush their arrogance then might as well fo it and not just crib about the Aussies being rude and arrogant. Please find another resource to get rid of your envy and stop your criticism for the Aussies. A very old saying comes to mind, "it's not the size of the dog in the fight it's the size of the fight in the dog". Aussies have the fight in them to crush anything that comes their way. BRING ON SOUTH AFRICA. One fluke does not stamp authority.

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 28, 2006, 19:10 GMT

    Kimberly - Ponting has what I would call a "George Bush-esque" aura about him. As prolific as he might be, his runs seem to be made out of arrogance and hubris. He doesn't come across as a great batsman because he doesn't come across as a great person. Steve Waugh, on the other hand, merciless as he was, led the cricketing world with benevolance for which he will be remembered as a great Australian captain. Australian domination of the game is unquestionable, but it is one thing to dominate and another to assert it unreasonably. So, it's not that Ponting is boring, it's the vanity with which he plays which is not appealing especially to non-aussies.

    Geoff - thank you for showing that Aussies have some sense of civility and reason. However, cricket is not boxing where you play to hurt your opponents.

    Odie - By your logic Ponting should set a 1,000 run target next time.

    Shahab Randhawa - Please see my reply to Kimberly.

  • Syed Ahsan Ali on November 28, 2006, 14:37 GMT

    He was just trying to save his old bowling attack from injuries. Nothing more than that or may be Laxman and Dravid are kept coming back in nightmares and haunt Steve Waugh and Ponting recurringly. Poor souls.

  • Mel on November 28, 2006, 13:04 GMT

    Kimberly, we understand you but I doubt Euceph will !!! Wanna bet he thinks you have changed your view and is on his side !!! Let him go matey - he probably is from the ostrich family and his head is in some worms living room now.

  • SP on November 28, 2006, 12:46 GMT

    I see no reason why any batsman in his prime should go for a record with the knowledge that his team has a very good chance to win the game as well !!! It does seem absurd that Euceph ahs raised such a moot point in the bigger scheme of things. As for asserting domination in a sport, i think it is a very very powerful psychological tool to totally deflate and demorlise a team. It is quite similar to torture. And i think that the Englishmen would have been grateful to have lost in 4 days rather than have them stretched and humiliated over an entire course of a test match. Such a show of domination more or less sets the tone for the entire series.. and if they mentally lose the test series, then they will lose it in reality as well. This could be another angle as to why he may not have enforced the follow on.(my opinion only)

    Well, let us all enjoy the cricket rather than accusing Ponting of going after records.

  • Shahab Randhawa on November 28, 2006, 10:07 GMT

    It was very shocking to read Euceph's comment that Ponting is boring to watch.He is the most attractive and stylish batsmen of his age alongwith Lara.If someone does not enjoy watching him bat,he should consult an eye specialist.Ponting is the greatest Australian batsmen ever after Bradman. And unlike Tendulkar and Lara, he has always performed in cruical matches as in 2003 worldcup final.

  • Odie on November 28, 2006, 4:49 GMT

    So, poor Euceph Ahmed doesn't enjoy seeing Ricky Ponting score runs? Ponting's point was to crush the English side and, despite what anyone says about the competitive spirit of the game, for him not to attmept to do so at every available opportunity would demonstrate an extraordinary lack of competitive nouse.

    The whole point was to dishearten the English batsmen who, whenever they were dismissed, spent their time glaring at the pitch in a vain attempt to blame it for their own shoddy techniques and lack of ability. Going back in to bat was simply telling them in no uncertain terms who the form team of the competition is. Absolutely demoralizing for the poms.

    Oh and Euceph, if you don't like watching Ponting score runs, you'd better turn off the t.v. now - otherwise it's going to be a long hot summer for you...

  • Geoff on November 28, 2006, 2:55 GMT

    I believe Ricki Ponting's decision to not enforce the follow-on was the correct one. It is apparent to me that the Aussies underestimated England in 2005 and are determined not to make the same mistake this time. I think the Aussie have assumed that this series will be won in the 5th test. At the end of the second day, Australia were always going to win the first test match and given this, they wanted to ensure the English bowlers will not be going into the 5th test having bowled considerably fewer overs than the Australian bowlers. I am happy with Pontings decision and I believe it will be justified when Flintoff breaks down with injury in the fourth or fifth test.

  • Ado on November 28, 2006, 1:43 GMT

    Well said Chacha, Naaz has forgotten that apart from Jacques, Michael Clarke & Katitch are in and out of the middle order and a host of young batsman are fighting to get into the top bracket Tait and Johnson are doing the same in the bowling department - I wonder if he can remember Symonds ??

  • Kimberly on November 28, 2006, 1:33 GMT

    Euceph, yes Ponting is boring to watch, he chased after Richard's and Yousuf's records, the pommy attack is substandard and the Aussie's comprehensive win in the first ashes test was also insignificant - The Aussies may head the Test and one day team list but they are still not as good as the records show - Pigs also fly sometimes !!!

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 27, 2006, 22:48 GMT

    Kimberly - It's quite obvious that Ricky Ponting wanted to give himself an extra innings to chase Viv Richards and Mohammad Yousuf's record of runs scored in a calendar year. His second innings 60 should be followed with an asterisk in the record books... *unnecessarily scored chasing after records. Why is it that no matter how many runs he scores and however aggresively he scores them it's never a pleasure to watch?

    Who could think of the Pommy attack as anything but substandard? Giles is coming back from injury, Anderson doesn't look like anything close to what he was before his own injuries, and Harmison has totally lost it. What else could be behind Ponting's sadistic decision to bat again except pleasing the sponsors, getting some useless runs, and screwing the competitive spirit of the game in the process?

  • Peter Colman on November 27, 2006, 17:21 GMT

    The injury point was a good one and fears of wasted revenue are good points .Consider this.Australia's second innings confirmed at that point the superiority of their batsmen.They produced over 157 for the loss of a wicket and even that was not down to the English bowlers.Perhaps they were making a point.

  • Chacha Koora Kircut on November 27, 2006, 15:40 GMT

    Forget what the Ossies are doing! Lets talk about the three useless all rounders in the Pak team. Razaq, Malik and Hafeez. These guys are neither bastmen nor bowlers.

    What on earth are they doing playing in the team? Apart from Shoaib Malik the other two have proven their uselessness over a period of time in test matches. Let get rid of em and play some emerging players.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 27, 2006, 15:02 GMT

    I dont think there is any other reason, science or logic behind not enforcing follow-on except to entertain the big crowd that came to see cricket and also to make some extra money for the 5th day. Or else the match would have been over due to England's pathetic play.

  • Naaz Bandali on November 27, 2006, 10:13 GMT

    I am an ardent Australia Cricket Fan. My sincere request to Cricket Australia is to start blending youth now before it is late. I strongly feel that Phil Jacques should be given a chance. for how long are we going to stick to Justin Langer and Mathew Hayden. Also Glen McGrath is going strong but it is time for Australia to look beyond. Shaun Tait should be tried. I hope Australia still remember the crisis it went through when Grag Chappell, Rod Marsh and Denise Lilee all retired the same time. Australia were being beaten from all the sides. Please consider and shall appreciate a response.

  • Mohit Jham on November 27, 2006, 8:22 GMT

    Everyone on this blog is talking about the old age of the Aussie Bowlers. Guys, let's be honest to ourselves. Who (other than the aussies) could bowl in the same manner, i.e. with the precision and finesse, at the age of 35 (on an average). Why is it so difficult for people to admit that Australia in undoubtedly No.1 and there is no No.2 team in the world to even come close to these guys...AUSSIES RULE...GOOD JOB PUNTER...KEEP GOING PIGEON...C'MON WARNIE, SPIN THESE POMMIES BACK TO ENGLAND WITH THEIR STIFF UPPER LIP KISSING SOMEHTING ELSE AND NOT THE URN...

  • Nuruddin Lakhani on November 27, 2006, 5:01 GMT

    There is plenty of science involved in the game of cricket, but I fail to understand that how a rest of 60 overs or 3/4th of a day during the Test match will prevent injuries when the cricketers are playing all around the year.

    As superstitious as they are, the memories of Leeds and Calcutta are always at the back of their minds. Although, Australians must think of West Indies when they successfully chased the world record 419 while such decisions. Australia was at the receiving end at that time also and it can happen any day . . .

  • Sami Ullah on November 27, 2006, 4:46 GMT

    I think its just to punish those English suckers and make em run after the ball like a mad dog. I cant stand Y Ashes is so popular coz Aus V Eng is NO contest. its like Heavy-Weight V Light-Weight fighter!

  • Zuhair on November 27, 2006, 4:31 GMT

    Ponting's decision was justifid ONLY because they went on to win the match. Otherwise it wasnt a very pleasing decision. But yes, current australian bowlers cant bowl no stop at this point of time in thier lives (aging 35 on an average). Not imposing follow-on does send negative sifnals to the opponents and it feels like the team chosing to bat again is dfensive in thier approach and not confident enough to bowl the same team out again. I dont beleive that batting practice really matters at this level for the class of batsmen present in the australian team. I strongly feel Aussies try to be DIFFERENT in every aspect of the game, and because they have a good enough team to support thier innovations, people are made to bilve that it was a good secision generally.

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on November 27, 2006, 3:45 GMT

    The reason mentioned by Kamran could be one explanation to this unusual decision. But I feel it has a bit to do with one other factor. If Australia had enforced the follow-on, the match may have ended on the 3rd day. Think about the ticket sales and TV viewership. That means loosing quite a few million Australian dollars.

    I know it sounds crazy but you may recall a few years back Cricket Australia actually expressed concern over the fact that test matches are ending too quickly, causing a loss of revenue.

    I certainly hope that this wasnt the reason, as it means that factors other than cricket are affecting the game. The decision was extremely inadvisable and may have back-fired.

  • Kimberly on November 27, 2006, 3:37 GMT

    Euceph - how did the pommy attack become sub-standard overnight ?? The pitch seemed doddgy when England batted and the Aussies definitely wanted to win and grind it into the pommy memory as well so that they bring it into the next test with them. What is wrong with CA asserting its domination of Cricket ?? (If some idiots think they need to ??)

  • Merril on November 27, 2006, 3:27 GMT

    Have to agree with Kamran, Ponting knows that his strike bowlers are no spring chickens and the possibility of rain at the Gabba was remote - The result proves his point.

  • Brett Ward on November 27, 2006, 1:33 GMT

    Ricky Ponting only didnt enforce the follow on because Cricket Australia told him not to. By not enforcing the follow on, the match has been forced into a 5th day which results in extra ticket sales and extra revenue for Cricket Australia.

  • Rohan Patel on November 26, 2006, 22:34 GMT

    I think Pontings decision not to enforce the follow on is justified. He's playing his strongest team which includes an age old bowling attack (fair enough). All he's doing is playing to their strength and giving his bowlers a breather under the scorching sun. Plus those cracks are assisting Warne rippers. Do anyone see some of them turn? Amazing stuff.

  • Akshay Gupta on November 26, 2006, 18:18 GMT

    Never know that 10 years of research could lead to such shocking findings, not enforcing follow-on down and out Poms was a pleasntly shocking decision ( easy to see i am Englisgh Fan). I just hopes that English batsmen seize this opportunity and make Punter and his team pay for it. Even a draw in this match would be good enough to put to flame the previous research findings.

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 26, 2006, 14:37 GMT

    It's ridiculous that ten years of research reaches an absurd conclusion. Any fool can see the amount of cricket being played these days. Most of the injuries are a result of the increased workload (as in the number of matches played). I can't imagine any more than 5% of the games (test & first class) going into a follow-on situation. If at all, this no follow-on policy could be restricted to first class matches only. Many other options are there to reduce the number of injuries to players. Playing on is not one of them. CA just wants to assert the domination of the Aussies over the game and give their batsmen the opportunity to pile on frivolous records against substandard bowling attacks.

  • fahd on November 26, 2006, 12:37 GMT

    As far as i think Ponting decided not to enforce the follow on because of Australia's previous memories in India, as the bowlers were pretty fresh and they got England out pretty quickly....or it could have been that he was hoping to get another century quickly against the lackluster english bowlers....and about his injury, u r bound to have one when u keep making above 1500runs every year

  • s.zulfiqar ali on November 26, 2006, 12:03 GMT

    funny. it is a strange decison .trditionally one always go for the kill in such a situation. if weather play some trick tomarrow than australian may be able to understand full consequences of such decision. old theory of finishing the game at the earilest is the trusted one. But modern cricket is different and we may well see quite a few more such changes in approch . all the best to poor Ricky.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • s.zulfiqar ali on November 26, 2006, 12:03 GMT

    funny. it is a strange decison .trditionally one always go for the kill in such a situation. if weather play some trick tomarrow than australian may be able to understand full consequences of such decision. old theory of finishing the game at the earilest is the trusted one. But modern cricket is different and we may well see quite a few more such changes in approch . all the best to poor Ricky.

  • fahd on November 26, 2006, 12:37 GMT

    As far as i think Ponting decided not to enforce the follow on because of Australia's previous memories in India, as the bowlers were pretty fresh and they got England out pretty quickly....or it could have been that he was hoping to get another century quickly against the lackluster english bowlers....and about his injury, u r bound to have one when u keep making above 1500runs every year

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 26, 2006, 14:37 GMT

    It's ridiculous that ten years of research reaches an absurd conclusion. Any fool can see the amount of cricket being played these days. Most of the injuries are a result of the increased workload (as in the number of matches played). I can't imagine any more than 5% of the games (test & first class) going into a follow-on situation. If at all, this no follow-on policy could be restricted to first class matches only. Many other options are there to reduce the number of injuries to players. Playing on is not one of them. CA just wants to assert the domination of the Aussies over the game and give their batsmen the opportunity to pile on frivolous records against substandard bowling attacks.

  • Akshay Gupta on November 26, 2006, 18:18 GMT

    Never know that 10 years of research could lead to such shocking findings, not enforcing follow-on down and out Poms was a pleasntly shocking decision ( easy to see i am Englisgh Fan). I just hopes that English batsmen seize this opportunity and make Punter and his team pay for it. Even a draw in this match would be good enough to put to flame the previous research findings.

  • Rohan Patel on November 26, 2006, 22:34 GMT

    I think Pontings decision not to enforce the follow on is justified. He's playing his strongest team which includes an age old bowling attack (fair enough). All he's doing is playing to their strength and giving his bowlers a breather under the scorching sun. Plus those cracks are assisting Warne rippers. Do anyone see some of them turn? Amazing stuff.

  • Brett Ward on November 27, 2006, 1:33 GMT

    Ricky Ponting only didnt enforce the follow on because Cricket Australia told him not to. By not enforcing the follow on, the match has been forced into a 5th day which results in extra ticket sales and extra revenue for Cricket Australia.

  • Merril on November 27, 2006, 3:27 GMT

    Have to agree with Kamran, Ponting knows that his strike bowlers are no spring chickens and the possibility of rain at the Gabba was remote - The result proves his point.

  • Kimberly on November 27, 2006, 3:37 GMT

    Euceph - how did the pommy attack become sub-standard overnight ?? The pitch seemed doddgy when England batted and the Aussies definitely wanted to win and grind it into the pommy memory as well so that they bring it into the next test with them. What is wrong with CA asserting its domination of Cricket ?? (If some idiots think they need to ??)

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on November 27, 2006, 3:45 GMT

    The reason mentioned by Kamran could be one explanation to this unusual decision. But I feel it has a bit to do with one other factor. If Australia had enforced the follow-on, the match may have ended on the 3rd day. Think about the ticket sales and TV viewership. That means loosing quite a few million Australian dollars.

    I know it sounds crazy but you may recall a few years back Cricket Australia actually expressed concern over the fact that test matches are ending too quickly, causing a loss of revenue.

    I certainly hope that this wasnt the reason, as it means that factors other than cricket are affecting the game. The decision was extremely inadvisable and may have back-fired.

  • Zuhair on November 27, 2006, 4:31 GMT

    Ponting's decision was justifid ONLY because they went on to win the match. Otherwise it wasnt a very pleasing decision. But yes, current australian bowlers cant bowl no stop at this point of time in thier lives (aging 35 on an average). Not imposing follow-on does send negative sifnals to the opponents and it feels like the team chosing to bat again is dfensive in thier approach and not confident enough to bowl the same team out again. I dont beleive that batting practice really matters at this level for the class of batsmen present in the australian team. I strongly feel Aussies try to be DIFFERENT in every aspect of the game, and because they have a good enough team to support thier innovations, people are made to bilve that it was a good secision generally.