Samir Chopra August 5, 2009

Ricky don't lose that aggression

Still, whatever his problems as a captain, and a communicator, I like watching him when he steps on to the field; he is, as he might like to hear, "very good value."
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Question: What do a snowball in hell and an Indian fan of Ricky Ponting have in common?

Answer: They are both non-existent entities.

Yes, that is an exaggeration. But such hyperbole captures one uncomfortable fact about the Australian captain: he is not popular among many, many cricket fans all over the world. Given that Indian fans make up a majority of the world's cricket fans, it's a fair call to say he isn't a very popular man in the world of cricket. So as a corrective, I'd like to offer a tribute to Ricky Ponting on the occasion of his having surpassed Allan Border's run aggregate in Tests. And I do not for a second think that I'm alone, even amongst Indians, in holding these opinions of Ponting.

The truth of the matter is that Ponting is one of Test cricket's best batsmen of all time, has been one of its most entertaining, dynamic and attacking batsmen for the last 14 years, and is a superb fielder to boot. He has been a classically Australian cricketer: an aggressive, purposeful batsman who loves, besides all the fierce cuts and drives in his repertoire, two quintessentially Australian shots: the hook and the pull, and is a great slip catcher and a quality patroller of any part of the cricket field he happens to be placed in. I have never seen a boring innings by him (yes, I'm including the ones where he has struggled against spin), for Ponting is attacking down to the core of his being when he has a bat in his hand.

One innings that always stands out in my mind's eye was the first one I saw him play in a Test match. It was a little gem of 88, played at Brisbane in the first test of the 1996-97 series against the West Indies. Matthew Elliott had gone early for a duck and Ponting strode out to face Ambrose, Walsh and Bishop for the first time in a Test (it was the fifth of Ponting's career). Taylor and Ponting added 126 runs for the second wicket; Taylor's contribution was 39. Ponting's innings was full of his flashing pulls, hooks and squaredrives; but he had to work for it. There were edges through slips aplenty and some evasion as well. It was a classic, hard-fought session of test cricket which continued after lunch.

The West Indian quicks pressed for another breakthrough but to no avail. I watched it utterly spellbound; Ambrose and company could have broken through that morning and wrested the initiative early in the series but a youngster had resisted and counterattacked.

There was a buzz while Ponting was at the crease. Part of it had to do with his restless, shuffling, body language, one that suggests early vulnerability in his innings (especially when he appears to fall over as he plays across), but which later, is more indicative of a coiled energy waiting to strike. Once he left, Australia buckled to be 5 for 196 before the old firm of Waugh and Healy bailed them out again.

Over the years, Ponting has lived up to his early promise (Ian Chappell was one of those talking up this new Tasmanian Bradman in his debutant days). While small weaknesses have been found by opponents over the years, such as against high-quality swing (but really, who doesn't have a weakness against this?) and offspin, he still remains a quality batsman, one to be feared, whose wicket is prized over any other by the opposition when they play Australia.

He has hit purple patches (like those double tons against India in the 2004 series), he has hit lows (like those off-spinning blues in the 2001 series against India), and as Australia struggles in the post-McGrath-Warne-Langer-Waugh-Hayden era, he has struggled too.

Still, whatever his problems as a captain, and a communicator, and he has quite a few in that regard, I have nothing but admiration for him as a batsman and fielder. I like watching him when he steps on to the field; he is, as he might like to hear, "very good value."

Samir Chopra lives in Brooklyn and teaches Philosophy at the City University of New York. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vaibhav on August 24, 2009, 19:33 GMT

    and that too in a World cup match

    Pressure is when your team is stuck at 60/3 or 80/4 and you know there's no one else to accompany you to take the total to 300+ and you do that "single handedly" (N.b.: I am against this term "single handedly" but here...)

    Pressure is when your team has had problems defeating minnow Zimbabwe (WC 2003) and has lost against Aus, and your country has erupted against you and your families home, and you send a message to keep calm and lead from the front...

    Pressure is when every time you come out to bat you know there are a billion people who expect you to score a hundred...

    Pressure is when you get out cheaply once and the same billion start yelling that you are finished and you should retire

  • Vaibhav on August 24, 2009, 19:23 GMT

    As far as I remember, one quality that distinguishes Sachin from others is the way he targets selected few. What I mean is "revenge" with the bat... 1) Warne story is world famous 2) Olonga's story is famous too! 3) Remember Akram, Akhtar and Waqar getting thrashed in WC 2003 4) I remember Sachin (and Azhar) spanking Donald and Co in SA when India were 80/5 or something... 5) I dont remember Sachin hitting Murali, Vaas and Co but Sachin has surely amassed a lot of runs against them 6) Against WI, if I remember correctly, Sachin has done the restoration of innings job after India lost early wickets a lot of times 7) English bowlers were no different (Remember that giant six off Caddick outta the ground in WC 2003 after Caddick publicly annocunced that he wouldnt let Sachin play for long...) and regarding pressure... pressure is not just when you are chasing a a difficult but probable target... pressure is when you are up against arch rivals Pak, chasing 270 odd and lost Sehwag early.

  • Vaibhav on August 24, 2009, 19:10 GMT

    Those who say Sachin failed in WC 2003 final forget that he played 10 innings before that and amassed 650+ runs. Moreover, indirectly is has been agreed that, had Sachin clicked in that final, India would have got the cup.... I think that ends all arguments :)

  • batman on August 14, 2009, 22:22 GMT

    As u ve pointed urself,d ICC rankings show how consistent sachin has been for 20 yrs. n finally - "what the Indians would have made of Ponting had he been an Indian! - ah, the joke of d year. After Sachin broke Lara's record last year -Atherton,an Englishman wrote this "The archives recall not one single incriminating incident, not one drunken escapade, not one reported affair, not one spat with a team-mate or reporter ... As Matthew Parris wondered of Barack Obama in these pages recently, is he human? MikeAtherton ponders the sinless Sachin Tendulkar in the Times Do u think we wud need a guy who had a serious drinking problem, thrown out of a bar,finger pointed to a 65 yr old man to give d trophy n pushed him out on a world stage,uses abusive language in public against opponents coaches n fans, sweared @a reporter who asked y he claimed a false catch and who needs a strict course in public behavin ,when we ve d Kohinoor of rolemodel sportsmen among us?? Gud luck 2 u then

  • batman on August 14, 2009, 21:56 GMT

    And if facing major opposition is a major criterion, succeeding in alien conditions is an equally major criterion. So how are u going to mask Ponting's tailenderesque average of 20.12 on Indian pitches throughout his entire career.For the all use of ur mediocre word for Sachin record against SA and Pak ,he averages 42.42 against Pak ( n pls note 4 matches of those were played in his debut series wen he was 16 against Wasim Waqar n Imran and still played 2 match saving innings) which as usual have been selectively masked and 40.41 on bouncy SA pitches where he has 3 100s. And so by the same token, is Warney not as gr8 because 50% of his wickets have come against the champion Poms and SA players- mediocre players of spins and his abysymal record against the best players of Spin - The indians.Just to tell one fact - Ponting scored 101 n 99 in the melbourne test last year against SA and yet OZ were hammered by 10 wickets. That has been the conundrom Sachin had to face throughout

  • batman on August 14, 2009, 21:18 GMT

    2. 2003 world cup - Sachin scored 673@62.81 - Ponting 415@51.87. And Sachin was the man of the tournament. After the league match loss against Oz, the passionate fans who tend to take losses to heart indulged in reactions which everyone knows and the little master himself came out to pacify them and guaranteed them a fight back and was simply unstoppable until the finals. Btw , the reactions and the expectations of 1 billion fans is something no stat can tell u which the little big man has been carrying throughout his career. Mark Waugh once wrote ' Sachin , like GOd, can never fail'. n except the final and match against SL, Ponting had nuthin to show in the tournament and they were taken to the finals by Symonds, Bevan and Andy Bichel.

    3. 2007- Everone knows who won them this - Haydos n that 67 ball blistering of SA and Gilly and the squash ball stories n well , who was the man of the series - Glenn McGrath.

  • batman on August 14, 2009, 21:17 GMT

    :). It is very amusing to see how sorcerer counters his own arguments with facts of cricket and tells others not to say them. Cricket has always been and always will be a team game.

    1. Again i thought we were discussing test stats. Still he has unwittingly admitted what we have been saying all along - luxury of playing in a world beating side that the Oz were throughout his career.First the 3 world cup wins, 1999 - The stars of this show were one Stephen Rodger Waugh and one Shane Warne and contributions from Micheal Bevan and Adam Gilcrist. Note that is 4 all time gr8s already. Ponting scored 354@39.99. Sachin came back 2 days after his father's death putting country over family n every Indian knows how emotionally attached he is to his dad and yet scored 253@42.24

    2. 2003 world cup - Sachin scored 673@62.81 - Ponting 415@51.87. And Sachin was the man of the tournament. After the league match loss against Oz, the passionate fans who tend to take losses to heart indulged

  • Sorcerer on August 14, 2009, 17:50 GMT

    Another indicator towards Punter's superiority however controversial the domain maybe though....

    It's a damning indictment of the Tendulkar hype and ringing endorsement to his lopsided stats against different countries and in match situations that throughout his twenty years in the international scene, he has been unable to break through the magical 900-point mark in ICC ratings ever. He has never thus peaked so spectacularly and effectively to catapult him into the 900+ bracket.

    Yes, his longevity and very good overall record is there, but a perceptive inspection reveals craters as well as considerable weaknesses as listed before, which all collectively have meant that he has never been able to join the very elite club of ICC Ratings performers.

    Ponting, on the other hand, has flown high and mighty and even been in the 900+ zone for considerable time, even reaching 935 points.

    Mind boggles what the Indians would have made of Ricky Ponting had he been an Indian!

  • batman on August 14, 2009, 16:35 GMT

    hen the team toured in 90s the openers read like V.Rathore, W V Raman,Gandhi,Ramesh and bowling like Abey Kuruvilla,Dodda Ganesh,David Johnson apart from Srinath n Prasad who were good but no comparison in front of Mcgrath n Warney n laxman, dravid, Saurav were all just average till 00-01 . Compare Ponting colleagues - Taylor, Slater, Waughs, Langer, Martyn ,Healy, Gilly,Warney,Mcgrath,Dizzy. Which team wud u be in? Ponting's s not a balanced career -just vastly exaggerated by the world beating team that he played in as shown in the averages and runs then and now.

  • batman on August 14, 2009, 16:34 GMT

    Ponting's numbers are grossly exaggerated by the fact that he always played in a world beating side. I have already posted how his numbers dip after the retirement of the gr8s

    TO reiterate Ponting in matches after retirement of Warne,Mcgrath,Gilly,Langer,Martyn- 1903@44.25 ( note haydos,Clarke,Hussey still played in many of the matches)

    Sachin before Ganguly took captaincy in 00-01 ( Any cricket lover would know that was when Rahul, Laxman, Sehwag, Ganguly all came to the party and note the bowling support was at best was very good but never as gr8 as Warney, Mcgrath n co) - 5789@58.00 with 22 hundreds ( virtually a one man show) - Any team would have said - get Sachin out - get India out - Infact it was labelled as a 'One man army' in the 90s.

    When the team toured in 90s the openers read like V.Rathore, W V Raman,Gandhi,Ramesh and bowling like Kuruvilla,Ganesh,David Johnson apart from Srinath n Prasad who were good but no comparison in front of Warney n Mcgrath

  • Vaibhav on August 24, 2009, 19:33 GMT

    and that too in a World cup match

    Pressure is when your team is stuck at 60/3 or 80/4 and you know there's no one else to accompany you to take the total to 300+ and you do that "single handedly" (N.b.: I am against this term "single handedly" but here...)

    Pressure is when your team has had problems defeating minnow Zimbabwe (WC 2003) and has lost against Aus, and your country has erupted against you and your families home, and you send a message to keep calm and lead from the front...

    Pressure is when every time you come out to bat you know there are a billion people who expect you to score a hundred...

    Pressure is when you get out cheaply once and the same billion start yelling that you are finished and you should retire

  • Vaibhav on August 24, 2009, 19:23 GMT

    As far as I remember, one quality that distinguishes Sachin from others is the way he targets selected few. What I mean is "revenge" with the bat... 1) Warne story is world famous 2) Olonga's story is famous too! 3) Remember Akram, Akhtar and Waqar getting thrashed in WC 2003 4) I remember Sachin (and Azhar) spanking Donald and Co in SA when India were 80/5 or something... 5) I dont remember Sachin hitting Murali, Vaas and Co but Sachin has surely amassed a lot of runs against them 6) Against WI, if I remember correctly, Sachin has done the restoration of innings job after India lost early wickets a lot of times 7) English bowlers were no different (Remember that giant six off Caddick outta the ground in WC 2003 after Caddick publicly annocunced that he wouldnt let Sachin play for long...) and regarding pressure... pressure is not just when you are chasing a a difficult but probable target... pressure is when you are up against arch rivals Pak, chasing 270 odd and lost Sehwag early.

  • Vaibhav on August 24, 2009, 19:10 GMT

    Those who say Sachin failed in WC 2003 final forget that he played 10 innings before that and amassed 650+ runs. Moreover, indirectly is has been agreed that, had Sachin clicked in that final, India would have got the cup.... I think that ends all arguments :)

  • batman on August 14, 2009, 22:22 GMT

    As u ve pointed urself,d ICC rankings show how consistent sachin has been for 20 yrs. n finally - "what the Indians would have made of Ponting had he been an Indian! - ah, the joke of d year. After Sachin broke Lara's record last year -Atherton,an Englishman wrote this "The archives recall not one single incriminating incident, not one drunken escapade, not one reported affair, not one spat with a team-mate or reporter ... As Matthew Parris wondered of Barack Obama in these pages recently, is he human? MikeAtherton ponders the sinless Sachin Tendulkar in the Times Do u think we wud need a guy who had a serious drinking problem, thrown out of a bar,finger pointed to a 65 yr old man to give d trophy n pushed him out on a world stage,uses abusive language in public against opponents coaches n fans, sweared @a reporter who asked y he claimed a false catch and who needs a strict course in public behavin ,when we ve d Kohinoor of rolemodel sportsmen among us?? Gud luck 2 u then

  • batman on August 14, 2009, 21:56 GMT

    And if facing major opposition is a major criterion, succeeding in alien conditions is an equally major criterion. So how are u going to mask Ponting's tailenderesque average of 20.12 on Indian pitches throughout his entire career.For the all use of ur mediocre word for Sachin record against SA and Pak ,he averages 42.42 against Pak ( n pls note 4 matches of those were played in his debut series wen he was 16 against Wasim Waqar n Imran and still played 2 match saving innings) which as usual have been selectively masked and 40.41 on bouncy SA pitches where he has 3 100s. And so by the same token, is Warney not as gr8 because 50% of his wickets have come against the champion Poms and SA players- mediocre players of spins and his abysymal record against the best players of Spin - The indians.Just to tell one fact - Ponting scored 101 n 99 in the melbourne test last year against SA and yet OZ were hammered by 10 wickets. That has been the conundrom Sachin had to face throughout

  • batman on August 14, 2009, 21:18 GMT

    2. 2003 world cup - Sachin scored 673@62.81 - Ponting 415@51.87. And Sachin was the man of the tournament. After the league match loss against Oz, the passionate fans who tend to take losses to heart indulged in reactions which everyone knows and the little master himself came out to pacify them and guaranteed them a fight back and was simply unstoppable until the finals. Btw , the reactions and the expectations of 1 billion fans is something no stat can tell u which the little big man has been carrying throughout his career. Mark Waugh once wrote ' Sachin , like GOd, can never fail'. n except the final and match against SL, Ponting had nuthin to show in the tournament and they were taken to the finals by Symonds, Bevan and Andy Bichel.

    3. 2007- Everone knows who won them this - Haydos n that 67 ball blistering of SA and Gilly and the squash ball stories n well , who was the man of the series - Glenn McGrath.

  • batman on August 14, 2009, 21:17 GMT

    :). It is very amusing to see how sorcerer counters his own arguments with facts of cricket and tells others not to say them. Cricket has always been and always will be a team game.

    1. Again i thought we were discussing test stats. Still he has unwittingly admitted what we have been saying all along - luxury of playing in a world beating side that the Oz were throughout his career.First the 3 world cup wins, 1999 - The stars of this show were one Stephen Rodger Waugh and one Shane Warne and contributions from Micheal Bevan and Adam Gilcrist. Note that is 4 all time gr8s already. Ponting scored 354@39.99. Sachin came back 2 days after his father's death putting country over family n every Indian knows how emotionally attached he is to his dad and yet scored 253@42.24

    2. 2003 world cup - Sachin scored 673@62.81 - Ponting 415@51.87. And Sachin was the man of the tournament. After the league match loss against Oz, the passionate fans who tend to take losses to heart indulged

  • Sorcerer on August 14, 2009, 17:50 GMT

    Another indicator towards Punter's superiority however controversial the domain maybe though....

    It's a damning indictment of the Tendulkar hype and ringing endorsement to his lopsided stats against different countries and in match situations that throughout his twenty years in the international scene, he has been unable to break through the magical 900-point mark in ICC ratings ever. He has never thus peaked so spectacularly and effectively to catapult him into the 900+ bracket.

    Yes, his longevity and very good overall record is there, but a perceptive inspection reveals craters as well as considerable weaknesses as listed before, which all collectively have meant that he has never been able to join the very elite club of ICC Ratings performers.

    Ponting, on the other hand, has flown high and mighty and even been in the 900+ zone for considerable time, even reaching 935 points.

    Mind boggles what the Indians would have made of Ricky Ponting had he been an Indian!

  • batman on August 14, 2009, 16:35 GMT

    hen the team toured in 90s the openers read like V.Rathore, W V Raman,Gandhi,Ramesh and bowling like Abey Kuruvilla,Dodda Ganesh,David Johnson apart from Srinath n Prasad who were good but no comparison in front of Mcgrath n Warney n laxman, dravid, Saurav were all just average till 00-01 . Compare Ponting colleagues - Taylor, Slater, Waughs, Langer, Martyn ,Healy, Gilly,Warney,Mcgrath,Dizzy. Which team wud u be in? Ponting's s not a balanced career -just vastly exaggerated by the world beating team that he played in as shown in the averages and runs then and now.

  • batman on August 14, 2009, 16:34 GMT

    Ponting's numbers are grossly exaggerated by the fact that he always played in a world beating side. I have already posted how his numbers dip after the retirement of the gr8s

    TO reiterate Ponting in matches after retirement of Warne,Mcgrath,Gilly,Langer,Martyn- 1903@44.25 ( note haydos,Clarke,Hussey still played in many of the matches)

    Sachin before Ganguly took captaincy in 00-01 ( Any cricket lover would know that was when Rahul, Laxman, Sehwag, Ganguly all came to the party and note the bowling support was at best was very good but never as gr8 as Warney, Mcgrath n co) - 5789@58.00 with 22 hundreds ( virtually a one man show) - Any team would have said - get Sachin out - get India out - Infact it was labelled as a 'One man army' in the 90s.

    When the team toured in 90s the openers read like V.Rathore, W V Raman,Gandhi,Ramesh and bowling like Kuruvilla,Ganesh,David Johnson apart from Srinath n Prasad who were good but no comparison in front of Warney n Mcgrath

  • sorcerer on August 14, 2009, 16:06 GMT

    Well, let's talk about the ultimate crown too....one is a World Cup winner three times over (including two as skipper) and counting, and the other has never been one even once. Before anyone rakes up the point that it's a team game, contrast and distinguish the two batsmen's performances when they came up against each other at the ultimate stage in Centurion '03 WC Final. Punter absolutely demolished and annhilated the Indians including the walloped poor Harbhajan by thumping 140 not out, whereas Tendulkar capitulated cheaply again to McGrath tamely, a stark yet predictable throwback to the crucial Oval Super six encounter in WC '99 when he was sent packing early yet again by McGrath..

    Performances against major oppositions is a huge barometer of true greatness and one wonders how can you mask Tendulkar's not-so-special entire career record V SA and Pak?

    Scoring runs fast also matters for the quality of cricket on display and the value of runs - Ponting is incomparable there.

  • batman on August 14, 2009, 15:04 GMT

    @Sorcerer - Ambrose didnt tour India in 93-94 and Walsh didnt play two of the matches during India's tour to WI in 97-98. For all the so called mediocrity being talked about - the players in question themselves - Allan Donald, Shoaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram ( I mention only Pak and SA players here - There are several others) all rated Sachin as the best batsman they have ever bowled to. They have never even mentioned the name of Ponting. And compliments from such names would mean much more than someone posting some 'selectively masked stats' which when Ponting fails is just a one off and when it s against Sachin it means a mediocre career. And it is also a fact that Ponting has a mediocre record against both Walsh and Ambrose. fyi , Ambrose retired in 99-00 after which the 00-01 wisden series ( full set of 5 matches) was played in which Walsh took part. And it is also very convenient to dismiss bowlers who have good stats against Sachin as 'demon' bowlers.

  • sorcerer on August 14, 2009, 13:13 GMT

    Also quite convenienet to see batman's desperately posting "double-stats" as what else is the point of showing Ambrose matches as well as Walsh's matches? How many matches have the two played in which the other has been absent? huh!

    Quite easy then to post similar stats including Waqar, De Villiers, Cronje, Saqlain too....the gulf between Punter and Tendulkar would keep on widening.

    But really the fact that Tendulkar has been mediocre overall "in his entire career record" against two of the three best bowling attacks his times - SA and Pak speaks for a lot. Ponting's record otherwise is massively balanced as compared to SRT.

  • batman on August 13, 2009, 17:24 GMT

    @Mike- SO that does mean players like Sachin , Rahul,Anil do not have the winning attitude? I have posted the differences between being aggressive n abusive already. One name readily coming to mind is Rafa Nadal - one guy who never wants to lose at any point of time and one whonever gives up. But he does not abuse, swear, sledge @ opponents, umpires or press yet he is aggressive n never say die. The prob is if u wanna win n follow the Ponting style u ll have ur fair share of haters n for very good reason. Children all over the world are watchin wat u r doing and u need to set up right examples for them.

  • Mike on August 13, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    I think we are group of two people looking at a same thing but from a very different perspective. For batman-likes: Sachin-a very good player, a very good human being, make him a role model, to tell your children how good a person Sachin is Second: Ricky- A very good player, who wants to win every game for his country, no matter what people thinks, what media describes him, the 'winning attitude', be aggressive with opponents, but win the game and I think that's the attitude the second group (including me) likes about him. I don't think personal sentiments for your favorite players will lead to a conclusion. Now some of you want someone to be a role model, go ahead. At the end of the day, one who likes a player's attitude on the field will continue to like him. Statistics won't matter in that case.

  • batman on August 13, 2009, 4:28 GMT

    Mark- Even in this professional era, there are many names like Roger, Rafa, Tiger ,Sampras,Rahul,Anil,Sanath,Murali-Take a look at wim final 07 or 08. Some of the most hard fought professional contests exactly the way sport has to be played. Agreed there are several players with boorish players- none of whom will make good role models n so will not Punter. As i have been saying all along , Punter - Great cricketer n master batsman - But role model? sorry - but certainly no...

  • Mark Boustridge on August 12, 2009, 23:35 GMT

    Batman - you and I are closer than you think. We both agree that we love stars that we can respect. We differ on Ponting who I believe is being unfairly singled out. There are plenty of players we can finger for boorish behaviour from all the test playing nations. The point being that we should use these postings to celebrate the virtues of players rather than indulge in constant character assassination. Let's lend a conciliatory tone to proceedings rather than an antagonistic one. The last point I'll make on your posts (and this really will be the last because you and I have flogged this issue to death) is that it's indicative of the professional era that the majority of the respected athletes you mention are from a different time (Laver, The Don, Pele, Owens - all when sports was amateur). The world has moved on and sports has a harder edge. Should poor behaviour be excused? No! You and I need to move on from players personalities and focus on the on-field deeds instead, agreed?

  • batman on August 12, 2009, 22:52 GMT

    And so by the same token of Punter hitting Bhajji for sixes in the world cup final,forget all the stats,sachin wins his head to head contests against Akhtar,Wasim n Waqar because he won the 03 world cup encounter against Pak in literally one over ( Remember the upper cut for six) and the 1992 WC encounter as well against Wasim ,Imran, Aqaib Javed and Mustaq Ahmed. ( n btw i thought we were discussing test stats here).

    Ponting always had the luxury of playing in a world class team which possessed 2 of the gr8test fast bowlers of all times and some of the gr8test batmen of our era. I have already posted stats of how his runs and average take a beating after the retirement of all the gr8s. And as i have said already, no all time gr8 - names which know abt cricket better than any of us - ever rates Ponting alongside Lara n Sachin.

  • batman on August 12, 2009, 22:51 GMT

    It is the "demon" bowler Harbhajan who single handedly destoryed SWaugh final frontier plans(32wickets in a 3 test series) in a series where he had names like bahutule,Kulkarni,Sanghavi for bowling company and one number in the opposite team called Shane Warne in the company of Mcgrath, Gillespie and kasprocwicz took 10 wickets @ 50.50 and it is not just in India - He averages 38 in Aus against harbhajan thrice out for 2,3 and 55. And whats that bowler? Some Ishant Sharma who makes Ponting look like a novice everytime he bowls to him (Perth,Mohali,Nagpur - The mohali ball in the second innings wud rank as good as any bowled this decade)

    Sachin gave nightmares to the only contemporary player player picked up by wisden in all time gr8 list while Ponting loses sleep because of a "demon"bowler. And so by the same token of Punter hitting Bhajji for sixes in the world cup final,forget all the stats,sachin wins his head to head contests against Akhtar,Wasim n Waqar because h

  • batman on August 12, 2009, 22:34 GMT

    It is also amusing why conveniently the following 2 bowlers were sidestepped when we considered the greatest fast bowlers of our times

    Sachin in matches Ambrose played - 351@57.80 Sachin in matches Walsh played - 691@62.81 ( if not for a last day collapse at Mohali, India would have done what Aud did two years later - win a series against west Indies)

    Ponting in matches Ambrose played - 257@36.15 Ponting in matces Walsh played - 497@37.03

    So y not we now talk abt the disbalance in class of Sachin and Ponting against inarguably the last greatest set of bowlers from WI.

  • Sorcerer on August 12, 2009, 19:03 GMT

    Quite amusing how same Harbhajan the demon bowler's name is shown repeatedly to underline Ponting's single weakness in a magnificently balanced Test record, whereas conveniently sidestepping Sachin's rank mediocrity against both Pak and SA - two of the most major cricketing nations of his times, but no....Pontin'g mediocre handful of Tests V india (and also too in India only) is just about the only response Sachin's fans have, what to say of the massive innings disbalance of the Indian as shown and weakness when top aces have him in the crosshair a la Donald, Shoaib, McGrath etc.

    By the way, the same Harbhajan retreated sheepishly with his tail betwene his legs in the once in a lifetime encounter - the WC final when Ponting tore him to shreds, twice in the process depositing him outside the stadium to the delirious ovation from the raving Aussie crowds. I would rather destroy a bowler completely winning the WC rather than fail in a handful of Test innings...have the last laugh.

  • faisal on August 12, 2009, 5:11 GMT

    I don't want to be the person who is going to tell-"there is no santa,stop fighting for gift(!)" ,rather I enjoy this battle all along.Though one question for samir(may be I should ask steven)-which post in the blogs had recieved highest comments?

  • batman on August 12, 2009, 3:02 GMT

    We are not on d same page. If you are arrogant and disrespectful because you are able to do something better than other people, people may look up to for your skills but will never earn their respect. The warm fuzzy stuff is what makes fans all over d world respect and admire all the names i mentioned in my earlier post."You don't wage a war to win over hearts and minds" - Absolutely. It comes automatically just as Lou Vincent felt tat dat wen he saw Roger - Just as the crowd rises up wenever Sachin walks out - just as the chennai crowd arose up in 99 to salute Pak's thrilling win. As i said respect is not a gift. It does not come by asking for it. It comes from within. A man with average of 99.94 - wat a humble genius !! We love n respect The Don . A man who won 2 grandslams !!We love n respect Rod Laver. Wud i want my kids to be like Don, Laver r Sachin - Absolutely. Wud i want them to be like Punter? Sorry mate!If behave like tat jus because u r talented ,jus crack d whip.

  • Mark Boustridge on August 11, 2009, 21:35 GMT

    We're starting to be on the same page (I think). Sports people are extolled for their deeds on the field first and foremost. If they so happen to be a 'nice guy' - and yes Tendulkar does fit this mould. then all well and good. We need to separate the sportsman on the field to the human being off it. Cricinfo is all about cricket and what deeds players accomplish whilst representing their country. Hence our posts should be confined to that narrow spectrum instead of polarising players due to their popularity. Professional sports is about results. The warm fuzzy stuff is nice if it occurs but it's a bonus - not the primary objective. You don't wage a war to win over hearts and minds - just to win

  • batman on August 11, 2009, 15:13 GMT

    Punter? - Great cricketer - A very big yes. Rolemodel - A very big no. Respect is not a gift. You gotta earn it.

  • batman on August 11, 2009, 15:13 GMT

    @Mark-sorry.I disagree.Sachin is every bit the warm,cuddly,nice guy u talk about.Even Symonds has admitted to how wonderful a guy sachin is. N no breeding ground for role model?fyi, Just ask any cricketer or for that matter any teenager who grew up during the 1990s in India who their role model is. The answer would be one 5 ft 3 inches little man from mumbai.Sports is war no doubt at that. Aggression does not mean disrepecting elders, abusing the oppoents, swearing press reporters. Some of the most aggressive palyers are Sachin,Dravid, Kumble, Sanath, Murali and you know what aggression is when you see the way they play. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are two of the most die hard aggressive sportsmen who never want to lose and you know what aggression is when you look at them. "Humble geniuses are rare indeed" - very true. But there have been quite a few- Like Federer, Nadal, Borg, Sampras,Pele,Tiger woods,Jesse owens, Sachin is right up there with any of these greats. Punter?

  • Mark Boustridge on August 11, 2009, 5:37 GMT

    Batman, I'm not trying to bait you but I need to show how our thinking differs. I believe that when you step on the field for your country then winning should be considered of paramount importance. Not at all costs - more the 'hard but fair' ethos that most cricketers expunge. As Symonds says, when you're playing for your country it's effectively a 'war'. After all, what is sport if not a bloodless replication of the gladiatorial battles of old Rome? For every Tendulkar there is a Harbjhan. For every Ponting there's a Martyn. When you analyse a players career all that matters is the statistics - which is how it should be. We'd all love to have sports stars who are warm, cuddly, nice guys. The fact is professional sports is not designed to be a breeding ground for role models - yes that's a shame but that's how it is. Humble geniuses are rare indeed. When you're in the trenches you want the guy next to you to be unflinching in his commitment and produce the results required for victory

  • Srikanth on August 10, 2009, 17:43 GMT

    Thanks Faisal. Am just a guy who enjoys good cricket. And as hard as it may be for most Indians to admit, most of the best cricket recently was being played by the Aussies of the Waugh-Pointing era. Its hard not to be sucked in by this once-in-a-lifetime team. I get the same feeling when watching Federer. Whether they are destroying the opposition (most of the series they play) or coming from behind (Hobart v Pakistan) or even when they lose (Ind-Aus 2001, Ashes 2005) the cricket is unforgettable. The detractors just made me laugh. Yeah they sledged. But these are professional athletes we are talking about here. You're telling me that a few words hurt you. And for those bringing up the windies of the 80s. They sure did sledge btw. Read the biographies of many cricketers that faced em. The likes of richards etc will keep saying " the next ball is going to kill you". And when you are facing 4 fast men bowling at your head constantly - that is surely more of a sledge than any insult.

  • batman on August 10, 2009, 15:26 GMT

    And note that there are several others involving Ponting. Former Nz player Lou vincent put it beautifully in the 07 CB series ,comparing the pathetic behaviour of some Oz players against RogerFederer,who had won the Aus open07 without dropping a single set and during d presentation ceremony looked very much like the modest,loveable, admirable Superstar Champion that he is always. Players like Punter n Symonds who live in glasshouses sud not throw stones at others. Bottomline - Sachin is feared, admired and respected by fans n opponents alike. Read Warneys comments when he rated Sachin as the greatest player in his list. During the 1990s his effect on indian economy was equivalent to d Jordan effect on d US. For even his God like status in India, he is such a humble gentleman on and off the field. Ponting may be feared but will never be admired unless he starts behaving better which is more important than talent and skills.

  • batman on August 10, 2009, 15:16 GMT

    @Mark n Boma-Exactly the issue i m talking about- .As u said Sachin is admired and respected by Aussie fans, the rousing standing reception he got at all the venues in the last Oz tour justifies this But Ponting is a different case. But Ponting as the author has pointed out is not admired not just in India ,we all know wats happening in England now.Indians are very knowledgable abt the sport and there are fan bases for opponent players in india like Steve,Gilly,Lee,Warne,Lara,Sanath, Murali and even players across the border like Afridi, Wasim n Akhtar.But Punter is extremely unpopular because of his sometimes appalling attrocious behaviour. The champions trophy 06 is a case in point. I was watching it with my parents and it made up for pathetic family viewing. My mom asked y i watch a sport where players treat a 65 year old man (senior politician n cricket administrator) with such disgraceful attitude and disrespect. I dint have an answer. And note that there are several others

  • cricfan2 on August 10, 2009, 13:36 GMT

    I dont understand all this fighting about who faced good bowlers and who did not.Ponting has faced bowlers from almost all cricketing nations and scrored runs against them.If they could not get him out cheaply whos fault is it.ALL GREAT BATSMEN WERE RATED ACCORDING TO THE BOWLERS OF THEIR ERA THEY FACED.So Ponting has faced the bowlers of his era so he should be rated according to that and not by whether he faced this bowler or did nor face that bowler.

  • Horse on August 10, 2009, 10:39 GMT

    Sorcerer, check mate buddy well done !! And to all those people bagging Ponting, Not one of you has ever met, or played with, or against the guy so you have basis whatsoever to assassinate his character. Why not enjoy the sport of cricket and celebrate ALL great players.

  • Mark Boustridge on August 10, 2009, 9:59 GMT

    Batman/Sorcerer - enough is enough. I putting your posts firmly into the 'you can make statistics prove anything you like' file. Ponting and Tendulkar are both world class and I would hope that the pair of you could both be big enough to admit it without having to prove one to be better than the other. When your arguments descend to the level that batsman A's average against bowlers in Australia bowling downwind with the 2nd new ball on a day 5 pitch at the SCG when it's overcast at 3.30 in the afternoon is better than batsman B's it gets ridiculous. As an aussie I can recognise the talent that Tendulkar possesses and in the same way I would hope that an indian can look at Pontings test average and recognise that he too is a special talent. Both very different players with different attitudes and mindsets. Both are giants of the game and we shouldn't need to pick them apart to pick a winner. Love them both for what they bring to the game. Cricket will be a lesser game when they retire

  • Boma on August 10, 2009, 2:31 GMT

    Sorcerer has now shown all you indians up. Indians just can't handle the fact that ponting is a far superior batsmen in games that count and can pull out a good captain's knock.

    India hates ponting because of his superiority!!! Aussies fully respect and appreciate Tendulkar whenever he plays in AUstralia. Why can't India just show respect for a great player and quit being envious. Forget the aggressiveness, sledging or anything like that, look at Indian fans when they called Symonds a monkey!! Pathetic sore losers who need to ridicule the best players in a vein attempt to put them off!!!

  • batman on August 10, 2009, 0:52 GMT

    No all time gr8 has ever mentioned Ponting in the same breath as Sachin or Lara. Don , Sobers,Warne , Hadlee, Murali , Botham ,Gower, Holding, Wasim ,Akhtar. Infact to quote Akhtar - " There are Gilchrists n Haydens - But Sachin is Sachin". Wasim too mentioned Gilchrist along with Sachin n Lara but never Ponting. Because Ponting is not even the best batsman Oz has produced let alone the world. Is there a single time that Sachin or Lara have looked as clueless as Ponting against a 19 year old novice that Ishant made Punter look like in Perth or against Harmisonn @ lords 05 N freddie @ edbagston 05or absolutely clueless that he always has been against Harbhajan ,Kumble or even Murali kartik always. Both have had their bad patches but never clueless as Ponting has been against these bowlers

  • batman on August 10, 2009, 0:39 GMT

    To reiteriate the fact the matches that Aus won ( 16 matches winning streak et all ) was due to Warne n Mcgrath and not due to Ponting, This gr8 England side with one world class played in Strauss would have been swallowed 5-0 if Warne n McGrath had played. The standards of the Oz team has fallen down so much that they are celebrating a victory against a medocire English team in a series they had been gettin outplayed before Leeds. And another factor which Stats doesnt tell is Sachin won hearts all over the world - Opponents, teammates , fans alike. Ponting is feared but not respected by opponents.

  • batman on August 10, 2009, 0:30 GMT

    @sorcerer - Ponting in matches in which Harbajan played - 306 runs @21.85 Matches in which Ishant Sharma played - 405@38.14 Ponting in matches after retirement of Warne and Mcgrath - 1903@44.25 No of matches that Aus has won after retirement of Warne and Mcgrath - 12 out of 25 ( not even 50% - so much so that they are celebrating a gr8 win to level a series against a world class Pom side who have the gr8 Bopara , Bell, Collingwood at 3,4,5 and prior at No -6 and whose bowling attack is as strong as a tsunami on an uninhabited island when there is no swing. Ponting in matches Aus have won after Warne _ Mcgrath retirement - 852@42.60 If i can use your terminology - "Hidden stats" - Ponting always played in a world beating side from the days of Taylor, Waughs,Langer,Hayden, Gilly till Warne - Mcgrath retirement in 06. Compare tat with sachin who till Ganguly took over captaincy in 00-01 was virtually carryin Inida on his little big shoulders. Take a look at India in Oz 99-00.

  • Mike on August 9, 2009, 17:56 GMT

    Wow!! Way to go Sorcerer. After all, the numbers speak for themselves. And way to go aussies. Looking forward to one more win at Oval. I hope Ricky makes another hundred with those blasting pulls.

  • Sorcerer on August 9, 2009, 17:54 GMT

    Add to that, yet another glaring dominance of Ponting in context of scoring big in matches that matter most:

    Averages....

    Tendulkar

    in matches won - 65 in matches lost - 36 in matches drawn - 65 (65 Tests too!)

    Ponting

    in matches won - 60 (89 Tests!) in matches lost - 59 in matches drawn - 56

    Ponting averages much more as opposed to Tendulkar in matches involving the strongest two bowling attacks - against SA (56 V Sachin's paltry 35), against Pak (82 V Sachin's mere 42)

    Nobody ever stated that Sachin's records are not excellent overall, but they are not really as impressive or consistent as those of Ponting. The massive differential v SA and Pak bowling, the disproportionate liking for scoring in dull drawn matches being the hallmark of Sachin and on the other side the liking of Ponting to fight tooth and nail even in the third and fourth innings, and Sachin's rank mediocrity in those important phases is a stark feature. Ponting's the best.

  • omar hussain on August 9, 2009, 15:39 GMT

    I said earlier if Ricky can take what he gives i would be the first to salute him!He realy made me eat my words with the Headingley demolition.The man has guts.

  • jaye on August 9, 2009, 4:23 GMT

    To those who say Ponting is not a good human being. YOU KNOW NOTHING!!! You see through blinkered eyes that see nothing of the horrendous behaviour of your own, in Bhaji and the like. Comparing him to Tendulkar and Lara will always raise arguments, however one thing he has done, is been a captain and a popular one amongst his own players. His game was improved by the responsibility whereas Lara and Sachin buckled under that pressure. Never forget that He has been able to look after the needs of all others in his team without sacrificing his own game. And more than this, you people know nothing of the charity work he does and the time he devotes to those less fortunate than you or I, so until you do, leave your opinions about his humanity in the box.

  • Sorcerer on August 8, 2009, 17:27 GMT

    Comparison shows quite a disbalance when you look at the innings of the match. For Sachin, lopsided as best in the last two innings, and just marvel at Ponting's consistency:

    Averages.....

    Tendulkar

    in 1st innings of match - 72 in 2nd innings of match - 54 in 3rd innings of match - 44...don't particularly like third day or fourth day pitches either.... in 4th innings of match - 37...oh yes, the pitch has deteriorated and matters getting difficult to handle....

    Ponting

    in 1st innings of match - 61 in 2nd innings of match - 60 in 3rd innings of match - 55 in 4th innings of match - 62

    Who is supremely consistent, then?

  • Sorcerer on August 8, 2009, 6:53 GMT

    cricpundit - it helps to know some facts before you say something....as my last post proves who has filled his boots against mediocrity when the big guns have been absent, and regarding your claim that Ponting has not done well against Wasim Akram, he happens to average 49 with S/R of 65 in matches involving Waz, whereas for Sachin the average and S/R fall to merely 33 and 46 respectively!

    The reason for Punter's dominance against high-quality pace bowlers is his stunning command over the hook and pull shot for which he is right up there with the might of Viv and Greenidge. And you know as well, what is generally Sachin's response to short-pitched hostile bowling - a crouch or evasive action or just ducking underneath. He rarely ventures to play the hook shot - a feature which has taken over his game in the last decade or so

  • Sorcerer on August 8, 2009, 6:43 GMT

    Averages of the two batsmen in matches involving some trump strike bowlers:

    Tendulkar (with McGrath playing)- 37 (S/R: 55) Tendulkar (with Donald playing)- 33 (S/R: 46) Tendulkar (with Murali playing) - 46 (S/R: 51) Tendulkar (with Akhtar playing)- 41 (S/R: 59)

    Ponting (with Akhtar playing) - 76 (S/R: 63) Ponting (with Murali playing) - 57 (S/R: 56) Ponting (with Donald playing) - 46 (S/R: 50)

    It is thus pretty clear that Warne is the ONLY world class bowler that Sachin has dominated, whereas for Ponting, there are copious names on his hit-list. Not only has the unmatchable Aussie scored much more heavily against better bowling attacks but has a clear advantage in terms of strike rate too as he has scored his runs quicker as well, lending invaluable edge to his team in duels against top ranking opposition.

    This analysis lays bare the flimsy claim that SRT has scored heavily against quality opposition bowlers as when the big guns have been there, he has been mediocre.

  • faisal on August 8, 2009, 5:32 GMT

    Who are you Mr.Srikanth!?! I read your comments and became a fan immediately.Somehow you sound like a renegade but what is wrong with that in terms of supporting a team at sports? I think everyone should admit that a pretension for a game start with commending individual brilliance.So if you are a fan under 30,you can't avoid the fact that as aussie had ruled for the past decade or so,these individuals are mostly of their's.I don't think ponting need to do any "13th job" to prove that he is the "hercules" of modern cricket mythology.

  • batman on August 8, 2009, 4:44 GMT

    n Ponting scored 0( @brisbane),0 & 0 ( pair @ hobart) in 99 against Wasim n Shoaib before 197 @ perth. Even if u remove the # of runs that sachin has scored against Zim n Bang he still has more than 11000 runs. One factor which no statistic will tell u is the respect and admiration that Sachin commands all over the world. From Sydney to London to Hamilton to Colombo to Durban - search youtube for crowd reception of Sachin @ these venues- even former Pak presidents have admitted they enjoy watching Sachin more than anyother player.Compare that with attrocious Ponting behaviour - eg. Nottingham 05, Champions Trophy 06, Sydney Press conference 08. Indian Public loves S. Waugh n Lara though they were considered Sachin's batting rivals. But Ponting never will be and he has only himself to blame. n Aus has won just 12 of the 26 matches they have played since Warne - Mcgrath retired and just 5 of the last 14. The world beating Oz side was due to the gr8 bowlers they had and not Ponting

  • batman on August 8, 2009, 4:12 GMT

    @Sorcerer - The stats i posted included 100% of the matches Sachin played in Oz n Punter in Aus. Infact if we include his overall record against Aus - It is like 2748@56.08 with 10 100s more 100s than anyone else against Oz but Jack Hobbs. He scored 114 out of a total 211 at wanderers at age of 19 against Donald,Schutlz and Mcmillan and then that blistering 169 at Capetown against Donald, Pollock n Co. Infact Donald rates him the best batsman he has ever bowled to. Search Cricinfo for the articles related to this. He has played 7 against the 2 Ws - 4 of them at the age of 16 and which included a match saving 59 at Sialkot. In 99 ,he scored that 136 amidst terrible backpain which almost carried India to victory @ chennai.Whenever Ponting has encountered testing bowling attacks - England 05, India spin twins, Ishant Sharma @ perth he has been completely clueless. The Don,Warne,Richard Hadlee all rated Sachin as the best batsman and those names know better about Cricket than any of us

  • Sorcerer on August 7, 2009, 16:53 GMT

    As Anand unwittingly has himself admitted that bouncier tracks "make it easier for the bowlers", the fact that Ponting has scored more on average still and at a faster clip too, indicates who the supreme batsman is. Factoring in the plethora of innings which Sachin has played against the likes of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, Ponting's match-winning tons and amamzingly balanced Test record is a sight in itself.

    And add to that a gorgeous sublime masterclass of a knock today in Headingley - the man is the ultimate whichever way you look at it. His ability to tear apart bowling tracks playing with such blazing ghrace is second only to the awesome intimidation which Viv used to bring to the crease. Only a naive person with non-existing cricketing brain will wager on Ponting not ending up his glorious career with the highest batting average amongst his contemporaries. Dravid looked like he was a competitor but has fallen by the wayside, but Punter juggernaut rolls on.

  • srikanth on August 7, 2009, 16:44 GMT

    cont from above....I suspect the hatred Indian fans have for him is nothing but envy for 2 reasons. 1) Australia have been far superior to india for the past decade or so. 2) Statistically RTP has been superior to tendulkar for the last decade or so. When he becomes the first cricketer in history to win a 100 test matches, and when (not if) he claims the runs and centuries records, even they will have to admit it. I am sure that they will find some excuse to shortchange him though. And for those bringing up tendulkar's record against australia, check the stats, he filled his boots mostly against the likes of paul wilson, brad hogg, brad williams etc. He never did much when his real nemesis GD McGrath played. For all of his supposed dominance of warne, he was McGrath's bunny. Back to RTP, he will join Gilchrist, Warne and McGrath in the all time australian 11. The 4 of them can be proud of the fact that they were part of the greatest team of all time-The Aussies of the past decade.

  • Srikanth on August 7, 2009, 16:37 GMT

    RT Ponting is one of the greatest batsman of all time and the greatest batsman of this generation. Yes, that's right, greater than the 2 demigods themselves. Being an Indian I have admired RTP from day 1, for the way he plays his cricket. He is one of the few present day cricketers who actually cares about test cricket and was ready to give up IPL cash to focus on the Ashes. My fav memory of RTP was the time he absolutely DESTROYED India during the 2003 WC Final. Me and a couple of friends were cheering every shot of his when there was stone dead silence outside. The best part was when he launched harbhajan out of the ground twice in successive deliveries. We were imploring him to ask harbhajan to go fetch the ball ala the silly cola commercials airing at that time. When he cut a srinath delivery for 4 using one hand we were rolling on the floor laughing. to be cont...

  • Anand Srinivasan on August 7, 2009, 11:27 GMT

    Enough has been said, and I do not want to add anything more..But just one point to counter all those gurus out there who marvel at Ponting's play on bouncy pitches and Sachin playing boring draws..

    For one, bouncy wickets make it easier for the bowlers. Flat tracks make the bowler's job difficult. And with lesser match winning bowlers at India's dispense, Sachin obviously had to play in more draws than Ponting had to..Don't expose your non-existent cricketing brains here..

  • Ranj on August 7, 2009, 10:26 GMT

    To get back to the start of the thread and I for surely add that I am not a Ricky fan. The real question is why are we having to put up with so many bad umpires? Without doubt surely, the umpires in England and Australia are some of the very very best, but look today and they have a funny guy from NZ and another quite good guy. Neither are as good as someone like Simon Taufel, but this stupid ICC rule means that England or Australia are always having to put up with second or third best. Is it no wonder that Ricky is not velry happy?

  • Rob on August 7, 2009, 8:35 GMT

    And it goes on and on and on.

    The test is about to start so let us hope that we have a reprieve from morons still posting "MY PLAYER IS BETTER THAN YOUR PLAYER". For heaven's sake will you lot grow up and appreciate each batsman in their own right and forget this childish banter.

  • Sorcerer on August 7, 2009, 7:38 GMT

    cricpundit....when you said that "scores don't matter", you should have stamped it with a rider that scores in dead dreary drawn matches don't matter on flat pancake pitches. And that the scores really matter are the ones which lead your team to Test glory and those too on bouncy fast Aussie pitches.

    If Ponting's record overall is bad against only one bowler, Harbhajan, then it does not need reminding how mediocre Sachin's record has been against Saqlain, Aqib Javed, Donald and other Saffie bowlers overall.

    batman

    Again, you are just exposing stats selectively....just showing results of not more than 10% of all Tests played and masking the other 90%.

    By the way, dont be too carried away by Tendulkar's overall record V Australia by also suggesting that he has mastered McGrath too. I will soon post stats which show how mediocre has he been overall in matches involving the trump pacers McGrath, Two Ws, Donald etc.

    To say of how many centuries in winning causes one has...

  • Mike on August 7, 2009, 5:17 GMT

    Dude! Abhyuday whoever. We are just expressing our feelings for the player we admire. 'Who is great' is always a debate and always will be. Everyone have thier own views which they will express. So let them. Don't make these moron statements and spoil the heated argument. Have fun mate!

  • faisal on August 7, 2009, 5:08 GMT

    I don't know why but after reading the reply posted by hari i get a bit emotional.Over the years I have always tried to prove that Mark Waugh was special,the cricketing catwalk that he had performed need to be talked about in reverence from any of the person who cnsider thyself as an aficionado.But here comes punter,once a frivolous with a perfect french-cut and a tendency to pull even the full-length delivery outside of off-stamp.Look at him now,over 11,000 test runs at a rate better than even the best(please leave bradman from any comparison),two world cup titles under his name(undefeated)albeit his questionable captaincy and some innings that can give you something to tell to your grandchildrens about how great those cricketing years was.How couldn't anybody admire what he has done for cricket,overall?

  • Looch on August 7, 2009, 4:08 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is continually and unfairly villified in the Indian tabloid press for actions that have been blown out of all proportions or simply are completely false, so until these "reporters" improve their standards (they do not give us news, but biased opinions)he will be treated with disdain in India.

  • Abhyuday on August 7, 2009, 1:57 GMT

    Something which I am sure of now after reading these posts is that it's not possible for Indians and Aussies to respect each others' great players. They are way too jingoistic and stupid for that. They cannot understand that every player, no matter how great he is, is bound to have some minor weakness. That's why issues like Sachin playing on boring, flat decks or Ponting not having to play top-class bowling come up for argument, not the facts that Sachin averages 58(more than his career average) on the so-called "fast, bouncy" wickets in Australia, while Ponting has played some top innings against quality bowlers like Wasim, Shoaib,Donald,Murali etc.I wonder who permits stupid posts like that from Ponting-hater or Mike and Justin to be posted on these forums.

  • salim on August 6, 2009, 20:28 GMT

    Sure Lara and Tendulkar are more revered than Ponting but Pontings stats do make him a comparable peer to brian and sachin. However Ananth has just spent weeks providing statisical proof that Lara and tendulkar were the greatest behind the great don. And as wonderful as Ponting has done this decade he would still need to score 760 in his next 6 innings to beat Lara's run/per inning retirement aggregate. p.s. most cricketers out there no it's easier playing for a good team than a poor one. So 'Mike' i dont believe you have a valid point . Was VIV under pressure to perform with in his legend team Lloyd, Greenidge, Haynes, Richardson etc? It helps having Hayden , Langer, Waughs etc

  • Sreecharan on August 6, 2009, 19:35 GMT

    Every time there is a mention about greatest batsmen,two obvious names pop up: Lara and tendulkar as if they were the only two batsmen of last two decades, what about the likes of Dravid/Chanderpaul/Sangakarra/Andyflower, Dravid in tests has done for India at least twice as what tendulkar did and chanderpaul probably did at least as much as lara did for his team, Needless to mention the achievements of the other two, but they all do not get any mention why ? because media and people have got obsessed with tendulkar and lara, no other reason than that. thats it. I would be the last person to think tendulkar is/was best batsmen in tests for India leave alone the world, and for his records, they do not mean as much as victories in test matches would !

  • Miten on August 6, 2009, 19:30 GMT

    Ponting is the Kobe Bryant of Cricket. Love him if he is on your team and you love to win and hate him if you play against him. But admire him as a batsman you must! The greatest batsman of this decade, hands down. How many times have we seen Ponting score a bulk of the Australian runs in a Test or ODI and lead them to victory? How many world cups has he won or been a part of? He has every shot in the book and plays the short ball better than any cricketer on this planet - something which Tendulkar and Lara cannot have claimed at any point in their career. These should be and are the defining characteristics of an all-time great.

  • Mark on August 6, 2009, 19:02 GMT

    Yeah Ricky Ponting is a splendid batsman for Australia. I hope he could draw or better still bounce back and win the Ashes.Australia even though much weaker than 10 years ago is still in this Ashes series a far far better team at least on paper than England. This particular England team aint that good despite the hype of more boorish sections of England fans and the biased media. It is just that Australia has been psyched out. England maybe crap at cricket and sport in general but one thing they are good at is deceptive psycological warfare waged by their one eyed fans and certainly by the city of london corporate media who clearly can't appreciate Australia is more superior cricket team certainly this time and for most of the last 100 years. I am afraid to say this talented Australian team is in danger of getting Psyched out. Australia shouldn't allow England's mind games get to them. Also they should try and find a way to deal with the prodigous swing bowling. Then I'm sure the

  • Mark on August 6, 2009, 18:52 GMT

    Yeah Ricky Ponting is a splendid batsman for Australia. I hope he could draw or better still bounce back and win the Ashes.Australia even though much weaker than 10 years ago is still in this Ashes series a far far better team at least on paper than England. This particular England team aint that good despite the hype of more boorish sections of England fans and the biased media. It is just that Australia has been psyched out. England maybe crap at cricket and sport in general but one thing they are good at is deceptive psycological warfare waged by their one eyed fans and certainly by the city of london corporate media who clearly can't appreciate Australia is more superior cricket team certainly this time and for most of the last 100 years. I am afraid to say this talented Australian team is in danger of getting Psyched out. Australia shouldn't allow England's mind games get to them. Also they should try and find a way to deal with the prodigous swing bowling. Then I'm sure the

  • Mike on August 6, 2009, 18:01 GMT

    Punter??He rocks. Be it off the field or on the field, his aggression and his love for test cricket is par from every other cricketer. Most of the cricket fans around the worild hate him, I think just because his team has beaten all other teams in a true Aussie style (not in recent times though). His bad image is created because of a few hyped incidents by media. You all talk about Sachin, Lara etc. bieng the greatest. Tell me one of them who has met the high expectation of bieng a captain of a legend team and is still performing consistently. Oh, I remember! Sachin quit his captaincy because he was not performing well with the added pressure. What a great! Now days you can feel the extra pressure of expectations on Punter built by previous Australian performances, to keep winning, that sometimes he loses his cool. No matter how everybody will remember him but atleast in my memory he will be pulling a 150kmph of Shoaib Akhtar for a Six

  • rahul on August 6, 2009, 17:22 GMT

    well after going through this comment on whether ponting is good or not i am laughing at those indian supporters who says that he never faced a good bowling attack that means u people never produced a great bowler. its impossible to categorize ponting on the list of tendualkar and lara but he deserves to be rated as one of the best bastman of the modern generation. although not having best of the techiniques he still has shown the world what he is made up. m sure indians never gonna like ponting because they always dreamt of becoming no. 1 which has been unsucessful every time. i hope indians accept the fact that gavaskar is worst cricketer to play in the world and indian never deserves to win....

  • Rabin on August 6, 2009, 17:21 GMT

    I'm laughing at most people's comment.I agree that most people don't like ponting (esp Indians).But that doesn't decrease his greatness.Frankly speaking, he is one of the top five batsman of all time(let alone Australia).Simply because, see how many games he has won for Australia and compare with Tendulkar.His average of 56 (appox)is higher than almost all cricketers who have played more than 100 test matches.Most importantly see his record in important matches.He is one of the few cricketers who have won 3 consequtive world cup.I agree that those teams had mgrath and warne. But lets not forget his contribution with the bat.See his strike rate both in test and one dayers.Those who think he is not a good player of spin, please see his record against murali(greatest spinner) in both home and away series(esp last series played in srilanka).He was slightly weak against spin 8-10 years back but then his avg was below 50 that time.theres a lot of difference betn ponting 10 years back & now.

  • R.RajivSrinivasan on August 6, 2009, 17:04 GMT

    Who said Indians do not love Ricky. I am a die hard cricket fan and an indian and I hold Ricky even higher than sachin because he had o score all his runs in seaming and bouncy wickets.The one thing that holds against ricky in the minds of indians is that series in 2001-2002 inIndia, bit if you look at how ponting has handled even bigger greats like muralitharan and Saqlain, that series in india was just an aberration.finally I stand to salute this genious from tasmania for becoming the leading australlian run getter and hopes he goes on to beat Sachins record as it will be apt that a batssman of his calibre holds that place as the best batsman the world cricket has ever produced.

  • R.RajivSrinivasan on August 6, 2009, 16:56 GMT

    Who said Indians do not love Ricky. I am a die hard cricket fan and an indian and I hold Ricky even higher than sachin because he had o score all his runs in seaming and bouncy wickets.The one thing that holds against ricky in the minds of indians is that series in 2001-2002 inIndia, bit if you look at how ponting has handled even bigger greats like muralitharan and Saqlain, that series in india was just an aberration.finally I stand to salute this genious from tasmania for becoming the leading australlian run getter and hopes he goes on to beat Sachins record as it will be apt that a batssman of his calibre holds that place as the best batsman the world cricket has ever produced.

  • omar hussain on August 6, 2009, 16:54 GMT

    By all means Ponting is one of the best batsmen of recent years whether he can be called great is another matter.As for what he is getting nowadays he had that coming a long time.The Aussies besrode the world but their sledging left a lot to be desired.I am not Indian but somehow i was glad Harbijhan Singh gave these bullies their due and like true bullies they couldn't take it and started crying like babies.Good thing the English pacers are working them over.If Ricky can overcome the English fast bowlers and the sledging without bickering and retain the Ashes i will be the first to call him a great batsman.

  • Ankush on August 6, 2009, 13:53 GMT

    It's sad that all such posts turn into an India-Oz hate match. I am an Indian and I think Ponting is a phenomenal player. On his day, he may be better than Sachin. However, Sachin carries the burden of a billion fans' expectations. In spite of that, he retains his humility, doesn't sledge and is a gentleman on and off the field. And that is the main difference between the two.

  • MartinAmber on August 6, 2009, 12:43 GMT

    I agree with Travis about the media-manufactured controversy over Ponting's criticism of England's time-wasting at Cardiff.

    I've been embarrassed by the English media's coverage of this year's Ashes. It's as if a load of journos who know nothing of cricket have been let loose, and Ponting's the only Australian cricketer they have heard of, therefore all evidence of "bad character" or "poor sportsmanship" has been massively inflated. Almost as inflated as the praise of Andrew "IPL" Flintoff. What's more, some fans seem to have bought in to this ignorance.

    Oh, what's that? Ricky Ponting didn't play in the IPL because he's passionate about playing Test cricket and representing his country? Ricky Ponting used the word "ordinary" and then said we should "move on"?

    I will always think highly of Ponting. We'll all miss him when he's gone. Or at least we should.

  • sushant singh on August 6, 2009, 12:04 GMT

    First i would like to say that I am an Indian. now my comments -- Ponting is hated by indians because they knew that in future he will be leading run scorer , century maker & wil have most number of catches to his name & since the records are held by indian so they are jealous beside this no indian can forget his 140 in world cup final when he broke heart of more than a million so they started to hate him but i am a cricket fan not indian cricket fan so I love to see ricky ponting bat , he is definately one of the greatest batsman of our generation & if he has certain weakness it does not matter because every batsman have a weakness , even dravid cant dominate the attack he can only hang in the middle of the pitch. and for the greatest batsman of our age the honour should go to brian lara & steve waugh & others coming close such as sachin , m.waugh,hayden,kallis,inzimam etc. but ponting definately is the biggest matchwinner of them all. LONG LIVE RICKY PONTING & INDIANS ENVY HIM.

  • Yogesh on August 6, 2009, 11:50 GMT

    As someone said that these forums are a blight on journalistic world. And also we see the repurcussions of jingoistic media reporting of one-series can change things for worse so badly ? I cannot believe that even after 18 months, the rancour continues. Why can't there be healthy debate in a forum among indians and australians ? Every indian's comment against an Aussie player and vice-versa are taken always in the wrong spirit. Yes, quite a few indians do not like Ponting, the cricketer. But we aren't the only ones who do not like Ponting. But there wouldn't be many who would begrudge that Ponting the batsman has earned the right to be called a great modern-day batsman. Whether you place him with Lara, Sachin, Bradman or whomsoever else is a personal thing. In some sense the dislike is a back-handed compliment to the guy's greatness. Who would hate a Graham Manou ?

  • scott on August 6, 2009, 10:31 GMT

    Great batsman, all seem in agreement ( the numbers stack up), and for opposition fans, hs tendancy to look shaky early on, just fuels the pain when he later plunders. As for his demeanour, yes he has overstepped at times and earned the wrath that many cast on him. But for perspective, unlike Lara & Sachin(and a myriad of fine other India batsmen, he has dring his unliked stage carried the burden and pressure of captaining a team where he had all pressure, little to gain and all to lose due to the Aust record over the prior 10-12 years, and latterly has had to face this pressure without stars.Whilst Sachin & Lara walked away from the captancy due to the pressure or were relieved of it ( both more than once) he stood firm and acceptaed the responsibility and pressures, neither Sachin or Lara coped with it. Each of them for the lage part had to worry only about their own game, & could relax,enjoy, and not carry the pressures of their teams.Without the"C",RP would be far more popular too.

  • Mr Wicket on August 6, 2009, 9:38 GMT

    Ponting? Great batsman and fine fielder, but on the wrong side of the hill - if he loses the Ashes again, he'll be history. Mediocre captain, whinger. If Giles Clarke thinks our crowds give him a hard time he should try watching the treatment England get in an Ashes series in Oz. Time for Pup Clarke to show his captaincy credentials.

  • Pranav on August 6, 2009, 8:37 GMT

    @Steve: Ponting wouldn't stick a bayonet into you? Is that what the famed Aussie 'mateship' is all about? That's really sad. Tendulkar would tell you to keep your head down while he went out and dealt with the 'enemy', then come back and invite you home for dinner. "Not stick a bayonet between your ribs..." Tch. Sad.

    PS: To most of the rest: Rob said it best (at 3.49am). Oh hell, i guess that applies to me as well!

  • Mark Boustridge on August 6, 2009, 6:10 GMT

    Honestly, some of the comments here are just plain silly. Ponting Hater - you say Ponting only has a good record because of the strength of the aussie openers. Hmmm, guess that means I have to cross IVA Richards off my list of good batsmen because he played behind Greenidge and Haynes. You say that Hayden and Gilchrist gave aussie a good start in all forms of cricket. Hmmm that's funny - I could have sworn Gilchrist batted at 7 in test matches. This was a well written article about a supremely talented batsman. Statistically speaking he stands near (or if not on) the very top of the pile. Why do so many writers (both aussies and indians) here use this forum as an India vs Aussie baiting match? We should be above this. I don't purport to love every cricketer playing the game but I don't detract from their achievements because of my lack of affection towards them. Come on people, let's tidy up our game. Healthy debate is good but a public slanging match is not-the author deserves better

  • Steve on August 6, 2009, 5:49 GMT

    For all of their brilliance (Sachin and Lara) and the admiration they get from cricket fans the world over, out of the three guys that get repeated mention in these comments I would only have Ponting in the trenches beside me. He is the only one of the three that you know will tell it like it is, back you to the hilt and not stick a bayonet between your ribs when your attention is elsewhere. A big mouth he has, but out of it comes the truth.

  • Rob on August 6, 2009, 3:49 GMT

    Boo bloody Hoo. Get out the kleenex... your batsman is better than my batsman. No he's not. Yes he is. Wanna make a bet? Yeah, com'on then. This all sounds like drivel you would find in the yard of a kidergarten. Only trouble is these posts are supposedly done by 'adults'. It's about time we got over past issues, cultural differences and learn (as adult humans) to respect each others players and culture for who and what they are. These forums are a blight on the journalistic world where people can turn an interesting and insightful expo-say into another hatred filled forum for the desk-top heros who continually carry a large chip on their daily shoulders. Get a grip, seek some counseling and above all else please do us all a favour and get a life.

  • parkcricketer on August 6, 2009, 3:40 GMT

    Batman - I don't think any of cricketers mentioned above play the game to be "adored" or "revered". Let's face it the three - Ponting, Tandulkar and Lara - are all modern day greats. Trying to pick apart statistical anomalies like how many tests they played against certain countries or what their records are in different countries is easily enough done to support both arguments. Simple fact is that over the course of many many test matches Ponting has a marginally better average. In terms of character accept that they are different animals - Tendulkar - the quiet gentleman Lara - the sometimes erratic, but undeniable genius, and Ponting the tough streetfighter from Launceston. What do they have in common? Cricketing wise they have the respect of all of their opponents - which is what most top level sportsmen would say is more important then being adored!!!!

  • Rob on August 6, 2009, 3:40 GMT

    Boo bloody Hoo. Get out the kleenex... your batsman is better than my batsman. No he's not. Yes he is. Wanna make a bet? Yeah, com'on then. This all sounds like drivel you would find in the yard of a kidergarten. Only trouble is these posts are supposedly done by 'adults'. It's about time we got over past issues, cultural differences and learn (as adult humans) to respect each others players and culture for who and what they are. These forums are a blight on the journalistic world where people can turn an interesting and insightful expo-say into another hatred filled forum for the desk-top heros who continually carry a large chip on their daily shoulders. Get a grip, seek some counseling and above all else please do us all a favour and get a life.

  • js on August 6, 2009, 2:57 GMT

    I think it's amusing that the so-called 'reasons' people have for loathing Ponting so much are the exact same reasons they have for praising the likes of Dhoni and Ganguly. Whereas for Ponting these character traits are 'unsportsmanlike', 'rude', etc., for Dhoni they're regarded as 'competitive', 'aggressive', 'brilliant' and so on.

    There is obviously a bit of little man syndrome happening with many Indian fans in particular - perhaps because your so-called 'Golden Era' never amounted to any real success.

    The best batsman of the last 15 years is Brian Lara by a mile, but Ponting is the best match-winning batsman. That recent 16 win streak Australia had was only possible because of how Pointing pretty much carried his side on his back.

    Great player who shouldn't be frowned upon because of jingoistic bias by a portion of Indian fans.

  • cricpundit on August 6, 2009, 2:47 GMT

    Comparisons, it is very easy for an Aussie whinger to whine because Bradman did not bestow the same compliment to your great. Lara and Sachin respectively will remain (in this era) as far more accomplished batsmen of style and class, and more likable persona than Ricky will ever be, even if he goes past their records. It is actually an insult for these two gentlemen that their name is taken alongside this character. Only an Aussie like you who has little knowledge of what "class" means will dispute that. I am an Aussie and I know what I am talking about. Ponting has overtaken Borders records, but he is not even half as good as Border was, nowhere near that. A cricketer is judged by his sportsmanship and Ponting and his lots have not a hint of that. Someone in this column rightly said that Aussies are feared but not respected, not by any cricketing nation in this world, but morons will never understand why so. Blaming Indians has now become a pastime for you guys, isn't it,U whinger.

  • cricpundit on August 6, 2009, 2:10 GMT

    Comparisons, you are truly a biased and abrasive aussie whingering without much knowledge of cricket or statistics. Except for one match in Brisbane, Ponting has never done well against Windies greats. He came to his prolific scoring ways only after all great bowlers from the world had either departed or in decline, and the ones those were left were only in Australia, whom he did not have to face. There were no bowlers of like Imran, Wasim or Waqar he faced and scored during his purple patch (2003-2006). They would have simply eaten him away. He flourished against minnows and lower rated bowlers. Even in his prime, his technique is always suspect against class bowlers. He is a good bat but he can never ever belong to that "class". Only cronies like you will consider him that. The world does not. If you can ignore the fact that why Bradman in his life time only invited Sachin and Warne to his home, I can only sympathize. So,start comparing before leaping to conclusions. Batman,U rock

  • cricpundit on August 6, 2009, 2:10 GMT

    Comparisons, you are truly a biased and abrasive aussie whingering without much knowledge of cricket or statistics. Except for one match in Brisbane, Ponting has never done well against Windies greats. He came to his prolific scoring ways only after all great bowlers from the world had either departed or in decline, and the ones those were left were only in Australia, whom he did not have to face. There were no bowlers of like Imran, Wasim or Waqar he faced and scored during his purple patch (2003-2006). They would have simply eaten him away. He flourished against minnows and lower rated bowlers. Even in his prime, his technique is always suspect against class bowlers. He is a good bat but he can never ever belong to that "class". Only cronies like you will consider him that. The world does not. If you can ignore the fact that why Bradman in his life time only invited Sachin and Warne to his home, I can only sympathize. So,start comparing before leaping to conclusions. Batman,U rock

  • kciredor88 on August 6, 2009, 1:34 GMT

    Incidently, I love watching Ponting bat, but rate Tendulkar and Lara slightly ahead of him, and will always regard Border as the best Australian batsman I have seen play the game.

  • kciredor on August 6, 2009, 1:31 GMT

    I know this is completely off-topic, but someone mentioned it earlier and it annoys me every time it comes up: Bradman's failure during the Bodyline series. This 'failure', this series where he was 'found out' resulted in his averaging over the series being 56.57. That's right. At his worst he was better than all the other 'great' batsmen today.

  • batman on August 6, 2009, 0:46 GMT

    @sorcerer - On generally helpful bowler friendly Australian pitches, Sachin has scored 1522@58.53, 6 100s , 6 50s in 16 matches against Mcdermott, Hughes, Mcgrath, Warne, Lee , Gillespie, Clark , Johnson n Co. On dead pancakes of India ,Punter has scored 438@20.85 with 123 of them in 1 innings with scores of 0,6,0,0,17 in the 00-01 series. @Justin - Sachin has scored 691@62.81,1 100 , 6 50s in the 8 matches he has played against Curtly, Courtney n Bishop. And how many matches has Aus won in which Punter made a contribution after the retirement of Mcgrath n Warne. More than d runs, search Youtube for the crowd reception Sachin received in his latest tours of Aus, Eng , NZ , SL and compare the ones reserved for Punter this Ashes.The arrogance shown by the Oz team on the champions trophy stage in 06 is a gr8 example of how not to behave in a public place.Punter never was and never ll be adored n revered by fans around d world like Sachin or Lara(whom the Indian public love to watch)

  • Comparisons on August 6, 2009, 0:39 GMT

    cricpundit stop using Bradman as an excuse, having a similar technique is a farcry from Bradman endorsing Sachin as next best after him and all that rubbish. Bradman NEVER did that he said Sachin was closest in technique to him. Secondly who were Sachin and Lara playing against that Ponting never did, other than the obvious McGrath and Warne ? He made runs against Ambrose, Walsh, Waqar, Pollock, Donald, Wasim, Bond, Saqlain, Murali etc who were Sachin and Lara playing against Mars ? Thirdly what is bad about Ponting and Waugh et al ? Some of the greatest teams and players in all Sports have had their detractors. Maybe it's because of envy of what they have achieved or humans are programmed to put down others. I think India is such a Sporting despot that defense of what little you have derives this hatred for other people. I know Indians who hate Lara, simply because per innings his record is better than Sachin. Ponting is better at hundreds per inns so we get envy and thus hatred.

  • David on August 6, 2009, 0:10 GMT

    Samir, thanks for the article, although it does seem to have backfired! It's just given a whole lot of bitter cricket "fans" another outlet for their bile. It would be nice if they could respect the spirit of the article and take their critical comments elsewhere. This is not about player x is better than player y, it's just an opportunity to acknowledge one of the most exhilarating players ever to wield a cricket bat.

  • Chandrasekar on August 5, 2009, 23:47 GMT

    Please read the blog in the url below: http://www.cricbuzz.com/Cricket_Blog/Cricket/Statistical_Comparison_of_Sachin_and_Ponting_over_their_careers_-_till_March_2009/

    That will give a clear insight on whether Ponting is better than Tendulkar.

    Ponting has been a good, but not great batsman, except the extended purple patch period: 2002-2006, with the graphite bat. Either side of it, he is a good batsman, but not great

  • Vijay on August 5, 2009, 22:57 GMT

    Ponting is the best ever cricket played in Test in terms of scoring runs consistently for all the years. He has scored just above 9000 runs in from year 2000-2009 and he is required to score just above 850 runs to achieve the milestone of first cricketer to score 10,000 runs in 10 Years.This has not happended before in Test cricket by any cricketer. This shows that he is a prolific run machine in Test Cricket, but the sad part is that he is not considered the best in this era when compared to other greats like Sachin and Lara. He possess good temperment, determination, aggresiveness,balance and scoring ability across 360 degrees in the Ground. Ponting score always big hundred with very good strike rate against all the teams in all conditions. He is the best in terms of juding the length of the ball so quickly when compared to other greats and he is the only crickter who can hook and pull in both front and back foot. Ponting is simply uncomparable.

  • Matt on August 5, 2009, 22:45 GMT

    It is hilarious how: - in any blog about an Australian cricketer the comments degenerate into India v Australia insults, - in any blog about batting the comments degenerate into Lara v Tendulkar v Ponting fans insults. I guess at least it shows we are passionate about our cricket. Re Australia v India, noone would care if we both weren't such talented competative cricket sides, and both teams have popular and unpopular charcters. For every Dravid there is a Harbijhan and for every Ponting there is a Lee. - re Tendulkar/Lara/Ponting (or Kallis, Sangakara, etc), let's face it for most fans the nest of these is the one who plays for your team - no other reason. No amount of posting will ever change that. And by the way, Ponting's best innings has to have been in the 2003 World Cup final. He destroyed India that day as Captain on a tour without Warne.

  • sting on August 5, 2009, 22:31 GMT

    Ponting has an abrasive personality, and is unapologetically pro-Australian biased in his expressed views (beyond what's typically expected) - but he is a great batsman. Especially on hard wickets without much sideways movement. When he plays forward, he does it with such an exaggerated motion that you'd think this is a guy who can't handle the short stuff. Yet he's probably one of the best players of short stuff ever - hooks, pulls, cuts - he plays the lot fabulously. As for spin - I think his weakness is against quick, flat spinners who turn the ball. HarbhaJhan is one of the few around. He plays Murali just fine. He uses his feet very well. I've been most impressed by the improvements in his concentration. He keeps going now - no loose, silly shots when he's set. Thats what seperates the greats from the goods. look at Mark Waugh, an effortless player who managed to get out when he was well set so often. Ponting's decided to keep going and going, and the # of 100s he's got is reward

  • PontingHater on August 5, 2009, 22:00 GMT

    Ponthing is not a good player as well as a good human being. He was good when he had good supporting batsman. His good record was due to other players good performance which takes pressure off next batsman coming in to bat(which would be Ponting). Gilchrist and Hayden always gave australia a good start in all forms of cricket. While other teams had lacked good openers and a strong bowling lineup of australia put tremendous pressure on other batsman.

    I am pretty sure if Ponting had to start his career, lets say in England team, his record would look much different and would be much worst. He is just lucky guy that he had good players in his team.

    No respect for this guy.

    Nuff Said.

  • MRP on August 5, 2009, 20:43 GMT

    And Travis, no one is suggestin the belittlement of the Australian achievements of that past decade. However, what most fans and followers of cricekt to object to, and rightfully so, is the manner in which Australia went about achieving such wonderful achievements. In an unprofessional, rude, brash, at times vulgar (McGrath, ponting, symonds, etc.) manner. Believe it or not, and you may not, but it is the "Professional" cricketers who are supposed to abide by and play within the Spirit of the Game NOT the fans. There is a reason why these guys are called professionals. So the excuse that australians were haggled by fans in various countries led to their brash behavior is ridiculous and amatuerish. Unless of course you are telling me that the australians don't understand the distinction between a professional and a fan and what entails to carry onesself as a professional within the game. Let me know when you figure the difference out.

  • MRP on August 5, 2009, 20:37 GMT

    Right. Australian Cricket and "Spirit of the Game" dont go in the same sentence. Australians have been great performers of the bat and ball. But as far as their behavior is concerned, they are abhorrible. It would be understandable if one or maybe two top opposition teams feel that the Australians are roughneck uncouth cricketers with unpolished no sportsmanship and its another matter when EVERY single international team has the same opinion of your side. When 10 out 10 opponents and fans have the same opinion, surely you would agree that it is reasonable that there probably is some credence to these opinions. Matter of fact is, the WI's of 80's were equally feared and respect in high regard. The Australians of the 90's and 2000's were maybe feared, never respected, never revered, held in extremely low regard by other porfessionals. It's an insult to the WI's of 80's to compare their brnad of cricket to the ugly brashful brand of Aussi cricket of past two decades.

  • cricpundit on August 5, 2009, 20:21 GMT

    Sorcerer, look at facts before you comment. Ponting's double ton in Adelaide, Harbhajan was not playing. Ponting is a good batsman, but he is a bad guy. People all over the world (not only Indians) don't like him for that simple fact. Aussies will like him for obvious reasons, but I tell you, if he was in any other team, they would have followed and done the same as the entire world does. Steve Waugh was bad, but he had the respect of the world for his public persona. This guy is outright petty and ugly. He derves to be only punting in Tasmania with his racing dogs. I like the comments of Jarr30 who is right on the mark. Ponting's success is not against great bowlers, like Lara and Sachin faced. In terms of quality of batting and skills, Lara and Sachin will remain on top of the list of any fan or cricketer of any era. Scores don't matter. He may overtake Sachin but he will not be the one whose skills even Bradman (the greatest) acknowledged. Belloww, you're right on target man.

  • Travis on August 5, 2009, 19:23 GMT

    McGrath had to deal with opposing fans singing about the cancer his late wife was suffering. So quite frankly I couldn't care less what he said to Sarwan.

    There is an "Australian way", and an Australian "Spirit of Cricket" that is indeed better by far than some of the small-minded rubbish that the opposition has put out in return.

    Fact is, for almost 20 years the Aussies smashed seven shades of the proverbial out of all comers.

    And you envy that.

    When your team has delivered almost two decades of that kind of excellence you'll be entitled to dismiss what Australia did. Until then it would be nice if you kept quiet and stopped belittling their achievements. And it would be nice if you remembered all the rubbish they had to put up with from bitter and pathetic opposition fans.

    After all, we Aussies don't belittle the achievements of the West Indies teams of the '80s. It'd be nice if you'd give our era of greatness the same respect.

  • Gopal on August 5, 2009, 18:41 GMT

    There should not be any concerns about Ponting passing any of Sachin's records. He'll have to play for at least 5 years for that!

  • Sorcerer on August 5, 2009, 17:28 GMT

    As amatter of fact, if you take out the matches played against rank minnows Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, the gulf between Ponting and Sachin's averages widens even more. The Aussie has hardly played many games V those low teams and Sachin has played quite a few and still the Aussie skipper stands atop the current batsmen in terms of loftiest batting average. Add to that the fact that half those matches have bene played on generally helpful bowler-friendly Australian pitches whereas Sachin has played his half on dead flat pancakes of India. And then Ponting bats so high up the order too.

  • Sorcerer on August 5, 2009, 17:24 GMT

    To say that Ponting has not scored against excellent bowling aqttacks is just a question of selected exposure of facts, and illusory desultory talk to say the least. His performances against the Two Ws, against donald and Walsh etc. speak volumes. Even against India overall, he has a pretty decent record. For all his much-talked about failure against Harbhajan, mind you, he has also racked up stunning massive knocks of 242 and 257.

  • Jarr30 on August 5, 2009, 17:23 GMT

    Being a South African, I can understand why so many people don't like R.Ponting be it an Englishmen, Indian or South African. I don;t consider Ponting in the same league as Lara, Tendulkar or Kallis because if you see his growth he reached his peak as a batsmen after 2003 and by that time best bowlers like Donald,De'Villers, Akram, Pollock, Kumble, Murli, Walsh & Ambrose had either retired or were not at their peak. Above all some of his behaviour on and off the field has been attrocious.I have a feeling that he does not have the class for playing real good fast bowling.

  • Comparisons on August 5, 2009, 17:14 GMT

    I find it absolutely hilarious when Lara and Sachins' names are put over Pontings' For one thing Ponting is better than both of them, but he will not be rated above them because of the racial bias quite evident especially from Indians. Ponting has played one inning that I don't think either Sachin or Lara could play, 88 at Brisbane in 1996. For me Ponting has played more quality innings in terms of the tracks he has made runs on like his 197 at Perth 1999 against Pakistan. But I think Steve Waugh stand out over all 3 of the above mentioned for making runs when they counted against anyone anywhere. He never had the talented that the above 3 possessed but he used what he had beautifully. Remember it's not how good the tool is but how you use it, Dravid is in this mould. I personally don't rate Sachin highly at all, he is waaay overrated. He has failed against the WI when they had good bowlers so he would be automatically below Lara. Lara is a known flat track bully that's all.

  • MRP on August 5, 2009, 16:36 GMT

    Adulation by fans is something that I am sure all professional sportsmen and women from every sport crave for, whether they like to admit or not. Ricky Ponting, without a shred of any doubt whatesoever, is probably the greatest batsmen of his era alongside, Tendulkar and Lara. these three are giants of the modern game and in particular the art and science of batting. I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for what Ponting has accomplished and continues to do so with the bat. I do not, however, feel any sort of adulation for him, maily because he lacks the class and panache that every top notch player should carry himself with. This is precisly why Tendulkar is not only universally acknowledged as the greatest batsmen of all time but also one of its most revered and genuinly respected players of all time. This has to do with the fact that he carries himself honorably. This definately cant be said of Ponting on the field, or so most fans feel, and to a lesser extent Lar

  • KP on August 5, 2009, 14:08 GMT

    @Justin: yes thats very true that Ponting has better record when it comes to performing when its most needed compared to Sachin (who, after thorough analysis, has played only 3 or 4 innings like that, last being that ton vs ENG @ Chennai). Its a bitter pill to swallow for an Indian but i would. But there is a line which he has often crossed & you just cant say its "playing hard", it simply isnt cricket. Tell me when did Sachin sledge or Lara bullied umpires??

  • chris on August 5, 2009, 14:00 GMT

    Many above have questioned Ricky Ponting’s ability, his attitude and his contribution to the spirit of the game. Having watched cricket for over 20 years, Ponting’s contribution and his attitude are remarkable. He has never pulled out of a game due to anything less than serious injury, he has never let pitch or ground conditions determine his involvement or the spirit with which his plays the game. He has never been involved in a pay dispute, ‘striked’ for more money or taken the IPL option when playing for his country was on offer. He has never publicly criticized or degrading an opposition player – even when situations may have been justified. When questioned after the second test on the standard of umpiring, he stated that Australia would focus on areas that they could improve – people cheered. He may question an umpire’s thought process or decision on the field yet in the recent test series against South Africa in South Africa, used the referral system less than his counterpart. He didn’t threaten a tour boycott or legal action. Comment has been made of his celebrations after Australia’s win against India at the SCG – although questionable, nothing has been made of the opposing teams’ celebrations in that series. As people often say, statistics don’t lie. Numerous individuals have commented that Ponting’s record pales in comparison to those of Sachin and Brian. I beg to differ. If we where to remove test runs scored against teams of inferior test quality such as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, would we get a different story?

    Test runs scored against Bangladesh/ Zimbabwe Ponting 550 - 11193 = 10643 Tendulkar 1474 - 12773 = 11299 Lara 395 - 11953 = 11558

    Ponting scored his runs against some of the world’s best - Ambrose, Walsh, Bishop, Vass, Donald, Akram, Aktar, Younis, Murali, Pollock, Flintoff, Harmison, Bond, and Singh.

  • Bhajji on August 5, 2009, 13:48 GMT

    He is still Bhajji's bunny and no one can take that away from him. I belong to the non-existent category that Samir pointed out.

  • Naresh on August 5, 2009, 13:41 GMT

    Aussielass,

    "It's very hard to like Indians when they carry on in this arrogant, inflammatory way."

    Yeah yeah, kinda like how McGrath reacted when Sarwan proved too smart for him, no?

    Nothing new here reallty. Thing is, you folks think you are God's gift top cricket - "its the Australian way" and all that - like we are supposed to bow to your way always. Like Sarwan has to shut up and put up with that vile remark from St Glenn.

  • Satadru Sen on August 5, 2009, 13:25 GMT

    A great batsman, but not, I think, one of the all-time greats, in spite of the numbers. Had he played a generation or two earlier, better bowling and worse pitches might have taken off the statistical shine. But I dislike Ponting mainly because as a public figure, he's utterly charmless, insular and incurious. A peasant determined not to step outside his village, even when he's abroad. It's very hard to feel any affection for the guy. Aggressive cricketers don't have to be unlikeable - Ian Chappell and Javed Miandad are cases in point.

  • Expatcat on August 5, 2009, 13:00 GMT

    It is interesting to read some of the negative comments directed towards Ponting in some past posts. I think if you were to look at Steve Waugh and the team he captained you'll find a far uglier brand of cricket played by the players and by Waugh himself... Yet Waugh as a public figure has never received the condemnation that Ponting seems to take as his due. There's no doubting he does exude a certain air of petulance on the field. Let's not forget however that his team DOES possess a far lower disciplinary record then the team of the Waugh era and let's also not forget the Indian team its self also possesses some feisty characters in it's ranks (I mention this in light of a lot of the comments by previous Indian posters). As a batsman Ponting WILL be remembered as one of the greats. A test average of 56 over 130 odd games just doesn't lie. Sure, he has had his struggles, but name me a batsman (not counting Bradman of course!) who hasn't? It's the bittersweet beauty of cricket!

  • aussielass on August 5, 2009, 12:49 GMT

    "Indian fans make up a majority of the world's cricket fans"

    Mere quantity does not equal quality, as many comments here by Indians show. I'm always shocked by the really ugly derogatory judgments they make about other nations, especially Australians and especially Ponting. Yes, he's often petty, rude and and his desire to win often goes too far, but that's hardly unique to him amongst cricketers, especially not Indian cricketers, whose behaviour, like their fans, can leave much to be desired (and they have more black marks against them from umpires than any other nation). But to call him "atrocious" and "not a good human being" and a "threat to those who come hear him" - really, it's only a game; and who are you people, to talk about "sportsmanship"?. What kind of sportsmanship are such comments? It's very hard to like Indians when they carry on in this arrogant, inflammatory way.

  • Justin on August 5, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    He’s a champion batsman…maybe not our best captain…but rightly deserves the title of the greatest modern day batsman (yes greater than sachin and lara). The fact he didn’t get to face McGrath and Warne doesn’t take anything away – the reason he is so good is because he faced these guys in the nets day in, day out..and dare I say would’ve had just the same success if not better than anyone else against them if given the chance. He is best when aggressive – the Indian whingers will always dislike him, but they are the last people who should be relied upon for honesty, rather you will only get jealousy because they know Ponting has made all of his runs on flat subcontinental pitches in boring draws. Rather he has made his runs on fast bouncy wickets and 99% of his big score have contributed to victories – something that Sachin will never be able to claim.

  • Jojy John Alphonso on August 5, 2009, 11:44 GMT

    I have never liked RP's character but I do admire his prowess as a batsman and captain. He deserves every record coming his way. He also deserves the boos from unruly crowds.

  • vibh_ch on August 5, 2009, 11:37 GMT

    It is true that Bradman is the most prolific run scorer international cricket has known.But it is not necessary that a Ponting be a Don or anyone being anyone else.It is essential that we look at sportsmen for what they are. I,being an Indian would not like Ricky to pass Sachin,but it is only as an Indian.As someone who admires the game,I would appreciate him for scoring so many runs,100s,to the extent of even probably going to be the highest rungetter&or 100s.It is a tribute to his mental strength that even after being on the threshold early on in his career,he has mended his ways to become better and even go onto lead the best team of his times.He surely had nothing much to do with those great players(as captain) than just be one among them.Why say that he did not do well against few vwry good bowlers?If it is so,why not say the same to the good bowlers who fail agst.good bats.Or for that matter did Don himself succeed agst. the bodyline bowling?

  • prakash pareek on August 5, 2009, 11:30 GMT

    ponting is my favrt cricketer .i think no one can hit the pool shot on front foot like him .i am his fan for last 12 years .

  • Travis on August 5, 2009, 11:27 GMT

    The thing that baffles me is that Ponting's detractors only hear and see what they want to.

    Take the made-up controversy after the Cardiff Test for example. He used the word 'ordinary' in the post-match press-conference. And in response he was accused of whinging. The English media went ballistic about it. Since when exactly has 'ordinary' become an inflammatory word?

    I've seen Dhoni (sorry mate, but if the ball bounces a good six inches before it touches your gloves it's not out) and Strauss claim catches equally, if not more, spurious than Ponting ever has. I've seen other captains question the umpires over poor decisions. Ponting has never refused to leave the crease or threatened to take his team off the field like certain other opposing captains I could mention have done in the past.

    Is he my favourite Aussie captain? No, far from it. But the sheer visceral hatred he seems to inspire in so many opposing fans is completely out of proportion to his alleged crimes.

  • Naresh on August 5, 2009, 10:54 GMT

    well Samir, the last I heard, it was the English folks booing Punty at Edgbaston. So don;t put the blame on Indians ("that lowly bunch that likes only IPL and is out to destroy test cricket").

    I think one of the reasons Punty gets so much flak is he is the Aussie captain - and it goes back to Steve Waugh and his "mental disintegration" - a long word for constant bickering and abuse of opposition players (and please, don't start the "hard but fair" and "spirit of cricket" racket now). What he is getting now is completely justified - he has religiously carried on all that stuff. Except he does not have the players that Stevie had.

    Poor chap.

  • Rizwan on August 5, 2009, 10:50 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is arguably one of the best batsman in the world.Despite Australia looking a bit weak,with ponting being captaining in the 2011 world cup,Australia will have more chances of winning the world cup same as the chances in 2003 and 07 world cup

  • Mark Boustridge on August 5, 2009, 10:36 GMT

    I find some of the above comments a little misguided. How anyone can say that Ponting isn't one of the greatest cricketers is astounding. This is a man with a better test average than both Tendulkar and Lara. He also has a very realistic chance of surpassing Tendulkar's record for most test runs. Too many writers here are clouding their judgement through their dislike of him as a person. Perhaps he may not be to everyone's taste but since when was it a prerequisite to like someone to acknowledge their ability. He is a phenomenal player and his stats back this up. He may well never be as revered as Lara and Tendulkar although I believe that A/ Lara was assisted in this regard since he was a superstar in a team of mediocre talent for much of his career and B/ Tendulkar starred in a team that couldn't win a test series away from home for the majority of his career. Ponting didn't have either luxury and as such deserves a kudos for forging a name for himself in one of the great teams.

  • vas on August 5, 2009, 10:18 GMT

    Great post to give a little credit. I wonder what standing Ponting will have if he ever tops the batting charts for runs scored. Despite his weaknesses against spin and swing, he has scored big runs against every team in the world, plenty with his team under the hammer, and has been the best fielder in the world since Jonty Rhodes graced us.

    His antics at times have been embarrassing to watch, but I remain convinced there is still a new story to tell if Ponting can steer this new generation of Australia's cricketers to a brighter future. 35 in December, he still has three more years I think to stamp himself as Australia's most influential cricketer since the Bradman era.

  • prakash on August 5, 2009, 10:11 GMT

    This is one more article to make up the numbers.. We will always find Ricky a Smug and man with attitude. He will never be my fav cricketer from Australia....

  • Mahek on August 5, 2009, 10:02 GMT

    I can't believe I spent a few minutes of my time reading this. Nobody denies the fact that Ponting is one of the best batsmen in the world. So what? Should it make him likeable to fans? The guy is one of the first to argue with umpires and give them nasty looks when things don't go his way in the field. For someone who claims to champion the spirit of cricket it's awfully hypocritical to do this, isn't it?

    As for his batting, he's not even among the best Aussie batsmen of all time. Just because he's scored more hundreds and more runs than every other Australian doesn't make him the best after Bradman. It's just a result of him being an exceptionally good batsman in a batsman's era. Of course it helps that Australia hardly plays any cricket in the subcontinent.

  • Denzil Correa on August 5, 2009, 9:26 GMT

    AS you say one of the greatest but definitely not "the greatest". He wouldn't make to most "best Australian" sides forget "best World teams".

    Yes, he's a good cricketer. Good with the bat, probably the best fielder {all-round} anywhere on the field: slips, cover, point etc. However, technical glitches still make him one short of greatness. He has had similar problems over years and hasn't been able to change his game. The Ambrose-Walsh duel with Ponting is just one success story amidst the many failures against quality bowling attacks. Personally, for me his best test innings was his 155 against England in the 2005 Ashes which saved the Test match for Australia.

  • Vatsa on August 5, 2009, 8:48 GMT

    Couldn't help smiling :-) Yes great batsman, but would never be a fan. Maybe one other credit point to him would be, irrespective of what the outside suggestion has been he has been his own man, aggressive, cursing umpires, bowlers (in the earlier days), coaches (after runouts) ... some how the elderly statesman image would never fit him.

  • H.Malik on August 5, 2009, 8:39 GMT

    Punter ( his nick name ) is a far better complete cricketer ( as a batsman , as a team member , as a leader and as a uniting glue for the team ) than the so called Media hyped other Masters of the day likes of Sachin , Lara , Fintof who are mostly self centred cricketers and who have misrebally failed in leading their country sides . So Bravo to Punter and his expolites of the past many many years since he set foot on a cricket field . I am admiror of him even though I do not support the arrogance of the Aussies team in general , but Punter is a sparking diamonds among the rocks of rough other aussies palyers.

  • jimjams on August 5, 2009, 8:23 GMT

    good article. we know he has many flaws and strengths and he uses these to his advantage. i have had many a conversation with indian telemarketers about ricky ponting and i find it funny that they hate ricky for exactly the same things i love him for. Dig in ricky, dont take a step back, face them front on and lead by example. one of the few recent great batsman that has improved with the added responsibility of captaincy. hope the rain holds off in the 4th ashes test

  • Aviral on August 5, 2009, 7:53 GMT

    I agree.Ponting is someone Indians love to hate. And this is not helped by the fact that he has been going after each and every record that the equivalent of God in India, Sachin Tendulkar holds. Indians wish that he gets out early, so that he may not score another century and inch closer to the Indian maestro. He has scored at a tremendous pace in this version of game and is the highest run scorer of the decade with an astounding average. Inspite of this, he lacks the aura and charisma that Sachin and Lara had over the cricket fans over the world and his big mouth does not make the matters easier for him. Though, undoubtedly he is one of the greatest batsmen of this generation. My congratulations to him.

  • jim young on August 5, 2009, 7:52 GMT

    good read, could not agree more,although i think his captaincy has suffered by inheriting what was arguably one of the best sides ever seen , and they made most decisions turn to gold, he's learning quickly though, and apart from that yes, a true aussie legend, good onya punter

  • Belloww on August 5, 2009, 7:45 GMT

    He is a great sledger of the game & is a constant threat to anyone who comes close to shaking his hands. With his habit of spitting in his hands, no one would want to shake his hand for fear of contracting flu / virus. What a whiner that Ponting ! Terrible bad manners..all camouflaged under the hood of " Aggressive Cricket".

  • ramanujam sridhar on August 5, 2009, 7:39 GMT

    Well Samir here is another admirer from India. Ponting is a truly amazing and aggressive cricketer who has never taken a backward step as a batsman. Take one day cricket which we Indians watch for ages on end. Every time gilchrist or Hayden has fallen early , he has walked in briskly and attacked as is his wont. Which Indian can forget the world cup final of 2003, certainly not Zaheer Khan.Yes he has his weaknesses, but as your rightly say Samir which batsman does not ? Even Sachin has been bowled more often in recent times than we would like to believe.Most significant for me has been Ponting"s maturity off the field and his last press conference at Lords where he cheerfully handled all the intolerable booing by English fans. Who says only Indians and Aussies are boorish, take a bow England! But I just wish Ponting would hand over the captaincy to Clarke and bat for three years as a pure batsman without the cares of leading a team struggling to get twenty wickets.Ramanujam Sridhar

  • Shankar G on August 5, 2009, 7:19 GMT

    RP is a good cricket player having all strokes and knowledge about crciket, but he is not a good human being. A normal player with good sportmenship will be always remebered. But a good player(staitsics) will not be remebered if he lacks sportmanship. Ricky is the prefect example for this.

  • Hari on August 5, 2009, 6:54 GMT

    There may not be too many Indian fans of Ricky Ponting, but then that's because of reasons not purely related to cricket. No cricket lover would argue against Ponting the batsman; he has been one of the greatest of all time, the numbers speak that. Though I would say Mark Waugh is better - yes Mark better than Punter and Steve and Hayden.

  • Tapo on August 5, 2009, 5:53 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is a guy who you would love when he is playing for you and hate when he is in the opposing team.

    Being a KnightRiders fan i was forced to see him in a positive light and absolutely loved him even though he didn't really do much.

    I hope he plays 2nd half of next season though and finally carves out a niche in T20.

  • batman on August 5, 2009, 5:42 GMT

    For all of Ponting's runs , he will never be popular like the other 2 gr8 batsman of his era - Sachin n Lara and he has only himself to blame. Some of his behaviour on and off the field has been attrocious to say the least. Sachin is always a gr8 role model n Lara , even if administrators had their problems he was a massive hit with the public.Ponting will never be a hit with fans with his appalling behaviour. Ponting never faced the best bowling attack of his era and when he did face stern tests like England 05, Indian spin bowling - both Bajji n Jumbo n even Murali kartik have had fair amount of success against him . And one Ishant sharma - all of 19 yrs old made him look like a novice for an hour. Ponting never was and will be revered as Sachin n Lara

  • Shekhar on August 5, 2009, 5:05 GMT

    I will admit that I always "hope" that Ponting would fail whenever he goes out to bat. But that is the measure of how highly I admire him as a batsman. I hope this because he would be playing against India or getting too close to Sachin on centuries or runs count. I think if he were an Indian all Indian fans would have adored him. He is a quality batsman and instills a fear in opposing fans and players a like. But at the end of the day he is a great player and a treat to watch. His contribution to cricket has been no less than anyone else. I will be his fan for a life time but always wish that he does not play particularly well against India. Thanks Ricky for all those great innings.

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  • Shekhar on August 5, 2009, 5:05 GMT

    I will admit that I always "hope" that Ponting would fail whenever he goes out to bat. But that is the measure of how highly I admire him as a batsman. I hope this because he would be playing against India or getting too close to Sachin on centuries or runs count. I think if he were an Indian all Indian fans would have adored him. He is a quality batsman and instills a fear in opposing fans and players a like. But at the end of the day he is a great player and a treat to watch. His contribution to cricket has been no less than anyone else. I will be his fan for a life time but always wish that he does not play particularly well against India. Thanks Ricky for all those great innings.

  • batman on August 5, 2009, 5:42 GMT

    For all of Ponting's runs , he will never be popular like the other 2 gr8 batsman of his era - Sachin n Lara and he has only himself to blame. Some of his behaviour on and off the field has been attrocious to say the least. Sachin is always a gr8 role model n Lara , even if administrators had their problems he was a massive hit with the public.Ponting will never be a hit with fans with his appalling behaviour. Ponting never faced the best bowling attack of his era and when he did face stern tests like England 05, Indian spin bowling - both Bajji n Jumbo n even Murali kartik have had fair amount of success against him . And one Ishant sharma - all of 19 yrs old made him look like a novice for an hour. Ponting never was and will be revered as Sachin n Lara

  • Tapo on August 5, 2009, 5:53 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is a guy who you would love when he is playing for you and hate when he is in the opposing team.

    Being a KnightRiders fan i was forced to see him in a positive light and absolutely loved him even though he didn't really do much.

    I hope he plays 2nd half of next season though and finally carves out a niche in T20.

  • Hari on August 5, 2009, 6:54 GMT

    There may not be too many Indian fans of Ricky Ponting, but then that's because of reasons not purely related to cricket. No cricket lover would argue against Ponting the batsman; he has been one of the greatest of all time, the numbers speak that. Though I would say Mark Waugh is better - yes Mark better than Punter and Steve and Hayden.

  • Shankar G on August 5, 2009, 7:19 GMT

    RP is a good cricket player having all strokes and knowledge about crciket, but he is not a good human being. A normal player with good sportmenship will be always remebered. But a good player(staitsics) will not be remebered if he lacks sportmanship. Ricky is the prefect example for this.

  • ramanujam sridhar on August 5, 2009, 7:39 GMT

    Well Samir here is another admirer from India. Ponting is a truly amazing and aggressive cricketer who has never taken a backward step as a batsman. Take one day cricket which we Indians watch for ages on end. Every time gilchrist or Hayden has fallen early , he has walked in briskly and attacked as is his wont. Which Indian can forget the world cup final of 2003, certainly not Zaheer Khan.Yes he has his weaknesses, but as your rightly say Samir which batsman does not ? Even Sachin has been bowled more often in recent times than we would like to believe.Most significant for me has been Ponting"s maturity off the field and his last press conference at Lords where he cheerfully handled all the intolerable booing by English fans. Who says only Indians and Aussies are boorish, take a bow England! But I just wish Ponting would hand over the captaincy to Clarke and bat for three years as a pure batsman without the cares of leading a team struggling to get twenty wickets.Ramanujam Sridhar

  • Belloww on August 5, 2009, 7:45 GMT

    He is a great sledger of the game & is a constant threat to anyone who comes close to shaking his hands. With his habit of spitting in his hands, no one would want to shake his hand for fear of contracting flu / virus. What a whiner that Ponting ! Terrible bad manners..all camouflaged under the hood of " Aggressive Cricket".

  • jim young on August 5, 2009, 7:52 GMT

    good read, could not agree more,although i think his captaincy has suffered by inheriting what was arguably one of the best sides ever seen , and they made most decisions turn to gold, he's learning quickly though, and apart from that yes, a true aussie legend, good onya punter

  • Aviral on August 5, 2009, 7:53 GMT

    I agree.Ponting is someone Indians love to hate. And this is not helped by the fact that he has been going after each and every record that the equivalent of God in India, Sachin Tendulkar holds. Indians wish that he gets out early, so that he may not score another century and inch closer to the Indian maestro. He has scored at a tremendous pace in this version of game and is the highest run scorer of the decade with an astounding average. Inspite of this, he lacks the aura and charisma that Sachin and Lara had over the cricket fans over the world and his big mouth does not make the matters easier for him. Though, undoubtedly he is one of the greatest batsmen of this generation. My congratulations to him.

  • jimjams on August 5, 2009, 8:23 GMT

    good article. we know he has many flaws and strengths and he uses these to his advantage. i have had many a conversation with indian telemarketers about ricky ponting and i find it funny that they hate ricky for exactly the same things i love him for. Dig in ricky, dont take a step back, face them front on and lead by example. one of the few recent great batsman that has improved with the added responsibility of captaincy. hope the rain holds off in the 4th ashes test