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Ricky Ponting hung on for a touch too long, says Clayton Murzello in Mid-Day, and the Australian selectors gave him a longer rope than their predecessors did for other great players.
Yes, their media had some strong words for the team after the Perth defeat, but they chose not to use their flashy highlighter when it came to labouring the point about Ponting's announcement. Should he have been roasted for announcing his retirement plans before the all-important Perth Test? However tough the Australians are made out to be, one doubts whether Ponting's decision would have not affected the thought process.
In the blog 99.94, the writer lists the reason why in his eyes Ponting was not one of the 'greats' of cricket. As a batsman, he lacked aesthetic value and balance, and as a captain he was a touch frenetic and didn't have a fast bowler's imagination.
Is that charge sheet - thin as it is even by my reckoning, and I'm counsel for the prosecution - sufficient to disqualify the Tasmanian from being "a Great"? Probably not, but it's strange that I'd prefer to watch both his predecessor and his successor as batting or leading, not to mention plenty of others. I never felt that frisson of excitement when he walked to the middle and I was always glad to see the back of him whether at the crease or in the field and you're just not supposed to feel that way about great players. I feared and respected him as an opponent, but I didn't really connect - maybe that abstract element "connection with me" as a lover of the game, would have been enough to iron over the narrow cracks detailed above. But I never did connect with Punter the cricketer and now I never will.
The Old Batsman writes about his meeting with Ricky Ponting in 2010 and how the 'winningest' captain in cricket made it comfortable and enjoyable.
In a low-lit conference room somewhere in the basement, its tables lined with untouched and slowly-warming tins of the sponsors' product, Ponting sat on a small sofa, his loyal lieutenant Michael Hussey to his right, and, for comic relief, Dougie Bollinger to his left. I hadn't been told that the others would be there, but seeing as I'd just made the questions up anyway, invited them to join in when they felt like it. They were all dressed identically: trainers, standard issue team kit and sponsors baseball hat. Ponting had a big white sticking plaster on his elbow.
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