Australia v Sri Lanka, CB series, 6th ODI, Sydney February 17, 2012

Ponting defends place in ODI XI


Australia's stand-in captain Ricky Ponting has said he is still worth his place in the ODI team despite a run of four consecutive single-digit scores to begin the triangular series. Following an outstanding Test series against India, Ponting has struggled for touch in the limited-overs matches, and is now saddled with the extra responsibility of captaincy while Michael Clarke recovers from a hamstring strain.

Despite his poor run and horrid night for the hosts against Sri Lanka at the SCG, Ponting said he was still an important component of the team as one of the senior players from whom a transitional squad must learn.

"I think I am, but you'd better ask the selectors what they think about that," Ponting said. "My last four games have not been what they would have liked, but I guess if the selectors were thinking that way already then they probably wouldn't have picked me for the start of the series.

"There are still a few senior players around the side and they made it clear to the younger guys at the start of the summer that it was vital they gain a little bit of experience around them. But saying that, it's not just reputation that going to get you picked. You have to score runs, that's what it's all about. I know that as well as anyone."

When asked whether or not he was entering another extended difficult patch, having waited 33 Test innings between centuries prior to the New Year's match against India in Sydney, a look of exasperation flashed across Ponting's face as he considered the possibility.

"Hopefully I'm not starting again with that," he said. "I can't run away from what's happened. It's been four single-figure scores in four games. If I look at the way I've trained in the last few weeks, yesterday is the best session I've had in a long time.

"I felt as sharp as I have all summer, but I've got to find a way to get some runs. If I'm out cheaply we're 2 for 20-odd and we've been that in just about every game we've played."

Ponting's team rounded off a poor night by confirming that Clarke would not be fit in time for Sunday's match against India in Brisbane. The Tasmania captain, George Bailey, has been pulled out of a Sheffield Shield fixture against Queensland in Hobart in order to join the squad as batting cover.

Mickey Arthur, the coach and selector, said Bailey's inclusion was necessary after Mitchell Marsh was forced out of the squad by back stress fractures, and to ensure Clarke was given adequate time to recover.

"While it is not ideal having to take George away from the Sheffield Shield match currently underway in Hobart, we feel it is important we have sufficient batting cover in our squad," Arthur said. "This selection is reward for George's excellent form with Tasmania this season and recognition that the National Selection Panel consider him the next batsman in line for Australian one-day selection."

The Victoria left-arm spinner Jon Holland is being kept with the squad alongside Xavier Doherty, following the latter's struggle with back spasms leading into the Sydney ODI.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    nobody in India asks when Sachin will retire. Only the series against India, everyone was asking why Ricky wouldn't still retire. Now, the situation has been changed. Ponting is now considerable for Test but not for one day. Players like him should be honoured by giving the freedom to retire according to his desire. No doubt, he will do a lot better in the next. Dont forget that, sudden captaincy may disrupt his attention & may cause extra tension. Inveraty is doing wrong here.

  • tarun on February 20, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    With the exception of a four matchdrought, punter has done well for his team, in comparisons to Tendulkar(no big fan of his), he ripped apart a supposedly strong Indian line up in the 2003 world cup and has brought about dignity in the team whereas Tendulkar, featuring in four World Cups, hasn't taken India to glory in spite of consistent runs and the record for most runs in a world cup. He may be a whiner, termed a sore loser. But the elephantine magnitude at which he has carried the shoulders of the Australian legacy is not an atomic matter. Take India into account and clearly Politics is the main fraternity for them. Ashwina and Kumar getting more of action than a Ranji performer Irfan Pathan or Chethaswara Pujara(stoic replacement for Dravid) have not been paid their dues.

  • Nazim on February 19, 2012, 0:25 GMT

    Is it Aussies squad !! First me thought it was aussies A squad.A non tested players for ODI game like between SRILANKA ! Shame ... and a mad charrecter by the aussies selection panel. What about that side experience ? A bad sqad for losing all game.

    Ricky . what happend to this man. Now a days people why deserve senior players ignorance don't know. People want all day performance and all win. If a team not lose how win will come ? Although Bad Selections Such a Vital series ....

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    Ricky should call it a day and leave the Cricket field with his head held up......he doesn't deserve to be dropped from any side,but he should know that his reflexes are getting slower daily and with all these busy schedules,its time to call it a day.

  • Andrew on February 18, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    @Aussasinator - oh so its Ponting's fault that Marsh & Khawaja are out of the test side (even though Khawaja hasn't debuted yet in ODIs?)! Thanks for that insightful info. "...elephantine..." aren't elephants god in some cultures? @Ken Humphreys - 100% agree, for ages I was pushing his case for ODI AND Test selection - I concede he is (or should be), a long way from test selection, but he is 5th on the run-scorers list this season, averages over 50 this summer in List A's, AND has an ODI career ave over 40 at a healthy S/R of 85. What has Ferguson done wrong? His team have made the finals of the Ryobi cup, surely he has to be close? Bailey's stats are an ave of 34 & S/R of 76 this summer which is about his career stats. @Gupta.Ankur - yay you're back, a couple of good results for India & you're back to bagging other nations! @VivGilchrist - good thoughts, I have been hoping Siddle & Hilfy don't get selected for ODIs as their improved test status is golden.

  • Roo on February 18, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    @susie2112... Already answered your original post - Wells in until Bailey returns... Cross posting doesn't help... :)

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    Ponting should play till his ODI average drops into 30s.

  • Sue on February 18, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    What happens with the Tas side in the shield match? Do they get to bring in another player for the rest of the match?

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    I think Ricky should be" rested" like Brad Haddin and Warner too for that matter.As Ponting mentioned in the interview Aussie test players in ODI team are tired.

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2012, 5:18 GMT

    ricky must thank the indian bowlers for reviving his test career,if some other good bowling teams had toured this summer he would have been finished by now,hopefully next summer south africa would do it,same for hussey.

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