Commonwealth Bank Series 2011-12 February 20, 2012

Ponting dropped from ODI squad


Ricky Ponting knew the final phone call was imminent. Dropped from the Australia ODI squad for the remainder of the triangular series following the worst batting slump of his limited-overs career, Ponting accepted his fate after reaching an agreement with the national selector John Inverarity that one or the other would have to make the call.

Under their terms, either Ponting would contact Inverarity to notify the selectors of his retirement from ODIs, or Inverarity would do likewise to inform Ponting he had lost his place. Scores of 2, 1, 6, 2 and 7 moved Inverarity to dial first, drawing the curtain on Ponting's time as an ODI batsman. In a 375-game one-day international career, never before had he made five single-figure scores in a row. Twenty-six battling balls in Brisbane sealed the panel's verdict.

"Ricky and I were always clear on this, that at some stage he'd either come to me or I'd have the responsibility of going to him," Inverarity told ESPNcricinfo. "That's always the case with all players, isn't it. It's either they come to the selectors or the selectors come to the player. Ricky in the ODIs there's been a form lapse there, yesterday he wasn't in good form and in the five games he's made very few runs."

Inverarity said that while Ponting would be missed, not least as a leader who had just stood-in for the injured Michael Clarke, the time had come to move on in the 50-over format.

"The team will not seem the same without him, but moving on from the omission of players who have been outstanding over a long period of time is the nature of elite sport," Inverarity said. "Ricky's record speaks for itself. He is one of the truly great performers in the history of Australian ODI cricket, with his reputation enhanced further by him captaining Australia to two World Cup victories.

"Ricky's contribution goes far beyond his batting statistics and his brilliant fielding. The example he sets in every respect and his extraordinarily positive influence in the dressing-room is acknowledged by all. He is held in the highest possible regard by his team-mates and there is no higher accolade than this. Ricky being prepared to take over the captaincy in Michael Clarke's recent absence for the sake of the team is yet another example of his selfless attitude and team-first focus."

Like Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh before him, Ponting was not given the chance to choose when he would end his ODI career. As late as Sunday night in Brisbane following Australia's win in Brisbane, Ponting said he had no intention of stepping aside, and had left his future in the hands of the selectors. Inverarity countered suggestions that Ponting might have been given a farewell match with the stark realities of professional sport.

"Ricky Ponting has been dropped from the ODI side and the national selection panel has spoken about moving towards the 2015 World Cup," he said. "The door is never closed on anybody, but it's a strong indication there. We were very keen for Ricky to play in these games because we intended to blend in some younger players, and his influence for them has been remarkable. But we need to at some stage move on.

"We're not ruling him out because one never knows what's around the corner … but we've certainly got 2015 in mind, and we knew at the beginning of the series when we wanted those young players to be blended in, in the presence of Ricky.

"In elite sport there's no place for sentiment. There are always the two schools of thought, going out on your own terms and that, and the members of the national selection panel were unanimous in their view. It was discussed by email last night, a few calls last night and was confirmed this morning. That's the decision and that's elite sport."

Ponting has been replaced in the squad by the allrounder and vice-captain Shane Watson, who proved his fitness after a stubborn calf injury by playing for New South Wales in a Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia in Perth. Inverarity announced one other change to the squad, recalling Ryan Harris in place of Mitchell Starc. He also confirmed that Matthew Wade had now usurped Brad Haddin as the No. 1 wicketkeeper in limited-overs matches, and that the panel intended to take both glovemen to the West Indies.

"Ryan Harris has been re-included in the squad with Mitchell Starc making way for his return. Mitchell will benefit greatly from the Tests and the ODIs he has played," Inverarity said. "His development as a player of the future is most encouraging. Shane Watson also comes back into the squad. He is an all-rounder of proven class and the NSP is keen to have him re-join the squad.

"The NSP made the decision that Matthew Wade is now the preferred ODI wicket-keeper for the Australian ODI team. The intention at this stage is to have both Matthew and Brad Haddin in the West Indies together for the duration of the tour."

Edited by Brydon Coverdale

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on February 22, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    @Posted by on (February 20 2012, 07:18 AM GMT) re "HAHAHAH!!! deserved it!! he got owned!!!!! will not reach the class/stats of Ten/drav!! HAHAHA" - What an absolutely pointless comment

  • John on February 22, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    @zenboomerang on (February 22 2012, 08:01 AM GMT) Sorry for offence. My point is that if Hogg can get into the T20 side at 41 then it is surely not out of the question for a guy of Pontings class to do a U turn on retirement? Surely it's no more ludicrous than Hogg coming back to play int T20 at 41 regardless of how well he's done at domestic level

  • Roo on February 22, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    @JG2704... Usually like your comments - but I agree & disagree :) ... Yes - Ponting has not announced his retirement from ODI's, just the selectors say his form is down too low... Your logic on Brad Hogg is definitely wrong - Hogg plays T20's & Ponting doesn't... Your point?... Hogg admits he retired way too early & is still a better bowler than most & being a chinaman he is an uncommon type of bowler & his BBL record was outstanding... Also the NSP have already told Hogg that he is being kept available only up until the T20 WC in Sept... Ponting would never make it into the Oz T20 team - as neither would Clarke... Again your point?...

  • Al on February 22, 2012, 1:09 GMT

    If Punter, who is younger and fitter than SRT, can be forced to retire, why can't the Indian Board give this ultimatum to SRT - Retire or you will be dropped. He hasn't performed in almost a year now.

  • John on February 21, 2012, 22:48 GMT

    Everyone's writing their tributes to Ponting and the guy richly deserves all the plaudits , but have I missed something here? Has Ponting actually said he's definitely retiring? I'm not one to want to see players going on for too long and possibly tarnishing their legacies (Indian batsmen being a prime example) but it wasn't so long ago (maybe just before the India series) that many were calling for Ponting to be dropped from the test side and look what happened. As long as Ricky remains available it wouldn't surprise me in the least if he plays more ODIs. Aus have a strange selection policy at times and surely Ponting is a better batsman than Hogg is a spinner and how old was he when he played recently? Also , out of interest , has he retired from ODIs before or was it just T20? - BTW I originally tried to post this before Ricky officially retired and I still feel he may come back.

  • John on February 21, 2012, 22:48 GMT

    @ Harmony111 on (February 20 2012, 13:11 PM GMT) Hang on a minute. Surely the facts and figures from Ponting and Sachin in the last test series between Australia and India would say that Ponting was the man who had longer left in the game or did you miss him and Clarke taking India apart? In the recent test series Ponting scored 62,60 ,134,7,221 and 60 NO and Sachin scored 73.32,41,80,15,8,25.13 . Just the facts there MATE.

  • John on February 21, 2012, 22:48 GMT

    @karthik_raja on (February 20 2012, 10:12 AM GMT) Probably the reason why Indian fans are calling for some of their batsmen to be dropped is because basically they've either lost by an innings or basically thrashed in pretty much all of their last consecutive away defeats. I know you can always call on stats from ODIs or yesteryear but if I was an Indian fan I wouldn't be happy with picking the same batting line up which has basically failed 8 away matches in a row. I'm not having a dig , but if you have talented youngsters which could do a job for you why not bring them in now? The greats aren't playing like greats these days and they'll have to retire at some point

  • JIGNESH on February 21, 2012, 22:37 GMT

    Punter had a very best farewell game in the world cup where he blasted a century after a very long time against one of his favorite opponent (India), but he couldn't take that opportunity and said he still got runs in it. These kind of struggling batsmen always think like that. When they fail constantly, they want to get form and retire. But when they get some form, they say now my form is back why should I retire? These kind of glued players should be kicked out otherwise they won't even take a little break for a while. Brad Haddin may not be a good player, but he is very good predictor, and controller saying AUS won't allow Sachin to get his 100th ton, and our Master Bastard started helping Brad's prediction since the first test in AUS. These days, Sachin also brings India down playing too slow in every game, in order to go for his personal milestone, and getting out before pass even 50 runs mark!

  • Mathew on February 21, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    The day Indians stop living in past glory,I hope we may have some improvement.I want the Indian Team to win all the matches when they play but they are the most unpredictable Team in the world just like Vir.Same timelook at the Austrialian cricket since 1983 after India won the worldcup!!It took India another 28years to win the cup again when AUS won it 03 time in between.When Warne,Gilly and Mcgrath was leaving people said AUS is finished,and still see teams fighting among themselves to beat the AUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Half the money what BCCI have if was with the Black Cats(NZ),they would have ruled Cricket world.Indian Cricket will only be saved when Politicians are not allowed to handle the administration.That is not to bring the Gavaskars and the Ravi Shahstri's and the Dilip Veng's in power.They are all their own worst enemies.Bring Mohi Amarnath and Kapil Dev kind of men in to the front and stope zonal quota system.If 11 are good fromTamil nadu take them or from WB then so be it.

  • Shiv on February 21, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    A class act. Not only one of the worlds great batsmen, but a world class fielder and a champion captain. 3 in 1!

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