Commonwealth Bank Series 2011-12 March 7, 2012

Ponting's absence affecting Australia's energy

Australia's inconsistency in the CB series and their listlessness in the second final cannot be put down solely to Ponting's absence. But, as Mickey Arthur, says it is difficult to replicate Ponting's intensity
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Dare it be said that 17 days after the national selectors deemed it the right time for Ricky Ponting to move on the Australian one-day team is missing him? Perhaps not his batting, which had offered nothing in his final five innings, but certainly his dressing-room influence, energy, drive and focus.

While Michael Clarke and Shane Watson seek to establish their leadership axis on the eve of the West Indies tour, the team around them has looked listless in the field since the 30th over of the first CB series final, in Brisbane. Clarke's face has looked sterner in the past 48 hours than at almost any stage of his captaincy so far, and Watson's anger when a concerted caught-behind appeal was refused in Adelaide on Tuesday night was obvious to all. This team must now work out who will lift them out of their fast-onset slumber.

"I said when I took over the captaincy there were going to be some challenges and this is probably one of them," Clarke said after the first final. "We're playing against a very good team full of confidence, and we have to play our best cricket and turn things around very quickly to win the third final. But it is 1-1 in this finals series, so I don't think we're doing that badly, that's for sure. I'm confident the boys will get out there in a couple of days and play our best cricket."

Both Clarke and Watson have their own problems to confront. Clarke is now sidelined by a serious hamstring strain, and will be out of action for about a month. In a trice the team has lost its best batsman and most capable leader. Watson must assume the mantle in Clarke's absence, as he fights to re-establish himself after a three-month injury layoff. While his bowling has been sound since his return, Watson is battling for timing and rhythm with the bat.

Under them is a team that is confronting its first significant flat spot for some time. With the exceptions of stormy Test matches in Cape Town and Hobart, the team led by Clarke has been operating on a steady upward curve for almost 12 months. Limited-overs series wins in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and South Africa, coupled with steadily improving Test results, have demonstrated plenty of discipline, focus and the desire to improve. Ponting was a part of all those squads.

In his absence this series, Australia have performed passably, have alternated wins with losses, and have now struck a particularly poor phase in the field. Bowlers are struggling to maintain their line and length, fielders are proving sloppy, and even Clarke's usually sharp judgement has been questionable at times - note his angry slap of the turf after positioning only one slip for James Pattinson's outswing in the second final.

"We're giving away too much width more than anything else," Clarke said of his bowlers. "We're getting a little bit of swing but we're giving good players width, and you can't afford to do that on good batting pitches like that [Adelaide]. We've got to be more disciplined with our areas, I said that the other night [in the first final] and unfortunately once again we didn't execute anywhere near as well as we would have liked. But it's all facets contributing to the loss: our fielding was sloppy and we were probably 40 runs short of the total we wanted on that pitch, with fairly small square boundaries."

Australia's coach Mickey Arthur is in no doubt that Ponting has left a significant gap in the team. Ponting's relentless pursuit of fitness, success and consistency often left him as the last man on the field at training, long after younger and fresher legs had been exhausted. Arthur said Michael and David Hussey had filled some of the breach, while David Warner also acted as a source of energy, and runs.

"We've certainly asked for other guys to take on that mantle and the guys have tried to step up," Arthur said. "But you don't replace that intent, that ability to execute his [Ponting's] all-round [game], that aura that Ricky had in the dressing room, you never replace that easily. But it is a team in change now and the other guys need to step up to the plate.

"I've certainly seen Michael Hussey stand up a little bit, David Hussey has stood up a little bit, and we're hoping Davey Warner stands up as well, and certainly with his form he's taken that mantle on properly."

The difficulties faced by the Australian team towards the end of a long and demanding summer - it is set to continue in the West Indies - go beyond the decision to jettison Ponting. But it is significant that the downturn has accompanied his absence. Watson, Clarke and the selectors are now aware of precisely how much was lost with Ponting's removal. It will be a major step for the team if they can conjure the right result without him in the third final.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zenboomerang on March 10, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    @Meety :- "I think this MAY answer some of the questions as to why it took the selectors so long to sack Punter from Test & ODIs sides" ... lol... Wow meety, so you have sacked Ponting from the Test team touring to the WI's - I guess you have Ferguson replacing him :P ... @Meety :- "maybe there could be a role for him as assistant coach"... You are joking aren't you?... Punter would much more likely become a professional golfer as he hits off scratch...

  • on March 8, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    Of course Australia missed Ponting.i'm always thinking why Australian team selectors are craziest people in the world?because of them so many good players missed their chance to make records and forced to retirement.i'm agree Australia had many young talented players.but none of them better than Ponting.he is special.

  • micklem on March 8, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    Aus did great injustice to ponting after the manner in which they a dropped a player who is involved in Three world cup wins out of which two as a captain.If they allowed him to play the full series and then drop,that was okay.Aus going to suffer for this...

  • on March 8, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    even i hate ricky pointing sometime's bcz his arguements with umpire.. i stll iwant that man in team.

  • on March 8, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    yes really missing......my dear ponting u r the real caption...

  • taniap on March 8, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    Love him or hate him, he was definitely the most successful captain in the last 30 years.

  • suko99 on March 8, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    guys bring back Ricky !!!!! make him play till he turns 53 !!! like Tendulkar is doing ...........

  • TheGreatBCCI on March 8, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    You cant keep a legend like ponting out of Cricket, Honours are always on cards for this legend.. Bring him back, this time he will quit when he feels that there is somebody ready to replace him.. Thats the reason Sachin, Sehwag are hanging around.. RESPECT LEGENDS OF THE GAME.. THE GAME WILL RESPECT YOU .. Australia behaved very harsh with legends like Taylor Waugh brothers Hayden and now Ponting.. Cricket Australia.. change the attitude and win hearts of cricket fans..

  • on March 8, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    I'm not bothering to watch the cricket tonight as I know the Lions will win, anyways Ponting didn't have to be dropped but he was because he didn't get enough good scores, he might have drive and energy but he has to make his bat sing as well. If he can put together big scores in State cricket it would be presumptious to see him back in Aussie colours next time.

  • on March 8, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    great article, well summarised

  • zenboomerang on March 10, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    @Meety :- "I think this MAY answer some of the questions as to why it took the selectors so long to sack Punter from Test & ODIs sides" ... lol... Wow meety, so you have sacked Ponting from the Test team touring to the WI's - I guess you have Ferguson replacing him :P ... @Meety :- "maybe there could be a role for him as assistant coach"... You are joking aren't you?... Punter would much more likely become a professional golfer as he hits off scratch...

  • on March 8, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    Of course Australia missed Ponting.i'm always thinking why Australian team selectors are craziest people in the world?because of them so many good players missed their chance to make records and forced to retirement.i'm agree Australia had many young talented players.but none of them better than Ponting.he is special.

  • micklem on March 8, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    Aus did great injustice to ponting after the manner in which they a dropped a player who is involved in Three world cup wins out of which two as a captain.If they allowed him to play the full series and then drop,that was okay.Aus going to suffer for this...

  • on March 8, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    even i hate ricky pointing sometime's bcz his arguements with umpire.. i stll iwant that man in team.

  • on March 8, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    yes really missing......my dear ponting u r the real caption...

  • taniap on March 8, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    Love him or hate him, he was definitely the most successful captain in the last 30 years.

  • suko99 on March 8, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    guys bring back Ricky !!!!! make him play till he turns 53 !!! like Tendulkar is doing ...........

  • TheGreatBCCI on March 8, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    You cant keep a legend like ponting out of Cricket, Honours are always on cards for this legend.. Bring him back, this time he will quit when he feels that there is somebody ready to replace him.. Thats the reason Sachin, Sehwag are hanging around.. RESPECT LEGENDS OF THE GAME.. THE GAME WILL RESPECT YOU .. Australia behaved very harsh with legends like Taylor Waugh brothers Hayden and now Ponting.. Cricket Australia.. change the attitude and win hearts of cricket fans..

  • on March 8, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    I'm not bothering to watch the cricket tonight as I know the Lions will win, anyways Ponting didn't have to be dropped but he was because he didn't get enough good scores, he might have drive and energy but he has to make his bat sing as well. If he can put together big scores in State cricket it would be presumptious to see him back in Aussie colours next time.

  • on March 8, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    great article, well summarised

  • on March 8, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    It's Ponting in the field we miss. Arguably the greatest fielder ever, but also his experience in guiding the team, knowledge and instinct with how to combat opposition batsmen. But in the end, you have to contribute with bat or ball to hold your spot so it was time to move on. Had we lost another player to injury suddenly though, Ponting is the one I'd be calling from outside the squad.

  • BaggyGreen2 on March 8, 2012, 2:51 GMT

    .......enough said, bring back the Punter!

  • Okakaboka on March 8, 2012, 2:35 GMT

    Well, as much as his keeping has been a little disappointing in the last couple of games, Matty Wade has tried to inspire the fielders & bowlers consistently. You cannot fault his intensity and effort. The problem is simple: The skills ain't there! Forest's throwing (and others), outfield catching, Wade's inability to hit the stumps with throws, etc have cost us many wickets. Wade creates opportunities but can't quite execute..... Skills coaching is required....Ponting's fielding skills are missing so either employ him as fielding coach or get over him. His batting at this level has been found wanting of late.

  • on March 8, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    Leadership qualities are not created overnight. So who do we choose? Brad Haddn, Test vice-captain, out of favour & form. Fomer Test/ODI captain Ponting has retired due to being dropped due to poor form. Shane Watson, ODI vice-captain has little leadership experience. Cameron White, Victorian and former Australian T20 captain hasn't played for almost a year at the top level. Former NSW captain and Australian batsman Simon Katich is out of favour. And Michael Clarke is injured...... Sure, Clarke has done a sensational job as captain since taken over the reins, but the system that saw him elevated witout any prior captaincy experience, leaves huge gaps in the leadership group when injuries occur. I would bring back Cameron White. And finally, Australia's pace attack are being out-muscled by a classy Sri Lankan line-up. That's the biggest problem Australia face in today's decider.

  • on March 8, 2012, 1:40 GMT

    bring Ricky bckkkkk ,, Australian sux widout him.. hez one ov d great player love his cricket,, great man!!

  • Busie1979 on March 8, 2012, 1:39 GMT

    Not sure any of us can say what Ponting's absence means to the dressing room. In terms of Ponting not being on the field, is this causing Brett Lee to bowl short and wide? I'm not convinced.

  • murshitha21 on March 8, 2012, 0:46 GMT

    Ricky should be brought back..atleast for a transition period for about a year..His experience and presence on/off the field is immense...

  • Meety on March 8, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    @mansoor777 - nice pipe dream! == == == I think this MAY answer some of the questions as to why it took the selectors so long to sack Punter from Test & ODIs sides. He really does bring a lot to the table that is not measurable in statistics. When Punter is done & dusted internationally, maybe there could be a role for him as assistant coach, running the drills etc? That being said, the fielding looked to be on the slide prior to Punter's axing.

  • yogi.s on March 7, 2012, 23:16 GMT

    For god's sake during the cb series aus won 3 out 5 matches ricky played and won 3 out of 5 matches he did not play. So I dont really understand this. If at all australia have been stretched to the third final it is due to their poor performance, mainly batting and some fitness issues. Australia are playing too slow at the beginning and ending up with moderate totals that is one of the biggest reasons for their losses.

  • cricmatters on March 7, 2012, 23:14 GMT

    While we are at it, why not bring back Mark Taylor, Michael Slater and Ian Healy as well? Ricky Ponting got too many chances to prove himself and had been a walking wicket in this form of the game. Micky Arthur must be out of his mind if he thinks Ponting is the solution to Australia's declining form in one day format. Australia need specialist bowlers who can bowl yorkers, slower balls and maintain line and length under pressure. Bowling fast is not a virtue in the shorter format as Batsmen are not afraid to throw their bat at anything outside off stump. This is what happens when you play Test match bowlers in one day game.

  • on March 7, 2012, 23:11 GMT

    Why is everyone changing their minds now? Ponting had come to the end of his magnificent ODI career. Leave it at that. We all wanted McGrath and Warne, Langer, Hayden, Gilly etc to make comebacks aswell but then you dont get the youthful FUTURE coming through. So what if we lose today? The young future of Oz Cricket will benefit from the experience. The selectors made the RIGHT decision by letting go of Ricky now it is time for the future to have a crack at making big names for themselves. C'Mon Aussie C'Mon!

  • MinusZero on March 7, 2012, 23:07 GMT

    You cant keep just going back to older players. Forever people have been wanting Warne back. The evolution of the team was never going to be easy and it wasn't going to happen without losses. The new players just need to step up their game.

  • Cricket_theBestGame on March 7, 2012, 23:03 GMT

    i wasn't a ponting fan but the way he was shafted out of ODI is big stab in the back by clarke! clarke keeps saying he learns from ponting and said so in his acceptence speech for the alan border medal but is he really fairdinkum? he talks about loyality etc but he didn't fight for ponting. at least give him this odi summer at home and retire at the end. if that was too much give him his last match in his home ground!

    ponting hit 73 odd in his state final odi match..form was just around the corner for him. killed after 5 bad innings after 15yrs cricket on top..shame on you clarke and CA!

  • on March 7, 2012, 21:42 GMT

    Move on. Sooner or later older players have to leave. If there is a problem with energy - and that's a hard case to maintain - then how much better would the momentum of the players have been if Ponting had acted graciously and officially retired from ODI's, rather than the defiance he paraded at his press conference. For such a "team man" it was an ordinary display of petulance that did the team more harm than good. Perhaps it might be smarter to acknowledge that Sri Lanka are playing superior cricket to the Australians. Their top four are classy stroke makers and the batting line up has all rounders that can hurt you in the late overs. Mahela Jayawardene got it right when he alerted the media at the start of the tournament that it was Australia's bowlers who were the weak link. Ponting belongs to Australia's glorious past. We need to be looking to a glorious future http://www.thecricketragics.com/2012/02/will-he-wont-he-answer-was-obvious.html

  • finncam on March 7, 2012, 20:50 GMT

    I note that Mickey ARthur doesn't mention Watson as someone "stepping up". Surely, as vice captain, he's the one who should be setting an example?

  • on March 7, 2012, 19:47 GMT

    The most successful captain, Ricky Ponthing.... bring him back....

  • on March 7, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    Ricky pointing is unique player and he should be part of the one day squad.

  • AhaanSM on March 7, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    well, was probably quite early to get punter out of the side and probably the selectors made the wrong decision. They have already seen and now realized the need of punter in the dressing room and even on the field.I agree with the selectors that he was not in good batting form but they surely want his enthusiasm on and off the field. They should quickly get him back and give him another chance. They are still not very late and I am sure that when he returns to the side, he'll make a very very strong comeback to the Australian One-Day-International side.

  • CaptainKool on March 7, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    Well I don't think so it's Ponting case here. I think Australia's bowling had led them down to be honest.

  • Kiran1994Dec on March 7, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    The AUSSIES need RICKY!!!No matter what!!They need him in dat dressing room what so ever!!!! And now dat Clarke's injured Ricky cd have a chance to redeem himself!!Bt agen at the end of the day its all upto the selectors!!!:(

  • popcorn on March 7, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    Downright stupidity on the part of John Inverarity to dismiss Ricky Ponting halfway through the series. Where was the tearing hurry? This Australian ODI side is very weak without Ponting. The ONLY experience comes from Mike Hussey,Michael Clarke and Shane Watson. Of which Michael Clarke is out on injury, Shane Watson and Mike Hussey have no captaincy experience,and only Mike Hussey can field as well as Ponting. FLY HIM to Adelaide for the 3rd final, for God's sake! It's only an hour's flight from Sydney,and he is match fit!And send him to the West Indies too!

  • on March 7, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    What cry babies! they loose one match and ponder on Ponting. SL lost Murali after the WC, but they never called on him. now they are grooming the young.

  • on March 7, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    You dont just dump players like Ponting over night, big mistake

  • on March 7, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    Great captain, Oz seriously missing!

  • on March 7, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    Bring back ricky.....It may give energy to Australian team......His experience is require now because clarke is missed out for WI ODI series....

  • on March 7, 2012, 17:00 GMT

    Ponting or no Ponting the CB Series is for the SRI LANKAN LIONS. Australia are worried of the retired players. Look at the age of David and Mike Hussey, Lee,etc They are aging. This was exactly where SL stood after the WC. But few faces like Chadimal, Thirimanna, etc have done the trick. AUS is a good team and they will come back good but not this series for sure. SL will take the CB title home

  • on March 7, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    bring back ricky thomas ponting because there is no another alternative. much better than the current lotaussie selectors please reconsider your decision

  • ranga_s on March 7, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    Getting Ponting doesn't solve their probelms..It might in the short run but that's no answer if you plan for next decade..Find a bunch of players and stick with them...Give them sufficient time and they will eventually come forward...You can't bring stars to the cricket field...I don't know if Aussies think they could..Bring in good players...Don't hype them overnight...Let them develop...then only they could reach real stardom..Most recent example was Pattinson..He has one good season against down and out India who were in a really bad shape and suddenly he is the hero..But when he was thrown in to the deep sea he found it hard to cope...What they should realize is that's part and parcel of the game and learn from every outing...otherwise if they look for world domination with their young line up at this moment Aussies will get hurt real bad...

  • Master_Mihil on March 7, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Ricky Ponting.......... the evil mastermind of Australia's successes during the last decade. He was relentless , unforgiving , and ruthless. Australia had a nasty aura of greatness when he was in his prime.

  • on March 7, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    here we go again....first they want his head, then they lament saying "we miss him"...ive seen this before with all the other gr8s....its a shame how people discharge gr8 players.....PUNTER FOR LIFE!!!!!

  • on March 7, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    Ponting is the greatest fielder I've ever seen (factoring in catching, slipping, run stopping and hitting the stumps)... we need him back. He is the great man after all

  • B.Moizuddin.Gouhar on March 7, 2012, 16:00 GMT

    the remedy is simple just bring back PUNTER everyone is missing him even oppositions.. still he has lots of cricket in him for australia and for world cricket to offer... no harm or shame to bring him back instead of loosing matches... even in WI aust will suffer... this year 2012 looks to AXEING year... punter, viru, gayle and who know who is next may be kevin, smith or so on and on...CA should bring punter back the sooner the better.... dont make an prestige issues like in subcontinnet..

  • Navex on March 7, 2012, 15:49 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is the best in the world. We love to see the legend bat again. Definitely Ausie's need him for his energy. PLEASE Bring RICKY BACK

  • SnowSnake on March 7, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    I disagree. It is better for new guys to learn on their own. Ponting can cheer from side lines if needed.

  • porshatom on March 7, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    Warners was the slowest AUS ODI 100 since David Boon in 1992 ( A different time/game). I have no doubt Warner was reacting to criticism he wasn't good enough ect, he could be dropped ect, so played selfishly to try cement his place in the side. I can understand that. Selectors just dropped Ponting mid Series, so they could drop him too? The selectors can drop the axe on anybody, anytime, why shouldn't/wouldn't Aussie players play selfishly? Warners young, the crime was Clarke's. The Hussey's (as good as they are) have their heads on the chopping block consistently, they are in no position to step up, and step up for what? Energy is drained thinking about the axe. If you have a team where over half the players are thinking "this could be my last game for a while" you have an unhealthy atmosphere. I work as an "on call casual", it's more important who likes you, than how good of a job you do or have done. BTW, I'm not even a big Ponting fan, just an Australian Cricket Supporter. Thanks.

  • porshatom on March 7, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    Ponting's sudden axing was a mistake on many fronts, besides the ones accurately mentioned in the article. 1st, to drop Australia's most prolific one day player so unceremoniously mid series garners a sense of disloyalty from the board to the players. Why be loyal to the Australian team and not chase money from IPL riches or rogue tours for example. 2nd, to drop Ponting after he was the only logical choice for Captain the 2 games previous to his axing was a crazy gamble not in Australia's best interest. Clarke was injured & obviously rushed back to fill Pontings absence (worked great eh?) while the alternative Captain Watson was coming back from injury as well & has been prone to breakdown physically during games in the past, leaving who to captain???? It doesn't matter how good the sailors are, without a good captain the ship is sunk!!! As for the loss in the 2nd final the blame rests squarely on Clarke's shoulders for not ordering Warner to hurry up, Cont...................

  • Clyde on March 7, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    No excuse for not bowling at the top of off stump. No reason why a professional bowler can't do that for ten overs. Nothing more frustrating for a spectator than being asked to watch a ball that is obviously not going to hit the wicket; even one of the other stumps would do, for goodness sake.

  • on March 7, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Bring the PUNTER back...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Charindra on March 7, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    Clarke had little trouble with leading the selectors to drop Ponting with an "it's nothing personal, just business" kind of attitude. But he'll be under severe pressure now that it's revealed that he came back into the team against the Physio's advice, and is in doubt for the 3rd final and the WI tour. No matter how emotionless we try to be with it, the fact is that Ponting deserved a better send off, and probably a few more chances, because I think he has more ODI runs in him. And on the field he was supreme. Being a Sri Lankan, I am no fan of Ponting, but it's undeniable that he has done so much for Aussie cricket, and he was canned like an expired packed of biscuits.

  • landl47 on March 7, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    Yes, Australia is missing the way Ricky hustles out to bat and then hustles back to the pavilion after another single-digit score. Surely this article can't be serious? Ponting should be played for his fielding and the way he trains? Doesn't the need to score a few runs come into it?

  • Tumbarumbar on March 7, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, great players have a habit of making people look stupid, right now Inverarity looks about as stupid as anyone.

  • Mary_786 on March 7, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    Completely disagree with Brettig on this, its not our batting that's letting us down, but our bowling, Ponting would simply drag our batting further. Ponting should be retiring from tests soon as he is unable to play against quality attacks(i.e England, SA)

  • Balumekka on March 7, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    Yes, Ponting is one factor. But in addition to that, Aussie team composition has been rapidly changing during last 1-2 years hence this team had much less experience of playing together as a unit. 12 -18 months back quick bowling department was run by Jhonson, Siddle, Tait, Lee, Bollinger. Apart from Lee, others are not in the list now. Batting list suddenly became less experienced after exit of Ponting. So it must be really difficult for Clarke to handle the situation.

  • on March 7, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    They'll have to go by withou Ponting now. No point bringing him back. In anyway, he wasn't going to be around for ever! But everyone will miss him.

  • on March 7, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    The greatest cricketing brain in the world........CA you gor to bring him back.....

  • on March 7, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    dropping a master in mid sereis is a shame ;i agree australia need to move on ,they can't carry passengers espesiaaly if he is not in wc plans but legends deserve a farewell ifnot for cricket australia but for fans ;he has to say bye to cricket from ground and playing him till the end wouldn't have cost them something irelacable but they might have been enjoying somewhere having victory in second final itself ;hope the master gets picked for odis against wi one last time ;he deserves this

  • KingOwl on March 7, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    One thing everyone seems to forget is how tired these two teams are. They have been playing non-stop cricket. SL has been to England, Pakistan, SA and Aus since the Summer! I know Aussies have been playing lots too. So, no wonder they are both a bit sloppy. Let's not try to find scape goats or indeed small excuses when the big picture is clear.

  • thectexperience on March 7, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    No, this is an interesting idea but fairly baseless I think.

    Firstly, there is no problem with the batting. Scores of 320 and 272 make that clear. In fact, the batting line up is stellar in form and class, as well as being impeccably balanced. Warner, Wade, Watson, Clarke, Hussey, Hussey and Christian is the best batting line-up we have had since Adam Gilchrist.

    The issue to overcome in order to win Thursday's match is lacklustre bowling against Sri Lanka's brilliant top four. My feeling personally is that we should have kept the most dangerous wicket-taking bowlers from the Tests: Pattinson, Siddle, Hilfenhaus and Starc, with Brett Lee in to allow for rotations. Instead we've had McKay and Watson bowling early, when what we really need is 2-3 wickets early to crack SL's innings open. We need Siddle and two of the Test match swing bowlers to do that regularly.

    Let's hope Siddle is putting his feet up and getting prepared to rip into the West Indies

  • on March 7, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    Bring back Punter...atleast for the 3rd final...going by his current form in Ryobi Cup and Shield he is probably the best replacement for Pup, both as a batsman and as a leader

  • on March 7, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    thats ponting.his absence will minimize 50% team energy.in many occassions australia won by only small margins,but now they lose 50% energy then how can they win.

  • obstreperous on March 7, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    The inference this articles leads us to draw is that the team has become a bunch of slackers who Clarke can't pull into line the way Ricky did when he was captain. I remain a big fan of Ponting but I think the Ricky factor in this instance is overstated. Mickey Arthur shouldn't be lamenting out loud about the gap left by Ponting and start doing what we're paying him to do, which is to get the best of the team we have now.

  • Busie1979 on March 7, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    LOL. More rubbish by Brettig! "Clarke's face looked sterner"? We were getting hammered in a big game. Give me a break. This has nothing to do with Ponting. A captain is entitled to be unhappy in this situation. What makes Bretting so "certain" the team is missing Ponting's "dressing-room influence, energy, drive and focus". How does he know? Is there no longer energy, drive and focus in the team? As an outsider, how does he know that? He is blaming poor performance by bowlers and fielders on the fact that Ponting isn't there. Are you kidding me?

  • CRICSL on March 7, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    Why all Indian Asking Punter to come Back??? Ask your STR and Co to step down like great Punter did.

  • Green_and_Gold on March 7, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    I miss ponting as much as the next fan however can see why the selectors dropped him. With 5 scores under 10 in the last 5 games he didnt do much to warrent selection. It looks like hes batting like a master though in the state games (which further shows his class). Its a shame hes gone from this format and we are just going to have to wait till another young australian turns up and says hello.

  • Noball_Specialist on March 7, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Fire Inversity and bring back Ponting.

  • ravi_hari on March 7, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    It is impossible to replace Ricky in the dressing room. However, you cannot keep him forever in the team. I think this is the best time for Aussies to have dropped Ricky. Having swept the test series and reached the final of the triangular series, they have given themselves the right platform to prosper. The next assignment is in the Windies and I dont think it would be difficult to defeat a lowly placed side. Once this team learns to win with their own way of managing situations, they will evolve. It is the best time to hone your skills and their biggest challenge is the thrid final. Knowing the material an Aussie cricketer is made of, an emphatic win can be expected. However, it will take sometime to come to their best as both Ricky and Clarke will be absent. The bigger test will be in the Windies when Aurthur has a bigger role and Watson has to work overtime to keep the team in high spirits. Hussye borthers and Lee can give the elderly support.

  • Sinhaya on March 7, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    Ponting was failing too much and it was the right decision to drop him. He was nothing but a passenger in the ODIs. I also feel that Ponting scored against India in the tests all due to poor bowling. I dont think Ponting will score big in the West Indies. Clarke who is a good player of spin bowling will be the best batsman for Australia in the tests.

  • mansoor777 on March 7, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    Bring Back Ricky Ponting

  • on March 7, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    bring back ponting plzzzzzzzzzzzz for w.i odis,, and so on,,,

  • Punter-Fan on March 7, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    Clark & co paying for their mistake.......

  • unregisteredalien on March 7, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    It's a tough one. Not sure if things really could have been done differently. I think we're seeing the results of late-season fatigue and a packed schedule combined with just a little more injury-induced rotation than is good for the team.

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  • unregisteredalien on March 7, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    It's a tough one. Not sure if things really could have been done differently. I think we're seeing the results of late-season fatigue and a packed schedule combined with just a little more injury-induced rotation than is good for the team.

  • Punter-Fan on March 7, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    Clark & co paying for their mistake.......

  • on March 7, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    bring back ponting plzzzzzzzzzzzz for w.i odis,, and so on,,,

  • mansoor777 on March 7, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    Bring Back Ricky Ponting

  • Sinhaya on March 7, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    Ponting was failing too much and it was the right decision to drop him. He was nothing but a passenger in the ODIs. I also feel that Ponting scored against India in the tests all due to poor bowling. I dont think Ponting will score big in the West Indies. Clarke who is a good player of spin bowling will be the best batsman for Australia in the tests.

  • ravi_hari on March 7, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    It is impossible to replace Ricky in the dressing room. However, you cannot keep him forever in the team. I think this is the best time for Aussies to have dropped Ricky. Having swept the test series and reached the final of the triangular series, they have given themselves the right platform to prosper. The next assignment is in the Windies and I dont think it would be difficult to defeat a lowly placed side. Once this team learns to win with their own way of managing situations, they will evolve. It is the best time to hone your skills and their biggest challenge is the thrid final. Knowing the material an Aussie cricketer is made of, an emphatic win can be expected. However, it will take sometime to come to their best as both Ricky and Clarke will be absent. The bigger test will be in the Windies when Aurthur has a bigger role and Watson has to work overtime to keep the team in high spirits. Hussye borthers and Lee can give the elderly support.

  • Noball_Specialist on March 7, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    Fire Inversity and bring back Ponting.

  • Green_and_Gold on March 7, 2012, 12:04 GMT

    I miss ponting as much as the next fan however can see why the selectors dropped him. With 5 scores under 10 in the last 5 games he didnt do much to warrent selection. It looks like hes batting like a master though in the state games (which further shows his class). Its a shame hes gone from this format and we are just going to have to wait till another young australian turns up and says hello.

  • CRICSL on March 7, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    Why all Indian Asking Punter to come Back??? Ask your STR and Co to step down like great Punter did.

  • Busie1979 on March 7, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    LOL. More rubbish by Brettig! "Clarke's face looked sterner"? We were getting hammered in a big game. Give me a break. This has nothing to do with Ponting. A captain is entitled to be unhappy in this situation. What makes Bretting so "certain" the team is missing Ponting's "dressing-room influence, energy, drive and focus". How does he know? Is there no longer energy, drive and focus in the team? As an outsider, how does he know that? He is blaming poor performance by bowlers and fielders on the fact that Ponting isn't there. Are you kidding me?