England v Australia, 5th npower Test, The Oval, 4th day

Hurt Ponting may return to England

Alex Brown at The Oval

August 23, 2009

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Ricky Ponting doesn't look at the prize that got away, England v Australia, 5th Test, The Oval, 4th day, August 23, 2009
Ricky Ponting: 'With a loss, I'm more determined than ever to be a better player and leader than I am at the moment' © Getty Images
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Listen to Ponting's press conference audio here

So acute is the pain of a second Ashes defeat that Ricky Ponting, the Australian captain, has declared himself amenable to the idea of a fifth tour of England in 2013. Ponting, who on Sunday became the first Australian captain since Billy Murdoch to twice lead Australia to Ashes series defeats in England, said the prospect of atoning for losses in 2005 and 2009 could convince him to return for one final campaign at the age of 38.

"We'll see how I'm going in four years," Ponting said. "Hopefully I'll have another chance to play another Ashes series back in Australia, but it would be nice, with everything I've done in my career and the games I've played, to have some good memories from this ground. I might have to come back next time and find some.

"With a loss, I'm more determined than ever to be a better player and leader than I am at the moment. I don't really know what to expect when I get back. Hopefully most of the questions will be from journalists, not from people above. But we'll see. I've felt I've given myself the best opportunity and done a good job as a captain and leader in this series. Leaders are always looked upon on their results on their team. Unfortunately for me and the rest of the guys we haven't got the results we would have liked. Ultimately it is my responsibility to get the best out of the guys and to win series. I felt I ticked most of those boxed, other than making a few more runs myself."

Ponting cut a forlorn figure at Sunday's post-match press conference, having watched his side squander a shot at a world record run-chase with two run-outs - one of which cost him his wicket - in the space of six deliveries. First innings collapses at Lord's, Edgbaston and The Oval, coupled with the failure to extract England's final wicket at Cardiff, contributed heavily to Australia's 2-1 series defeat; the same margin by which they lost in 2005.

Ponting said the sting of defeat at The Oval on Sunday was every bit as painful as that he felt at the same ground four years ago. "I don't think you can get any more disappointed than I am right now," he said. "Looking back at 2005, I was feeling exactly the same back then. We all spoke about it and built the series up so much...but we've come up short. I'm obviously hurting, the rest of the guys are hurting as well.

"For me, the leader, the captain, the most experienced player, it's difficult for me to accept. It's just as difficult for the rest of the guys. We couldn't have done anything else, we have given ourselves the best opportunity. Just a couple of really bad sessions during the course of five Tests have cost us the series. When we were been good we were exceptional, when we were bad we were very poor. We need to become more consistent in our performances across the board."

Australia have won just six of their past 16 Tests, during which they have suffered series defeats to India (away), South Africa (home) and now England. Sunday's loss at The Oval has ensured their Test ranking has plummeted from first to fourth, marking the first time since 2003 the Australians have not held the top spot.

Despite their slide, Ponting insisted his current squad should be persisted with for future series. "I think there are a lot of Test wins in this series of players," he said. "In a couple of years there are going to be a couple of guys coming in and going out with a couple of us getting a bit long in the tooth. They will win a lot of Test matches for Australia in the future. They will learn from their mistakes in this series."

Andrew Strauss, Ponting's conqueror in 2009, warned that Australia's youthful squad would learn from the Ashes defeat and emerge a motivated unit for the return clash in Australia next year.

"The fact that they didn't have the aura is because they have a lot of guys at the start of their career," Strauss said. "If you think about it logically, they're going to get better and better. Those guys are going to have experienced a huge amount in this series and they're probably going to be more determined and hungry to make sure it doesn't happen again. The last thing you'd ever say is that Australian cricket is in a bad place, because it's far from it. They will continue getting better over the coming years."

Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by batmannrobin on (August 29, 2009, 13:55 GMT)

Sachin has had his moments against SA n PAk. His avg suggests tat. But Punter in india??? If there was ever a bunny , then it is Ponting to Bhajji n now Ishant too.

So as i said stats can be filtered to show the aspects we wanna highlight. The reality is Ponting does not hold any stats ' undoubtably gr8ter than any batsman of his era'. Also can u tell me a single all time gr8 like Don, Warne,sobers or Hadlee, names which know abt cricket much better than u n me who rates Punter better than Lara or Sachin??

Posted by batmannrobin on (August 29, 2009, 13:54 GMT)

Sachin before 2000 ( till that india were a one man army ) - 22 100s / avg 56 ( indian team had openers like Rathore, W V Raman, Gandhi n Rahul, VVS, Saurav were all avg till 00/01) Punter after 06/07 ( after retirement of all gr8s) - 4 100s / avg 42 ( Quality of teammates is as important as quality of opponents - Punter needs support of Taylor, Waughs, haydos, Langer, Martyn, Gilly, symmonds, Warne, Mcgrath, Healy - now tat they r all gone - he has been ruthlessly exposed)

n the 90 matches that Aus have won - they have won 12 out of 29 after warne - Mcgrath (The matches they won were due to Warne n Mcgrath). n regd the 03 world cup, fyi, do u know how it s like having ur homes attacked if u lose a match? No other sportsman n i mean include all sports , ever faces this n no stat can tell u that. Thats the kind of pressure that Sachin played under when he single handedly revived Indian spirits in the 03 world cup taking them to the final.

Posted by batmannrobin on (August 29, 2009, 13:31 GMT)

@Sorcerer- I also posted stg from cricinfo stats n u need to recheck Punter avgs. Infact posting it below.c 3 inn avg 1st match innings 1995-2009 136 4377 242 65.32 19 1 1/9 50.00 0 42 0 2nd match innings 1995-2009 136 3691 257 56.78 13 4 1/0 20.50 0 36 0 3rd match innings 1995-2009 134 1986 116 42.25 2 0 - - 0 54 0 4th match innings 1995-2009 102 1291 156 53.79 4 0 - - 0 27 0 So except the 4th inn, Sachin averages higher than him in all other inns.N as i have been saying, stats can be filtered to show anything

Sachin average@home/no of centuries - 55 / 18 Sachin average@away/no of centuries - 55 / 24 ( A staggering 24 100s with 6 in Aus alone)

Punter average@home - 60 Punter average@away - 49/16 ( everyone knows succeeding in alien conditions is the hallmark of a true gr8)

Sachin avg in aus - 59 Punter avg in Ind- a mindboggling - 20 ( does not like wen ball turns)

Sachin in Eng - avg - 64 Punter in Eng - avg - 42 ( does not like wen ball swings)

Posted by Sorcerer on (August 29, 2009, 2:18 GMT)

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.

And talking of major matches, nothing comes closer to the WC '03 Final and we all know what happened as Ponting tore to shreds the Indian attack with a scintillating 140* completely destroying Harbhajan especially and then predictably Sachin fell tamely very early to McGrath..

Posted by Sorcerer on (August 29, 2009, 2:13 GMT)

@batman...there are glaring errors in your post especially re batting averages in innings of Tests....following is straight from Cricinfo Stats engine:

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

Add to that, yet another glaring dominance of Ponting:

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

These are extremely major overall stats and not just selective Series ones which you have generally used. Ponting is incomparable.

Posted by batmannrobin on (August 28, 2009, 17:57 GMT)

n because u ve made statemnts abt Sachin, even excluding the runs scored against ban n Zim he has scored more than 11K runs - more than total sum of Punter , n in the bouncy tracks of Aus he averages 59 against bowlers from Mcdermott to Johnson(with 50 against Mcgrath in Aus) n the mud thud Indian pitches , Punter has a mind blogging/tailendersque average of 20.12. And everyone knows how many matchs Oz has won after Warne - Mcgrath ( Eng without KP hammers them !) n how Punters stats nose dive after their retirement. So stats can be filtered to show Punter's miserable part too. Don,Warne,Sobers,Botham,Hadlee,Benaud, Akram,Mcgrath,Donald,Shoaib,Murali,Boycott,holding,Gower,Athers all rate Sachin or Lara as the best batsman.n compliments from such names wud mean much more than someone who says look at the stats and when told stats too say different,he says include this if clause n that if clause. Punter wrote off Eng after Leeds in public and now does not know where to hide !

Posted by RogerC on (August 28, 2009, 16:41 GMT)

Regarding Sorcerer's comments on Ponting scoring high quality runs - Ponting's average in India is 20 after 4 tours. In fact his average was less than 10 until the last tour. Punter has scored more than 60% of his runs in Australia under home conditions where the ptiches have become extremely batsman friendly in the last decade. The Aussie ploy was to create good batting wickets where Punter, Hayden and Gilly will make merry and then the McGrath-Warne will clean up the opposition as they can take wickets on any pitch. Perth used to be a fast bowler's dream in the 70s and 80s. Look at it now. Adelaide is another flat track. Can't accept that Punter scored high quality runs. I think Lara or Tendulkar scored much higher quality runs considering the responsibility and pressure that they had to shoulder.

Posted by batmannrobin on (August 28, 2009, 14:28 GMT)

sorcerer - I thought the highest individual score in tests s held by Lara and ODI s Anwar. n even excluding ODI stats, Punter has no record to show.So i dont know where anyone ever mentioned this is Ponting Vs Sachin alone. And we are just talking overall stats here. We can also post masked stats like how miserable Punter has been against bowlers like Ambrose, Walsh,(Ambrose retired in 00walsh played in Aus in 01) Harbhajan, Ishant n how his average in alien conditions like the turning ball in India is tailenderque and the swinging ball in England drops alarmingly. n fyi Punter 3rd inns avg is 42.25 and Sachin's s 44.05, Sachin averages more than him in all 3 except 4th. so stats can be filtered to show Punters weakness also. So lets talk abt overall stats.Noone spoke here abt Sachin v Ponting.The statement ' better stats than anyone of his era" was like 'Punter saying no chance for England to come back after Leeds". We all now know wat happened after tat.n maccho attd of Punter?Joke:)

Posted by Sorcerer on (August 28, 2009, 2:33 GMT)

@batman....Well, interestingly in order to somehow prove that Tendulkar is better you have included pyjama cricket stats and also discounted the fact that he has played in far many Test too. Fact of the atter is Ricky Ponting scores more (better average) and at a faster pace (better S/R) and against generally better quality opposition (yes, unlike Sachin who has disproportionate matches against the mighty zimbabweans and Banglas) indicate who the supreme batsman is, compounded by another fact that Ricky has played half his matches on fast bouncy bowler-friendly tracks whereas Sachin has on the mud-thud pancake backwaters of Indian grounds. Also a small matter of much better average in the third and fourth innings to go, and incomparable number of match-winning tons by the Aussie when set against the habit of Sachin to score heavy in dull batting-carnival draws. Warne is by far the only world-class bowler Sachin has dominated and falling reeatedly to the likes of McGrath, Donald etc.

Posted by batmannrobin on (August 27, 2009, 4:11 GMT)

@Sorcerer - D maximum # of runs scored in tests n ODIs, the maximum # of centuries scored in tests n ODIs, highest individual score in tests n ODIs , highest average in ODIs - none of d main batting records are held by Punter. The only record held is a higher average ( that too by just 1 run) ahead of the next competitor ( only those folks who ve scored more than 10K runs). So i dont know what battin stats better than anyone of his era r v talkin abt. Remember Punter after Leeds - " No Chance for England to come back" Strauss n Co ve hammered him where it really matters. n d the so called 90 matches that ve been won, Aus ve won just 12 of the 28 matches they have played after Warne -M cgrath retirement.not even 50%. He had d luxury of playing in a world beating side 4 most of his career which grossly exaggerates his stats. n Maccho attitude of Punter enriching the game ?? Yeah.Tats y he gets booed n hated everywhere he goes n even his own countrymen turned against him after Sydney08

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