West Indies v Australia, 3rd Test, Roseau April 21, 2012

And then there was Ponting

The Dominica Test will be his last Australia match for six months, and Ponting is adamant the break won't dim his hunger for international cricket
51

Everybody had left Windsor Park. Rain-affected and uneven practice wickets sent all members of the Australian team scurrying back to their ocean-view hotel two days out from the third Test. All, that is, except one. About half an hour after the rest departed, once the Dominica sun had shone a little on the drying nets, Ricky Ponting strode out from the dressing room for a series of throw-downs and technical tweaks in the company of the assistant coach Justin Langer.

Of all the players on tour for Australia, Ponting would appear the least in need of another batting session. He has far and away the least to prove, had looked in good touch in the second innings in Trinidad on a testy pitch, and has the benefit of a deep and precise memory to guide him through the ways and means of batting on just about any surface international cricket can present. But still he worked, grooving his drives, forward and back defensives and pull shots, aware that this will be his last assignment for Australia for at least the next six months. South Africa arrive down under in November.

Half a year without international cricket is a long stretch for any player in 2012, let alone a 37-year-old Ponting, who has lived almost half his life playing for his country, and winning for it far more often than not. Amid all the drives, pushes and pulls, most compellingly well struck despite a practice pitch unsafe to be presented to an international bowler, Ponting had time to ponder whether this match might just be his last. Dominica would be an odd place for it all to end, but perhaps fitting, being one of the few international venues in which Ponting has not taken guard. No-one has travelled further in pursuit of team success and batting excellence over the past two decades than Ponting, and it remains to be seen what six months without those travels and challenges will do to his sense of hunger.

For now though, Ponting is adamant that his desire will be undimmed by the break. He is equally insistent that he will spend his time wisely, not lapsing into winter reverie now it may be spent in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart rather than London, Johannesburg or Colombo. "My love for the game and passion and desire to play and be successful hasn't changed," Ponting said. "Even when things were really tough a few months ago, all I wanted to do was try to give myself the best chance to be able to play well again.

"I felt I got there through the summer and I feel like I'm batting really well at the moment. So I don't think a bit of time at home will override that. I've still got a few things I want to achieve and a few games of cricket I want to be a part of and win for Australia. As long as I feel I can play a role winning games of cricket for Australia I'll continue to do it. I'm enjoying it as much as ever and probably working harder than ever on my game."

To that end, Tasmania stands to see far more of Ponting in the spring than at almost any time since he began playing for and touring with Australia in 1995. Cricket Australia's desire to front-end the Sheffield Shield will mean a schedule rolling into action as early as September, and Ponting has set down a plan to spend extra time in Hobart. "I've known for a while that was going to be the case, to have a relatively long break like I've got coming up for a while and for 20 years it's been pretty unusual for me to get a break of that length," he said. "I'll make sure I use my time wisely and make sure I have a good break at the start of it.

"But I'm planning on spending a bit more time in Tassie this year and doing a lot more work with the Tassie boys down there leading into the start of the Sheffield Shield season which I think is going to be a fair bit earlier again this year by the sounds of things. I'm excited about this week but also looking forward to a bit of a break and a chance to really get my body and mind in great shape for the start of next year."

Though not at quite the same pitch of intensity that followed him through South Africa last year, when a technical hitch had him in knots against straight deliveries and forced a near total reboot of his methods, Ponting has been followed by plenty of speculation in the Caribbean. It has been fuelled by his summary dismissal from the ODI team during the home summer, and compounded by a series of slim scores in the Tests. The fact that Ponting's dismissals were run-out, bowled by a shooter, caught behind off a snorter and out hooking in the chase for quick runs has been noted, but more indifferent returns in Dominica will add to the ordinance being fired by those who think Australian cricket should move on.

"I'm a bit oblivious to how much has been spoken about me as well because I haven't been reading too much," Ponting said. "But to be totally honest I feel like I'm in as good a shape as ever. The start of my innings in the second innings last week was as good as I've played in a while. Even the way I started the other few innings early in the tour everything was feeling really good just carrying on from the end of the Shield season.

"Although the numbers and the runs didn't come in the first few innings it was nice to get a few last week. Disappointing not to have been 70 or 80 not out when we declared the other day, but it was that sort of wicket where once you got in it was hard to maintain high scoring rates and that's what we needed to do when I got out, we needed to start lifting the scoring rate a bit and just happened to get out when I did. I feel terrific, and have done right through the tour."

Terrific as he may have felt, Ponting still thought it necessary to hone his batting at a time when every other member of the touring party had retreated to the oceanfront. His tendency to train harder and longer than anyone else is a point of pride as well as fastidiousness, and has been of as much value to the rest of Australia's squad as it has been to Ponting himself. Even if they were not still at the ground, every player back at the hotel knew a familiar face was absent, training. Munching on some afternoon sustenance, every player also had the chance to ponder whether they should still have been there too. They are guaranteed to ponder it less when Ponting is finally absent, retired.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on April 24, 2012, 0:23 GMT

    @Hammond - what I meant by peer analysis was the IT Figures analysis comparing contempary players of each era, pitch quality & bowling strength. What worked against Barrington (again I can't remember for sure) was that he played in an era where big scoring & averages were common. Could be wrong. Anyways - the bit about Punter being the best since Bradman is only due to an IT figures analysis that did a report on rolling 52 test (Bradman's test career)comparisons for all batsmen. Obviously on averages Bradman was the best, the next best 52 test sequence was Ponting, where he averaged around 80. Does not make him the best since Bradman, but it was the best 52 test sequence since The Don. Anyways - I aint arguing about Barrington & Hutton being great batsmen.

  • on April 23, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    @Sam matthews get your facts right Pontings scores in South africa read 8 , 0, 0 , 60. When did he get 2 60s and a 40.

  • on April 23, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    He has guts and devotion to hold on to his place. I agree with his vision and planning. Hope it materialises.

  • Aussasinator on April 23, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    @simonviller. Agree with you mate. Ponting's desperate to catch tendulkar's record, which he never will. But his selfishness is costing Australia dear in terms of their present and future.

  • on April 23, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    @Chithsabesh. You are clearly Indian, a team who recently LOST 8 out of 8 games against Australia and England, yet you say that neither are worthy for number 1? Right now, forgetting the rankings and just basing on CURRENT form I would say the order of teams would be: RSA, AUS, ENG, PAK, then the minnows.

    Ponting played South Africa 6 months ago, if your attention span can last that long, and in a very bowling dominated series he made 2 60's and a 40 which was more consistent than any other batsman.

  • satish619chandar on April 23, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    I guess Punter had played the game far far better than anyone in this forum and in fact, any alive Australian selector.. Greg was equally good.. But Personally i would rate Punter above Greg on Punter's ability to do it consistently.. Yes he is not having a great end to his career but he had to carry on simply because he was the captain and the best match winners in his team are now not there.. Won't it be selfish on his side to leave the team when his main match winners went away? I don't think there is anyone who can push.. Might discuss but none has the credentials to push Punter or Sachin..

  • Hammond on April 23, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    Their "peer analysis" was exemplary actually. Hutton was considered probably the best opener of the whole era (post Hobbs) and Barrington was greatly respected by the best Aussie bowlers like Davidson & McKenzie, on whom he took a great toll.. (averaged 64 against Australia specifically). Ponting? If he is remembered at all it will be for his 3 ashes losses, general bad to mediocre captaincy, and flawed hard handed technique that got him in trouble whenever the ball moved either in the air (average 44.1 against England in England) or off the pitch (average 26.48 against India in India). Greatest batsman since Bradman? Hardly.

  • Meety on April 23, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    LOL! @sachin_vvsfan/mari2619 - I am actually BACKING Punter! LOL! I was talking about Richie Richardson dropping off - captaining a once great team & the pressure got to him. Punter has done a good job, & he will be looked back upon as a trooper, whether he has another year or two left in him, remains to be seen. From what I can see, he is not leaving any stone unturned & has the commitment to potentially finish on a resounding high!!! @Hammond - re: Hutton & Barrington, they are statistically quite good (well great actually), but I believe (from memory) their peer analysis was not that great. I think the numbers have been done on the IT Figures page, could be wrong.

  • Hammond on April 23, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    @Bollo- since Bradman retired England have had two superior batsman to Ponting- signficantly superior. Len Hutton & Ken Barrington (and no they aren't South African)..

  • Mary_786 on April 23, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    Agree with both Meety and sachin_vvsfan, its time for Punter to go out gracefully.

  • Meety on April 24, 2012, 0:23 GMT

    @Hammond - what I meant by peer analysis was the IT Figures analysis comparing contempary players of each era, pitch quality & bowling strength. What worked against Barrington (again I can't remember for sure) was that he played in an era where big scoring & averages were common. Could be wrong. Anyways - the bit about Punter being the best since Bradman is only due to an IT figures analysis that did a report on rolling 52 test (Bradman's test career)comparisons for all batsmen. Obviously on averages Bradman was the best, the next best 52 test sequence was Ponting, where he averaged around 80. Does not make him the best since Bradman, but it was the best 52 test sequence since The Don. Anyways - I aint arguing about Barrington & Hutton being great batsmen.

  • on April 23, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    @Sam matthews get your facts right Pontings scores in South africa read 8 , 0, 0 , 60. When did he get 2 60s and a 40.

  • on April 23, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    He has guts and devotion to hold on to his place. I agree with his vision and planning. Hope it materialises.

  • Aussasinator on April 23, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    @simonviller. Agree with you mate. Ponting's desperate to catch tendulkar's record, which he never will. But his selfishness is costing Australia dear in terms of their present and future.

  • on April 23, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    @Chithsabesh. You are clearly Indian, a team who recently LOST 8 out of 8 games against Australia and England, yet you say that neither are worthy for number 1? Right now, forgetting the rankings and just basing on CURRENT form I would say the order of teams would be: RSA, AUS, ENG, PAK, then the minnows.

    Ponting played South Africa 6 months ago, if your attention span can last that long, and in a very bowling dominated series he made 2 60's and a 40 which was more consistent than any other batsman.

  • satish619chandar on April 23, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    I guess Punter had played the game far far better than anyone in this forum and in fact, any alive Australian selector.. Greg was equally good.. But Personally i would rate Punter above Greg on Punter's ability to do it consistently.. Yes he is not having a great end to his career but he had to carry on simply because he was the captain and the best match winners in his team are now not there.. Won't it be selfish on his side to leave the team when his main match winners went away? I don't think there is anyone who can push.. Might discuss but none has the credentials to push Punter or Sachin..

  • Hammond on April 23, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    Their "peer analysis" was exemplary actually. Hutton was considered probably the best opener of the whole era (post Hobbs) and Barrington was greatly respected by the best Aussie bowlers like Davidson & McKenzie, on whom he took a great toll.. (averaged 64 against Australia specifically). Ponting? If he is remembered at all it will be for his 3 ashes losses, general bad to mediocre captaincy, and flawed hard handed technique that got him in trouble whenever the ball moved either in the air (average 44.1 against England in England) or off the pitch (average 26.48 against India in India). Greatest batsman since Bradman? Hardly.

  • Meety on April 23, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    LOL! @sachin_vvsfan/mari2619 - I am actually BACKING Punter! LOL! I was talking about Richie Richardson dropping off - captaining a once great team & the pressure got to him. Punter has done a good job, & he will be looked back upon as a trooper, whether he has another year or two left in him, remains to be seen. From what I can see, he is not leaving any stone unturned & has the commitment to potentially finish on a resounding high!!! @Hammond - re: Hutton & Barrington, they are statistically quite good (well great actually), but I believe (from memory) their peer analysis was not that great. I think the numbers have been done on the IT Figures page, could be wrong.

  • Hammond on April 23, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    @Bollo- since Bradman retired England have had two superior batsman to Ponting- signficantly superior. Len Hutton & Ken Barrington (and no they aren't South African)..

  • Mary_786 on April 23, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    Agree with both Meety and sachin_vvsfan, its time for Punter to go out gracefully.

  • sachin_vvsfan on April 23, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    @Meety Agree with you. It is disgusting to see players like ponting and tendulkar choosing week bowling attacks (india and bangladesh resp) to justify their presence. Sachin has more advantage in a sense that there is no immediate replacement available in the team and BCCI will not even risk its corporate benefits. But ponting doesnt have those benefits and his time could be up well before ashes. @Stan Prokopiou Thats because these articles appear mainly on indian home pages And i can tell you sinhaya is not even indian. @RandyOZ ponting needs to play more against indian bowlers to keep him his place in ashes. But wait his record in india isn't even that great.

  • timtom on April 23, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    Any comment from RandyOZ starts with "Ponting the best bat after Bradman..." :) ..Well Ponting is a toothless LION in every aspect now...from his statements to batting to his presence in dressing room... Let him be with AUS untill ASHES...this is the best ACB can give back to their 'once best player'.. ALso ENg would`nt mind to play against a 10-member attack...In fact every team except INDIA would love to have PONTING in opposition...HE had his time..Now asking to be forced out..So be it...

  • Meety on April 22, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    @Bollo - I think RandyOz is referring to the 5yr form burst of Punters (03-07) that was the best ever since Bradman. I think Ponting (& SRT to a lessor extent) are diminishing their legacy somewhat. 4 or 5 yrs ago, I'd of said he was the best Ozzy batsmen since Bradman, but now I'd put him behind Chappell & Border & on a par with S Waugh, although a good finish to his career & I'd reassess that! @jmcilhinney - "...As the Australia team has declined though, Ponting has been shown up somewhat," - I know what you are saying, but I disagree. About the only player in the world to have played test cricket, IMO, that could relate to what Punter has gone thru is Richie Richardson. He took over a side that was still #1, but looking beatable, & he barely lasted 3 yrs before retiring, his ave as captain was about 25% down on his non-captain stats. The pressure on Ponting was massive, however, he has had diminishing returns, there's hardly been a captain who has maintained theor form thru change!

  • on April 22, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    Ricky Ponting sounding so Tendulkarish :)

  • simonviller on April 22, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    There comes a time in our lives when we must let go off that which we love dearly whether it's through devine will ,or of our own acceptence of life's realaties . The spirit is often willing ,but the flesh is often much weaker ,which leads us to persist beyond that of our calling . Ponting may well be one to disprove my thinking ,but I think he should get going before the going gets worse ; because he will never catch the" Little Master " ,if that's his intent !

  • Chris_P on April 22, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    @Sinhaya. Desmond Haynes better? Not sure in what world you're talking about, but to each their opinion. Richards was far more explosive and would be sensational with modern equipment, whilst Kallis is very sound, the Punter has won far more tests with his aggresive batting. Mahela? Great at home but his record is very poor away. Shiv is solid but sorry, not near the class of Punter. Ponting's record is awesome, how anyone with an ounce of cricket knowledge say otherwise really does defy logic. I read some posts & ask myself whether some people have ever stepped foot on a cricket field let alone played it.

  • on April 22, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    Nice to be the neutral here. Seeing comments from English and australian fans.Two sides not worthy for the number one spot in tests.Ponting will struggle against England. What a joke. Some Poms are good at making jokes.Ponting must first play against south africa.

  • indiarox4ever on April 22, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    Ponting or no Ponting, the current Aussie squad looks very ordinary by any standards and with the exception of Clarke, and Watson to some extent, the others are just 'existing' in the team. Australia with Watson in No. 3 position clearly demonstrates its lowest ebb over last several decades, almost taking you back to the Kerry Packer era. The team appears to be very ordinary, with no stars, very different from the line up a few years ago with players like Glen McGrath, Warne, Gilly etc. Of the current lot Ponting clearly has been the unluckiest, as he has lived the glory days for the best part of his playing days, only to plumb the depths, at this stage of his carreer. Ponting's fate is very similar to Richie Richardson, who inherited a very strong WI side but finished his carreer in ruins. Sad--very ---very sad. Ponting deserves better than that.

  • Sinhaya on April 22, 2012, 13:48 GMT

    @RandyOZ, even Viv Richards, Desmond Haynes, Mahela Jayawardena, Jacques Kalis, Shivnarine Chanderpaul are also better than Ponting! Yes yes Aussies have never lost a single test. Aussies are playing right now the 2nd XI of the Windies. Aussies should thank IPL for snatching away match winners like Narine, Pollard, Russell, Dwayne Bravo and Samuels etc.

  • Aussasinator on April 22, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    Are the selectors and Michael Clarke getting bullied by Ponting? What is he doing in an Australian batting line up? He has already 'mentored' Khwaja and Marsh out of test cricket. Now who's next?

  • rahulcricket007 on April 22, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    PONTING MADE 41 IN SECOND INNINGS & BRETTIG IS PRAISING HIM . TENDULKAR MADE COUPLE OF 70S IN AUS . SAME BRETTIG CRICTISIZE HIM .

  • jmcilhinney on April 22, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    Ponting has been a fantastic batsman, no doubt, but he may have been flattered somewhat by the company he kept. He played as part of a great team for a long time and was under very little pressure as either a batsman or a captain. That's not to say that his performance wasn't highly commendable. Most couldn't do what he did even without pressure. As the Australia team has declined though, Ponting has been shown up somewhat. He certainly wasn't up to carrying the team with his batting as his poor form was one of the main reasons for Australia's poor results. His captaincy obviously wasn't up to the mark because he was replaced by Clarke. Ponting can still bat but his glory days are behind him. I doubt that he will lose his spot before the Ashes because there's no obvious replacement, unless someone really stands up in domestic cricket before then. Ponting will probably play and have a relatively ordinary series at best. I don't see him carting anyone anywhere, English or otherwise.

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 22, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    Delusional tosh, and long may it continue, and ponting continue... It shows no strength in depth in the aussie batting (Fact: been 3 & 4 down for not much all season) and shows mickey 'mouse' arthur and the selectors to be clueless as to any succession policy.

  • Bollo on April 22, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    RandyOZ`s hyperbole has obviously encouraged others to follow suit. Sobers has probably been the best batsman since Bradman, and Lara and Tendulkar are probably a touch ahead of Ponting in many people`s book. However, to suggest that the likes of Inzy, Laxman et al. are even his equal, let alone far better, is drawing a very , very long bow.

    @Hammond - who are these modern English batsmen who have been better than Ponting?

    Come on, he`s been one of the great batsmen of all time - had his faults, but ...

  • NAP73 on April 22, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    Sinhaya, I see you have a largely Indian bias in your opinion there. BTW, Tendulkar is overrated (hopefully Kohli can continue and outdo his stats one day). Kallis is by far the best player as he can do the lot and just keeps going for his team. Cannot believe you did not even think of him.

  • on April 22, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    At 37, your years are numbered and it is time to move on. Steve Waugh was unceremoniously dumped from the one day side as was Ponting. I respect Ponting for what he has achieved, no one can argue with that. To make the ashes he first has to get through the SL series then the SA attack of Steyn, Philander and Morkel then a return leg to India where he has struggled. He and Hussey are both on their last legs but it is ironic to see that their future replacements of North, Marsh and Khawaja have all come and gone. Two of them will eventually take Ponting's and Hussey's place.

  • Muhaimin on April 22, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    i would say ups nd down came in every world class players career.. it doesnt means his time is over now..besides lookin n critisin on his age we sud check out his fitness level nd physique.. nd fo me punter is fit for it, how superb he is on field.. along wd it, every opponent has fear of havin world class batsmen in opposin side.. so thumBs up fo punter..

  • on April 22, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Why is it that in every article some Indian has to mention Tendulkar? The inferiority complex the Indians is unbeleivable. You'll get an article which is about..ie bad pitches and in will come and Indian telling us that Tendulkar scores hundreds on bad wickets. The greatest batsman of all time was Sir Donald Bradman. He will never be surpassed.

    Punter has been great and is up there with the best cricket has offered in the last 20 years. IMO he can still do it and we defeinately need him for the Ashes.

  • Gangitano on April 22, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    I think you lot are all just jealous and or scared....... havent seen any englishmen near as good as ponting............ uuum EVER...... or maybe Pieterson ah wait hes not english is he...... Trott maybe? ah damn still not english.... lets face it you lot just get all our rejects. Ponting will have the last laugh next year in England mark my words, SINHAYA are you serious bud? you gotta be joking Sehwag!?!?!? Sangakkara!?!?!? ahahahahahahahaah

  • on April 22, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    Sinhaya,hhillbumper and redandwhitearmy leave RandyOZ alone he is my hero.We all know you all are shaking in your wellingtons. As my friend "Hot Rod Henry" says…. We only need a spinner that doesn't spin the ball and the series is history (as the Sir Lankan and Pakistan teams have aptly proved) that is to not even mentioned the army of hard-nosed, disciplined, mean, tough, FAST bowlers at our disposal.

  • on April 22, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    The true strength of Australian cricket in the last 20 odd years has been the guys who weren't playing for Australia, eg guys like Law, Siddons etc who were quality cricketers and couldn't get a gig. At present there are no real standouts in Shield cricket that are bashing down the door, hence the need to keep Ponting going. On another note, I find it disrespectful by so many posters on this site who trash the bloke. If you don't like him thats your opinion, but you cannot deny he is one of the modern greats of the game.

  • Hammond on April 22, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    @RandyOz- There have been better batsmen than Ponting in test cricket since Bradman mate, even a few English ones. Maybe you meant best "Australian" batsman, and even then you would be wrong. Most cricket followers would recognise Greg Chappell as the better all round batsman..

  • Carpathian on April 22, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    Yeah, just like Ponting carved up the England attack at home last year.

  • Sinhaya on April 22, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    @RandyOZ, there are far better batsmen in the world than Ponting such as Tendulkar, Laxman, Lara, Dravid, Sangakkara, Miandad, Gavaskar, Haq and even Sehwag. Ponting will not score more than 20 in both the innings of the Dominca test. Dream on! England will win the next Ashes and Ponting will not even be there then.

  • on April 22, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    @RandyOZ: He has been doing it so handsomely since the last 4 years with such consistency, isn't it?

  • Muhtasim13 on April 22, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    @ Ameer Panjwani, I don't think CA wants to lose 8 tests in a row. So I doubt that they will ever follow the footsteps of the BCCI. Having said that, I don't think Ponting will lose his place in Tests anytime soon. If he can keep his form up till the Ashes, it might be the best platform to depart

  • RandyOZ on April 22, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    Ponting, the best batsman since Bradman, will carve up in the 3rd test before his twilight series in the next Ashes, where he will dispatch Swann and Broad to all parts.

  • Gangitano on April 22, 2012, 9:13 GMT

    Ponting still gives me goosebumps when he walks out to bat...... and im not even an Aussie

  • CricketLoversRuleTheWorld on April 22, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    he is still the best in the Aussie line up... Warner and co. can not be even compared ..

  • Carpathian on April 22, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    The ever-self-praising Ponting is scared of retirement. As well, his vanity project is driven by the fact that Australian selectors and former teammates are in awe of him.

  • loki897 on April 22, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    One question to Clarke. Why don't Watson and Warner opens and Cowan bats at 3. Cowan always looks to bat out the innings which is what the no.3 spot is meant to do: anchor the innings which Cowan looks to do whilst openers are meant to give great/good starts to the team. I still believe Ponting and Hussey deserve their place in the Test side because they are two world class players.

  • northumbriannomad on April 22, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Speaking as a Pom, I'd love to see him make the Ashes series next year, and I don't mean that as a backhanded way of saying he's a walking wicket. He's a great batsman and always a privilege to watch. And I can't help feeling he's still got a sting in the tail to deliver.

  • Chris_P on April 22, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    He still looked the best batrsman in the second innings. As long as he can contribute, I wish him all the best.

  • Aransan on April 22, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    Ponting and Hussey are playing well and both deserve their place in the Test side. Unfortunately, neither is able to bat at 3, Clarke is best no higher than 4 and that means that Watson has to bat in the top three. As an all-rounder he should be batting at 6. Since that isn't possible his performances with bat and ball are compromised. Watson is at best a make-shift opener or number 3 in Test matches and this creates instability in the top order. A difficult problem to solve so long as both Ponting and Hussey are in the side.

  • Keepa-batsman on April 22, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    well said. we cant just drop him like we did to allan border, mark waugh et al.

  • on April 22, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    Ricky ponting is one of the greatest cricketer australia have ever produce ... I think CA should not treat him like an ordinary cricketer ... CA must follow BCCI footsteps and give him as much respect n on top chances like Sachin gets !!!

  • on April 22, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is like the god of Cricket Australia and certainly shouldn't be dropped or rested yet, he had good form against India so he definitely should be dropped on home soil against the South Africans

  • on April 22, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    He is a player of great caliber, no doubt about it. I feel bad for him that he is not in IPL, where he could make some money.

  • AKS286 on April 22, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    LEGEND, BEST, LEADER, HERO, PLAYER, WARRIOR.

  • on April 22, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    Ricky is right up there with the best batsmen of his generation, but it seems now that he is not so domineering these days as before. Although he scored heavily against India but all those runs were scored in accumulating mode rather than attacking. The lack of really good young batsmen around in Australia might gave ricky the few more seasons

  • on April 22, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    I think that Ricky Ponting's still a great batsman. I'm appealing to cricket Australia not to leave him out just yet, he's still as good as ever.He's one of the most complete batsmen I've ever saw. I don't think that Australia can afford to do without players like him and Michael Hussey

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  • on April 22, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    I think that Ricky Ponting's still a great batsman. I'm appealing to cricket Australia not to leave him out just yet, he's still as good as ever.He's one of the most complete batsmen I've ever saw. I don't think that Australia can afford to do without players like him and Michael Hussey

  • on April 22, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    Ricky is right up there with the best batsmen of his generation, but it seems now that he is not so domineering these days as before. Although he scored heavily against India but all those runs were scored in accumulating mode rather than attacking. The lack of really good young batsmen around in Australia might gave ricky the few more seasons

  • AKS286 on April 22, 2012, 7:03 GMT

    LEGEND, BEST, LEADER, HERO, PLAYER, WARRIOR.

  • on April 22, 2012, 7:11 GMT

    He is a player of great caliber, no doubt about it. I feel bad for him that he is not in IPL, where he could make some money.

  • on April 22, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is like the god of Cricket Australia and certainly shouldn't be dropped or rested yet, he had good form against India so he definitely should be dropped on home soil against the South Africans

  • on April 22, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    Ricky ponting is one of the greatest cricketer australia have ever produce ... I think CA should not treat him like an ordinary cricketer ... CA must follow BCCI footsteps and give him as much respect n on top chances like Sachin gets !!!

  • Keepa-batsman on April 22, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    well said. we cant just drop him like we did to allan border, mark waugh et al.

  • Aransan on April 22, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    Ponting and Hussey are playing well and both deserve their place in the Test side. Unfortunately, neither is able to bat at 3, Clarke is best no higher than 4 and that means that Watson has to bat in the top three. As an all-rounder he should be batting at 6. Since that isn't possible his performances with bat and ball are compromised. Watson is at best a make-shift opener or number 3 in Test matches and this creates instability in the top order. A difficult problem to solve so long as both Ponting and Hussey are in the side.

  • Chris_P on April 22, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    He still looked the best batrsman in the second innings. As long as he can contribute, I wish him all the best.

  • northumbriannomad on April 22, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Speaking as a Pom, I'd love to see him make the Ashes series next year, and I don't mean that as a backhanded way of saying he's a walking wicket. He's a great batsman and always a privilege to watch. And I can't help feeling he's still got a sting in the tail to deliver.