Pakistan v Australia, 1st MCC Spirit of Cricket Test, Lord's, 4th day July 16, 2010

Ponting delighted as new-look team takes shape

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Ricky Ponting might be able to teach Shahid Afridi something about rebuilding. Or Salman Butt. Or whoever captains Pakistan next. For the past couple of years, Ponting has been restructuring his side, if not from the ground up then close to it. And now, he's confident that he has the team required to take Australia forward.

Just as Pakistan are now facing life without Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan - and the soon-to-retire-again Afridi - Australia have had to find replacements for their stars in recent seasons. Since the start of 2008 baggy greens have been handed to 17 new players, including Tim Paine and Steven Smith at Lord's this week, and finally the results are beginning to flow.

They've now won seven consecutive Tests, and 13 in a row against Pakistan, which is a record for any country over any other nation. Ponting is optimistic about the progress his side has made, and with Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris all hoping to be fit in time for the Ashes, he is pleased with the position the Australians have reached.

"It's not about rebuilding now for us," Ponting said after the 150-run win at Lord's. "I feel that we're through that and once we get all our guys back to full fitness we're going to put a really formidable side on the park, which is a really good sign for us. Seven straight now and that's 13 straight against Pakistan, which is another good record to have over them.

"Things are coming together nicely. Without being silly, we've all got one eye on stuff that's happening later in the year and these steps this week have been good ones in the right direction as far as keeping on improving our Test cricket. We've got a few more Tests to play yet, but things are going well for us."

One of the most impressive aspects of their Lord's triumph was the emergence of Paine and Smith, who proved themselves to be of Test standard. Despite being outshone by the six-wicket haul from the part-time spinner Marcus North, the team's designated No. 1 slow bowler Smith showed promising signs by collecting 3 for 51.

The ball that would have excited Australia's selectors the most was a delivery that deceived a well-set Kamran Akmal, a quicker, fuller ball that turned and surprised the batsman to get through his defences. On the final day, Ponting had trusted North ahead of Smith due to the presence of two left-handers at the crease, but he said he could not have asked for any more from the debutant.

"He bowled a lot better today than he did in his first spell yesterday," Ponting said. "He will just continue to grow with confidence and he will put more work on the ball as a result of that and he is just a great kid to have around the side. His enthusiasm is terrific and we did not see the best of him with the bat this game. He is a highly talented batter as well."

Paine delivered an even more professional debut. He was cool-headed in making 47 in the second innings and he was clean and agile behind the stumps, finishing the game with five catches and a stumping. The leg-side effort to remove Butt, who had 92 and was Pakistan's best hope, was particularly encouraging.

North drifted his first delivery past the batsman's pads, Butt advanced and missed the ball, and like a flash Paine had whipped off the bails. It completed what Ponting called an outstanding debut from Paine, who in four days has gone a long towards securing his place as the long-term No. 2 gloveman behind Haddin.

"His work behind the stumps was very sharp," Ponting said. "It was a great stumping today, one sliding down the leg side behind a left-hander is always a hard one to take. That was a big moment in the game, really. Butt was playing beautifully and they're the sort of chances you hope your keeper or any of your fielders take. I thought he had an outstanding debut, as did Smith."

It's that sort of depth that has Ponting looking forward with confidence. The rebuilding is complete, now the finishing touches are being applied.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY CBJUK on | July 20, 2010, 8:47 GMT

    It's almost funny watching the anti-Australian bias. I don't think that Ponting is anywhere near the best Captain that Australia has had in the last 20 years but he has done a great job in the rebuilding process, and has always put his team first. I have to giggle at some of the stats that are being discussed, particularly with respects to series wins. Have India won in Australia or South Africa? Do India play 5 test series? Is there any country with more favourable (I won't use the word 'doctored') home pitches than India? The answer to all these questions is both obvious, and the same. Until the answer to these changes, you cannot really be taken series. Get off the anti-Australian bandwagon and look at things a little more objectively. :-)

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | July 18, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    Punter still in side bcoz aus is historically reluctant to repllace captains & give them chance to retire with dignity. He is chasing SACHIN ,& everyone will do that being so close,but if he achieves it in such fashion,die hard aus fan will not enjoy it coz aus fans hav always preferred team success above personal records unlike INDIAN fans.

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | July 18, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    i will like to add, its no big deal to win when u've gilly ,heydo,mcgra,warne on ur side.real test of captaincy was without them.still he lost ashes with them too & became only captain in long history to lose it twice. + n no. of odi failures(including failure to defend 434).

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | July 18, 2010, 12:48 GMT

    @ abhishek : my former reply to u is i think moderated by cricinfo.so again this effort. Punter's avg in last 3 yrs is 42 ,which is less than vettori's.in same periood clarke is scoring at above 55(only tests) Whenever he is pushed back against wall ,he has not done anything magical.he has won many matches bcoz of his fellow players' never say die attitude,not by his captaincy or his magical performance.

  • POSTED BY valey on | July 18, 2010, 12:31 GMT

    @Aussasinator - again, look at the stats. Tests as mentioned 18-8-7 and only 3 out of 10 series losses in that time. If you want to look at bilateral ODI in that timeframe the results are 33-19-4 and only 3 out of 12 series lost so even more impressive. In that run they've won series against India twice, and NZ, WI, Ban, Eng, Pak and Sco (its on the stats so have to include it) once. 2 series losses against SA in that time and one against NZ that Ponting didn't even play in. And don't forget that's excluding the World Cup where they went through undefeated again (that's twice now under Ponting's poor captaincy) and 2 x Champions Trophies where they lost one game out of 10 while winning the two editions held since the Ashes in 06/07.

    The Test series loss to SA in Aus was when we had our worst team in living memory, and it's a bit biased to claim that when Aus beat India in Aus it was a "cheating win" but when Ind beat Aus in Ind it was a "walloping".

    Stick to the facts mate

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | July 18, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    @PatchesOHoulihan. I'm only trying to introduce realism into the assessment of the performance of the Australian team, a team which is yet to win a serious series in the last 2 years; only trounces second rate teams, and comes up with the rebuilding excuse each time a loss takes place against a good team. When it wins it is agreat team and when it loses, the team is rebuilding. Yes, I'm negative. I dont see anything positive in Australian cricket, with this captain at least. With the Oz team of the last 2 years at his command, Strauss would have turned world beater, as would have Sangakkara. Somewhere someone knows I'm true. But it hurts. Hence the anger & denial.

  • POSTED BY LesGrossman on | July 18, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    Typical aussasinator... cheating win over India in Oz land, are you delusional! How did the aussies cheat? The umpires made mistakes, but I'm sure you'll say that the aussies over appealed. I do remember Kumble appealing for a LBW that Brad Hogg cover drove for 2 in the same game, but we don't dare bring that fact up. You always go back to this series how the aussies cheated like most biased anti aus fans. it appears that once you cut down all the 'tall poppies' you are left with only weeds. have a look at yourself aussasinator and your negative attitude. also have a look at how india will go once sachin, dravid and laxman retire and we'll compare the 2 rebuilding processes.

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | July 18, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    @valey. I'm just looking at the losses, which came despite having a good team and only due to poor captaincy.A series loss to SA in Australia, a cheating win against India in a series in Ozland, a walloping by India 2-0 in a series in India, several ODI series lost both in and out of Australia - all these have happened with real good bowlers and batsmen. Australian bench strength is really good and this team building talk crops up only to justify the big losses so that the whole of Australia and Ponting can continue living in denial.The Australian mindset has slipped to a sorry state, like their batting.

  • POSTED BY abhishek_rshetty on | July 17, 2010, 15:17 GMT

    @ natmastak_so_called

    Just 4 matches back, Ponting got a double hundred. Do you expect him to score a hundred every match? Being an Indian, I don't expect that much from Sachin Tendulkar also!

    Ponting the leader is as important to the team as Ponting the batsman. He is a much more astute leader than given credit for. As a batsman, a real treat to watch. I don't think he will be hanging up his boots any time soon

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | July 17, 2010, 14:37 GMT

    When will punter start performing besides lauding other's efforts.?if u wanna do something for aus,pl hang ur boots & make way for youngsters.

  • POSTED BY CBJUK on | July 20, 2010, 8:47 GMT

    It's almost funny watching the anti-Australian bias. I don't think that Ponting is anywhere near the best Captain that Australia has had in the last 20 years but he has done a great job in the rebuilding process, and has always put his team first. I have to giggle at some of the stats that are being discussed, particularly with respects to series wins. Have India won in Australia or South Africa? Do India play 5 test series? Is there any country with more favourable (I won't use the word 'doctored') home pitches than India? The answer to all these questions is both obvious, and the same. Until the answer to these changes, you cannot really be taken series. Get off the anti-Australian bandwagon and look at things a little more objectively. :-)

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | July 18, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    Punter still in side bcoz aus is historically reluctant to repllace captains & give them chance to retire with dignity. He is chasing SACHIN ,& everyone will do that being so close,but if he achieves it in such fashion,die hard aus fan will not enjoy it coz aus fans hav always preferred team success above personal records unlike INDIAN fans.

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | July 18, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    i will like to add, its no big deal to win when u've gilly ,heydo,mcgra,warne on ur side.real test of captaincy was without them.still he lost ashes with them too & became only captain in long history to lose it twice. + n no. of odi failures(including failure to defend 434).

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | July 18, 2010, 12:48 GMT

    @ abhishek : my former reply to u is i think moderated by cricinfo.so again this effort. Punter's avg in last 3 yrs is 42 ,which is less than vettori's.in same periood clarke is scoring at above 55(only tests) Whenever he is pushed back against wall ,he has not done anything magical.he has won many matches bcoz of his fellow players' never say die attitude,not by his captaincy or his magical performance.

  • POSTED BY valey on | July 18, 2010, 12:31 GMT

    @Aussasinator - again, look at the stats. Tests as mentioned 18-8-7 and only 3 out of 10 series losses in that time. If you want to look at bilateral ODI in that timeframe the results are 33-19-4 and only 3 out of 12 series lost so even more impressive. In that run they've won series against India twice, and NZ, WI, Ban, Eng, Pak and Sco (its on the stats so have to include it) once. 2 series losses against SA in that time and one against NZ that Ponting didn't even play in. And don't forget that's excluding the World Cup where they went through undefeated again (that's twice now under Ponting's poor captaincy) and 2 x Champions Trophies where they lost one game out of 10 while winning the two editions held since the Ashes in 06/07.

    The Test series loss to SA in Aus was when we had our worst team in living memory, and it's a bit biased to claim that when Aus beat India in Aus it was a "cheating win" but when Ind beat Aus in Ind it was a "walloping".

    Stick to the facts mate

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | July 18, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    @PatchesOHoulihan. I'm only trying to introduce realism into the assessment of the performance of the Australian team, a team which is yet to win a serious series in the last 2 years; only trounces second rate teams, and comes up with the rebuilding excuse each time a loss takes place against a good team. When it wins it is agreat team and when it loses, the team is rebuilding. Yes, I'm negative. I dont see anything positive in Australian cricket, with this captain at least. With the Oz team of the last 2 years at his command, Strauss would have turned world beater, as would have Sangakkara. Somewhere someone knows I'm true. But it hurts. Hence the anger & denial.

  • POSTED BY LesGrossman on | July 18, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    Typical aussasinator... cheating win over India in Oz land, are you delusional! How did the aussies cheat? The umpires made mistakes, but I'm sure you'll say that the aussies over appealed. I do remember Kumble appealing for a LBW that Brad Hogg cover drove for 2 in the same game, but we don't dare bring that fact up. You always go back to this series how the aussies cheated like most biased anti aus fans. it appears that once you cut down all the 'tall poppies' you are left with only weeds. have a look at yourself aussasinator and your negative attitude. also have a look at how india will go once sachin, dravid and laxman retire and we'll compare the 2 rebuilding processes.

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | July 18, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    @valey. I'm just looking at the losses, which came despite having a good team and only due to poor captaincy.A series loss to SA in Australia, a cheating win against India in a series in Ozland, a walloping by India 2-0 in a series in India, several ODI series lost both in and out of Australia - all these have happened with real good bowlers and batsmen. Australian bench strength is really good and this team building talk crops up only to justify the big losses so that the whole of Australia and Ponting can continue living in denial.The Australian mindset has slipped to a sorry state, like their batting.

  • POSTED BY abhishek_rshetty on | July 17, 2010, 15:17 GMT

    @ natmastak_so_called

    Just 4 matches back, Ponting got a double hundred. Do you expect him to score a hundred every match? Being an Indian, I don't expect that much from Sachin Tendulkar also!

    Ponting the leader is as important to the team as Ponting the batsman. He is a much more astute leader than given credit for. As a batsman, a real treat to watch. I don't think he will be hanging up his boots any time soon

  • POSTED BY natmastak_so-called on | July 17, 2010, 14:37 GMT

    When will punter start performing besides lauding other's efforts.?if u wanna do something for aus,pl hang ur boots & make way for youngsters.

  • POSTED BY msport on | July 17, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    Victory is victory for any team with any other test playing nation whether it is pak,wi or bang.Winning against pak last 15 years consecutively is not a joke.Can i see any team beating other team consecutively?I can't even see ind beating pak,wi for more than 3 or more test so don't cry aussie antisupporter anymore.I m 200 percent sure this year ashes will be win by aus.de question is dat ashes series of 2013 it will also be of aus because dis time there will be udrs system.so england fans dont cry dis time in 2013 there will be no decision in ur favours.Happy b'day 2 Shaun Pollock n jenny.Pollock n jenny's birthday on de same day what a coincidence?Two of ur favourite star having b'day on de same date!!!

  • POSTED BY Hindh on | July 17, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    This same Marcus north would have been put to cleaners by Indian batsman.He is an intelligent offie.But Pak cud have played him better, Pak are gud players of spin this is a myth.They very much struggle ,No one can forget when the entire Pak team collapsed against Kumble in 1999.

  • POSTED BY valey on | July 17, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    @Aussasinator - take off the blinkers, you've missed a lot of victories in your ignorance. Look at the stats over the last couple of years because there are a lot more wins then losses. If we take Eng in Aus 06/07 as the time rebuilding started Aus are 18-8-7 with series wins against SL, Ind, SA, WI, NZ and Pak (so the only ones they haven't beaten in that time is Ban because they haven't played them and Eng - that will be rectified before the year is out) in that period. The FTP is designed so all teams pretty much play each other over a 5 year cycle so everyone has also played the same teams in that time. The depth of this new Aus team is back to what we expect with quality players ready to step up when given a chance - see Smith. Can't wait for India in India and then another 5-0 Ashes drubbing.

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2010, 10:46 GMT

    A victory is a victory after all...Looking at records set by the australian side..v cn easily point out..that these r team records..!! so every1 who r pointing out a single player must understnd the secret of succes. You may get 11 legends in a team..yet they maynot perform..On the other side take ordinary players..They may prove vicotious. So ppl its the team..n not the player..!! learn to accept the result..!!n be a cricket fan..not a team fan only!!

  • POSTED BY SudarshanR on | July 17, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    well good to see oz win and extending their winning streak against pak....and also good to see young guns coming to the party....and kat holding the innings again...and punter too leading the team so well...but whats up with punter's batting....he seems a shadow of his own self....oz's run machine- we are waiting for u to lead from the front with the bat....get back to ur old run scoring ways...u single handedly can win the ashes and the wc 2011 for oz....and even 2013 ashes...come on punter...we want to see punter of yore..

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | July 17, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    @bjcm. You are backing the wrong horse. The Australian team has been losing because of Ponting. Everyone else in the team is better. take a closer look at statistics and not at all the talk, which he indulges in to cover up his glaring inadequacies, both as captain and batsman. Clarke's role as skipper was laudable in the T20 World Cup, which saw Australia put in an awesome performance, till the finals. The team spirit was particularly noticeable, with the harmony between the players being a revelation. But as an Ebngland supporter, I would like Ponting to remain captain of Australia for the Ashes. England has its best chance with Ponting as captain.

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    I wouldn't get that happy, it's only Pakistan the Aussies played, the Pakistanis are good at making the opposition look better then they really are. Would Marcus North really get a 5 for against a top side. Do me a favour!

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | July 17, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    @hegde421201. "Ponting has done it again with his young team"! If Clarke, Katich, Hussey, Johnson, Hilfenhaus, Watson & Bollinger are young, apart from Ponting himself....... well! He has lost so many with these 'young' players over the last 3 years. He lost his first Ashes with 'old' players like Hayden, Gilchrist, Mcgrath & Warne, when they were all in their prime. Now this present team must be ever young and eternally evolving and somehow I seem to be missing all those victories in my ignorance.

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2010, 7:58 GMT

    Gotta love the people that comment on here.

    Someone bagging Clarke, who is the second highest run scorer and the best in England.

    And another bagging Haddin who averages 40 with the bat and whose keeping has come a long, long way from where he started. He can now take just about anything and is very talented.

    If you guys were selectors Australia would be in the same situation as Pakistan right now.

  • POSTED BY bjcm12 on | July 17, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    Well done Ricky - good show. You went through lot of trouble because of many retirements and still kept your cool to rebuild the team. Ashes - thrash England in all tests punter and you too get about 04 centuries - you can do it Ricky. All the best in the 2nd test - try to beat Pakistan by innings.

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    Aussies call it rebuilding completed... but bowling against a weak pakistani batting line up is not an yardstick of success... let them face the Indian test batting line up with the same bowling attack and then we will see the true potential of the OZ bowling attack :)

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | July 17, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    I dont see any rebuilding taking place, when you see a Marcus North taking a heap of second string wickets when the much vaunted pace attack has failed. I also dont see a second level batting unit in place because it has not been allowed to grow. It's still a Katich- Hussey show with Michael Clarke scoring big against lesser teams and their captain scoring big against lesser teams only in dead rubbers. Any decent batting side can trounce Australia , as we will see in due course. Looks like the whole of Australia will rejoice if an Australian player crosses the road safely with his shopping bags in his arms.

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | July 17, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    They'll have to thank the second string teams they've won against for this 'rebuilding' if you can call it that. When did Australia last win a test against a full strength world team, not to speak of a series? The fool's paradise rules still. Looks like the whole of Australia, including Cricket Australia is on board this ship of delusion.

  • POSTED BY dsig3 on | July 17, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    I really dont think we played that well. We where probably outbowled by Pakistan. Guys like doug and midge really didnt make the most of some really good conditions. If Pakistan only new which end to hold the bat then we could have been in trouble. Really like Smith even though he didnt set the world on fire he has............pizzaz, or something like that. Dont know what it is but he is going to be a really exiting player.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | July 17, 2010, 3:46 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is right up there with Allan Border. Both were in a similar situation,having to rebuild the side after the retirement of the greats.Ricky Ponting leads by example on the field and is tactically brilliant.He has been strongly asisted by the Australian System which puts budding cricketers aspiring for the Baggy Green through intense competition and performance-bassed scrutiny. The depth of this Australian side - 16 in number, count 'em,is wonderful. The Australian way is to take the game so seriously as to demand the best of each player every time.Mike Hussey is a classic example.

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2010, 3:31 GMT

    Thomas, you are kidding? Michael Clarke has been the leading run scorer in the team for the last couple of years, even ahead of Katich. Mate you've got to look at the scores!

  • POSTED BY charlzy_33 on | July 17, 2010, 3:06 GMT

    its sad that M. Clarke has never had to fight for his spot in the Aussie side and he's dubbed as the next test captain... alot of work to do if the aussies are gonna compete to become no. 1 again, we gotta be able to beat better teams than the windies and pakistan to be a real threat.

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | July 17, 2010, 1:59 GMT

    Aus might have won seven consecutive Tests but hey have all been against West Indies and Pakistan who have both put some of the worst performances I've ever watched on a cricket field .Australia still look a mediocre side and their batting has been collapsing more than any other time for a Ozzie side,still while ever their playing Pakistan they they seem to be gifted wins.

  • POSTED BY The_Wog on | July 17, 2010, 1:33 GMT

    It's only taken 2 posts before someone slagged off AUS (which is always such a classy act when your team has just lost for the 13th time in a row). Of course it's the Aussies that are "arrogant." Not the team that spent the whole game sledging (Umar Gul especially), sending off batsmen (Aamer) and elbowing batsmen (Aamer again).

    It's hardly your fault hegde421201 - Cricinfo is a chronic offender for one-sided reporting - AUS is the devil incarnate, and the team that plays them are either 11 perfect choirboys or (at worst, if caught red handed doing something really egregious) "provoked," "standing up for themselves" or "giving it back." Roebuck's "dog-whistling" yesterday during his Murali article was another particularly despicable example from a particularly despicable writer.

  • POSTED BY on | July 17, 2010, 1:11 GMT

    Bowlers are the ones who will get rid of M.Clarke , which really means he will get rid of himself. Because the Selectors will not drop him . Also , R.Ponting is now the reincarnate of Mark Taylor . The former captain who lost his batting ability bit not the Captaincy . Fair bit of difference in tonking a ton against the likes of Derbyshire , and getting a quacker in a Test . Thev way they are going on about the Sun shining out of Smith's bum , why not push him up as Captain, after all he is from NSW.

  • POSTED BY Saosin on | July 17, 2010, 0:01 GMT

    @Thomas Cherian - wow you really know your stuff man, Michael Clarke has scored 3,255 runs at 59.19 in his last 38 Tests... He is actually one of the premier test batsmen going around in the world, comparable or favourable with any other player. This is a report on TEST CRICKET, and only a buffoon would say remove Clarke from this Test team. Add to his absurdly lofty average the fact he fields extremely well, is a natural born leader and can bowl if required, you essentially have the complete Test cricketer. You are kidding yourself if you think there is any legitimacy or credibility in your statement, it is asinine. OK now we've sorted that out, I must say I'm happy but not surprised with Australia's result, Pakistan have fantastic bowlers however are light on batting and leadership, the shots Afridi got out with in both innings are for blooper reels. IMO North must make way for a bowler, with SPD Smith taking a role at number 6. North simply is too old and hasn't the runs.

  • POSTED BY TEST_CRICKET_ONLY on | July 16, 2010, 23:40 GMT

    Rebuilding ??? Maybe when Haddin is recognised as an inferior gloveman, Johnson as too hit & miss for test cricket, Ponting as one of worst captains in 100 years, Clarke as an unsuitable replacement,Hauritz as an absolute pie chucker, Smith not good enough for test cricket, North due for retirement, and Khawaja crying out for selection. Then we need to sack the selectors who have driven us to 2 Ashes defeats, despite having the superior teams on both occasions, and maybe we will have some rebuilding happening.

  • POSTED BY __PK on | July 16, 2010, 23:36 GMT

    Fat chance, Thomas Cherian.

  • POSTED BY D.V.C. on | July 16, 2010, 23:36 GMT

    No one in that Australian team is Great with a capital G (Ponting was at one point but not at the moment), but they are all good, and the balance is astounding. Johnson who has a Test century bats at No. 9. And there are 8 genuine bowling options, there are 2 left hand quicks and 2 right hand quicks, and what's more there are 4 spinners who are all different: Smith lbg, Katich slc, North ob, Clarke sla. You'd be hard pressed to find a better balanced side ever.

  • POSTED BY WasiAkrim on | July 16, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    Hedge - since when did being happy and winning equal arrogence? Thomas - Why would Australia get rid of their next captain? That would be a fairly stupid decision considering he's one of their best batsmen, read this -

    After 60 Tests, Clarke has 4375 runs at 51.47 from 97 innings. 14 centuries, 18 half-centuries, highest score 168. After 60 Tests Ponting had 3973 runs at 47.87 from 96 innings. 13 centuries, 16 half-centuries, highest score 197

    What's your highest test score mate?

  • POSTED BY bustermove on | July 16, 2010, 22:44 GMT

    Thomas Cherian, why would Australia want to get rid of Michael Clarke. I'm no great fan of Clarke the pop star....way too self-absorbed for my liking, but with an average of 57 in the last 3 years (Ponting ave.43 in the same period) you can't argue about his value to the side. I must say, I'm yet to be convinced about this team. It does strike me as a collection of good players (in the case of Ponting, great) but I'm not so sure that the team thing, you know that "get in the trenches and fight for your mates" thing is happening at all yet. I think the rebuilding is far from complete. Everybody said that the rebuilding was complete after they dominated South Africa in South Africa before the last ashes. Then in a couple sessions at the Oval they imploded against Broad and threw it away.They look a different team with Hilfenhaus fit but can they keep him fit. As for Steve Smith, well I guess the real test isn't Umar Gul it's Kevin Pieterson on a flat day 3 pitch in Adelaide. We'll see!!

  • POSTED BY msport on | July 16, 2010, 21:24 GMT

    Hats off 2 Ricky Ponting for carrying such wounded team to today's position winning 7 consecutive test matches.With Peter Siddle n Ryan Harris back in de side aussie will be de superb side n de greatest test will be the upcoming series against india which will decide de no.1 test team n who is consistent throughout the year?

  • POSTED BY CleanTactics on | July 16, 2010, 21:11 GMT

    I am not sure why Haddin is being persisted with. He does not the patience to fight it out when australian team is in trouble. I have seen him just making some aggressive runs and get out in the silliest of ways.(Hitting a high catch or getting stumped). Paine looks more patient with the bat and safer with the gloves. Haddin has been given a chance because he has been waiting in the ranks when Gilly was doing well. Ponting himself is not making runs. He is no more the world's best batsman. I would prefer AB De Villiers, Sanga, Amla or a Gambhir as top batsman. He is just chasing Sachin's record and will break it....

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | July 16, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    Paine looks to me the No 1 in terms of glovework. But we're stuck with Haddin who isn't half as good with the gloves.

  • POSTED BY hegde421201 on | July 16, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    Oh gosh!! Ricky has done it again with his young team...Although i was hoping for Afridi and his boys to beat the arrogant Aussies....Aussie swagger in cricket is legendary and Pak shall have to play extraordinarily well to beat the wizards of OZ in Leeds

  • POSTED BY on | July 16, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    Rebuilding is complete now if only they can get rid of Michael clark

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  • POSTED BY on | July 16, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    Rebuilding is complete now if only they can get rid of Michael clark

  • POSTED BY hegde421201 on | July 16, 2010, 19:07 GMT

    Oh gosh!! Ricky has done it again with his young team...Although i was hoping for Afridi and his boys to beat the arrogant Aussies....Aussie swagger in cricket is legendary and Pak shall have to play extraordinarily well to beat the wizards of OZ in Leeds

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | July 16, 2010, 20:03 GMT

    Paine looks to me the No 1 in terms of glovework. But we're stuck with Haddin who isn't half as good with the gloves.

  • POSTED BY CleanTactics on | July 16, 2010, 21:11 GMT

    I am not sure why Haddin is being persisted with. He does not the patience to fight it out when australian team is in trouble. I have seen him just making some aggressive runs and get out in the silliest of ways.(Hitting a high catch or getting stumped). Paine looks more patient with the bat and safer with the gloves. Haddin has been given a chance because he has been waiting in the ranks when Gilly was doing well. Ponting himself is not making runs. He is no more the world's best batsman. I would prefer AB De Villiers, Sanga, Amla or a Gambhir as top batsman. He is just chasing Sachin's record and will break it....

  • POSTED BY msport on | July 16, 2010, 21:24 GMT

    Hats off 2 Ricky Ponting for carrying such wounded team to today's position winning 7 consecutive test matches.With Peter Siddle n Ryan Harris back in de side aussie will be de superb side n de greatest test will be the upcoming series against india which will decide de no.1 test team n who is consistent throughout the year?

  • POSTED BY bustermove on | July 16, 2010, 22:44 GMT

    Thomas Cherian, why would Australia want to get rid of Michael Clarke. I'm no great fan of Clarke the pop star....way too self-absorbed for my liking, but with an average of 57 in the last 3 years (Ponting ave.43 in the same period) you can't argue about his value to the side. I must say, I'm yet to be convinced about this team. It does strike me as a collection of good players (in the case of Ponting, great) but I'm not so sure that the team thing, you know that "get in the trenches and fight for your mates" thing is happening at all yet. I think the rebuilding is far from complete. Everybody said that the rebuilding was complete after they dominated South Africa in South Africa before the last ashes. Then in a couple sessions at the Oval they imploded against Broad and threw it away.They look a different team with Hilfenhaus fit but can they keep him fit. As for Steve Smith, well I guess the real test isn't Umar Gul it's Kevin Pieterson on a flat day 3 pitch in Adelaide. We'll see!!

  • POSTED BY WasiAkrim on | July 16, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    Hedge - since when did being happy and winning equal arrogence? Thomas - Why would Australia get rid of their next captain? That would be a fairly stupid decision considering he's one of their best batsmen, read this -

    After 60 Tests, Clarke has 4375 runs at 51.47 from 97 innings. 14 centuries, 18 half-centuries, highest score 168. After 60 Tests Ponting had 3973 runs at 47.87 from 96 innings. 13 centuries, 16 half-centuries, highest score 197

    What's your highest test score mate?

  • POSTED BY D.V.C. on | July 16, 2010, 23:36 GMT

    No one in that Australian team is Great with a capital G (Ponting was at one point but not at the moment), but they are all good, and the balance is astounding. Johnson who has a Test century bats at No. 9. And there are 8 genuine bowling options, there are 2 left hand quicks and 2 right hand quicks, and what's more there are 4 spinners who are all different: Smith lbg, Katich slc, North ob, Clarke sla. You'd be hard pressed to find a better balanced side ever.

  • POSTED BY __PK on | July 16, 2010, 23:36 GMT

    Fat chance, Thomas Cherian.

  • POSTED BY TEST_CRICKET_ONLY on | July 16, 2010, 23:40 GMT

    Rebuilding ??? Maybe when Haddin is recognised as an inferior gloveman, Johnson as too hit & miss for test cricket, Ponting as one of worst captains in 100 years, Clarke as an unsuitable replacement,Hauritz as an absolute pie chucker, Smith not good enough for test cricket, North due for retirement, and Khawaja crying out for selection. Then we need to sack the selectors who have driven us to 2 Ashes defeats, despite having the superior teams on both occasions, and maybe we will have some rebuilding happening.