Pakistan v Australia 2010 July 25, 2010

Ponting philosophical over future


Ricky Ponting might have played his last Test in England, but he still hasn't ruled out one final attempt to win the Ashes on enemy soil. Ponting flew out of London last September freshly hurt by the loss of the urn and keen to return in 2013, but a year later he has become more philosophical about his chances of being part of the next Ashes battle in England.

The country has been troublesome for Ponting. It has reduced him to mortal status as a batsman - he averages 41.79 in 20 Tests in England - and Australia have won only three of their 12 Tests in the British Isles under Ponting's captaincy. Pakistan's victory at Headingley levelled the series 1-1, so he has still not won a Test series in England as leader.

By the time Australia return for an Ashes tour Ponting will be 38, and he knows that his chances of still being in the Test side depend not only on his desire but also on whether he retains his reflexes and ability. On that front, the signs for Ponting are slightly worrying. In the past 12 months he has averaged 39.81 in Tests and the powerful pulls and hooks that have been his trademark have at times brought his downfall.

His 209 in Hobart in January was made possible only because Mohammad Aamer dropped a sitter at fine leg when Ponting had not yet scored. At Headingley this week he made 66, but he could easily have been sent on his way first ball when he padded up to an Aamer delivery that would have clipped the top of off stump.

"I honestly don't know [if I'll play in England again]," Ponting said after the Leeds loss. "It's all going to be down to how well I play. I love playing for Australia. I cherish every moment that I have to captain the side and represent my country. If I get back here in a couple of years time then so be it, but if I'm not good enough then there's nothing I can do about that."

If there was a hint of self-doubt in that statement, it would be a rarity for Ponting. He is not keen to concede vulnerability by giving up the pull shot, or by shifting himself down the order. Even when Australia were trying to claw their way back into the game at Headingley, Ponting tried to be attacking against an excellent group of swing bowlers.

"I don't think I played any more defensively than normal," he said. "Over the years I've always had that fairly aggressive intent to go out there and put it back on the bowlers. I still felt I had that in the second innings but they bowled pretty well."

Combating the moving ball will be even more difficult at 38. For now, Ponting will focus on the Ashes at home and a World Cup defence on the subcontinent early next year. Whether Australia's captain will push on beyond that is anyone's guess.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shobhit on July 30, 2010, 18:16 GMT

    lets just forget all the comparisons........just see who won all those tournaments,who takes all those catches,who does all those run outs,who manages such young players and still wins who saves all those important runs by flying around at 36 and who just can't stop winning world cups and champion trophies....and u know who m i talking about and who is the true champion.......records count for nothing if u can't win....thats the point baby..........and remember he managed to beat India in India 4-2 last year with 8 players injured.........there can't b a better player or a better captain if not a better batsmen........

  • Mark on July 30, 2010, 2:08 GMT

    hhhhmmm... luv all this talk of a saching vs. ricky rivalry. both are all time greats, tendulkar is a beautiful to watch, ponting has a more brutal style. I remember when sachin had a slump a couple of years ago, people were telling him to quit. maybe ponting will have a revival back to his glory days like sachin, maybe not. the only thing that matters is runs and wins, lets not drag out crazy stats for your own arguments. the only thing i see with ponting at the moment is a technical issue. he needs to stand taller in his stance to stop him from falling over, which then makes judging the moving ball very tough. have a look at his stance in all his best innings, he's standing a little taller than at the moment. he also needs to make the correct calls when winning the toss! anyway i'm an australian and i luv watching quality batting. sangakkara is my favourite to watch at the moment even though that deck at the sscg would have to be the flatest pitch in the history of cricket.

  • Sheehan on July 29, 2010, 22:12 GMT

    Too much bashing of Ponting's batting and captaincy after one loss. Imagine would this question of Ponting retiring be even raised had australia won this match? With a 'mediocre' side this team had managed to win six straight test matches before this one, a feat most other teams have never performed, including the so-called current no. 1. I think we should measure all on the same scale.

  • md on July 29, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    Both of this players are great batsman for sure.Sachin is technically little better than Ricky. Ricky has won 3 world cup for his team and he is still captain.This might be the reason Sachin is performing better than him. Sachin is older than Ricky but he looks much younger. Sachin is playing without extra pressure. He is just playing his game whereas Ricky can't do that. May be Ricky would have been scoring more runs if he was not the Captain. After their retirement Ppl will know Sachin as a better batsman because of his record and technique but we all know Ricky has won more for his country. Some will say Sachin is always under pressure but India always have better batting line up and better spinners in the team. So ppl will decide.....

  • Dean on July 29, 2010, 16:47 GMT

    Most respondents must be reading a different article? The article above is about Ricky Ponting's career, past and current batting form and includes his input regarding his future as a player and captain. Where does mention it Sachin Tendulkar?

  • Dummy4 on July 29, 2010, 10:32 GMT

    @callum: say that again's not a competition btwn sachin&Ricky.both r excellent batsmen, but ryt nw the ocus is on Aus&Ricky....jus take it lyk it is guys! ashes cumin home to aus!

  • Sreerang on July 29, 2010, 8:10 GMT

    Ever heard of sour grapes, Davo47 & Anurag??

  • Dummy4 on July 29, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    Sachin is no doubt a great cricketer but thats right that he plays for himself. you cant compare Ricky with sachin , ricky is no doubt today's BEST , i think Gambhir is better than sachin if you talk about the team , u can compare sachin and lara , but do the same ;p

  • Dummy4 on July 29, 2010, 3:20 GMT

    sachin is the GOD and he is the best, Call Greg and Ian Chappel who claimed that Ricky is better than Sachin, Greg Chappel tried breaking the Unity of Indian team and played politics as the British did when they were in India , Divide and rule-- but its all over Sachin is the God and India will be no 1 and will remain just few more years........ Sachin will make such a record and milestone that no one ever would be able to break it.

  • sri on July 29, 2010, 2:28 GMT

    anurag70.. THANKS ANURAG, iam also like u an INDIAN from CALCUTTA,a true lover of CRICKET and a big big FAN of Cricket AUSTRALIA,like you i love PONTING, a want to share a few things, most dangersous fielder, HANDSOME CAPTAIN,has the ABILITY to keep strike rat ein 50/50 at 130 +(remeber his great knock against SA,WHERE THEY MADE 434),, A CAPTAIN of PROUD AND VICTORIOUS TEAM,like i said before, any captain after winning toss,elects to FIELD FIRST, but rick and company UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES "DEFENDS", that's the quality of "WORLD CHAMPS", ricky said, he want to win the HATTRICK WORLD CUP, lets hope for the best .........

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