Australia in South Africa 2011-12 November 13, 2011

Ponting incredibly important part of team - Langer

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Australia's assistant coach, Justin Langer, has described Ricky Ponting as "an incredibly important part" of the Test side, despite his recent lack of runs. Langer warned against widespread changes to the team after the humiliation of being dismissed for 47 in Cape Town on Thursday, although he conceded it was not clear whether the team had hit bottom yet.

Australia fly to Johannesburg on Monday ahead of the second Test, which begins at the Wanderers on Thursday, and they will be without the injured Shaun Marsh. Usman Khawaja is expected to play in Marsh's absence, while David Warner will be flown in to join the squad but is unlikely to make the starting XI.

However, pressure is mounting on Ponting, who twice in the Newlands Test walked across his stumps and was lbw. Not only has he not made a Test hundred since January 2010, he has now played 12 innings since his last half-century. Mark Taylor survived a stretch of 21 innings without a fifty, but he was the captain and at 32, was four years younger than Ponting is now.

At Australia's optional training session on Saturday, after the Test finished inside three days, Ponting was one of only three batsmen who worked in the nets, along with Phillip Hughes and Shane Watson. Langer emphasised the "unbelievable" influence Ponting had in the team environment, despite his struggle for runs.

"We've got to be sensible about whether the guys you leave out or the changes you make are going to be replaced by someone better," Langer said. "Some might argue we've got nothing to lose and anything could be better. Well, maybe, but someone like Ricky Ponting has not only got 12,500 Test runs but his influence in the team is unbelievable. He's a really tough case. That's why he's working hard. At the moment, in my opinion it's really important Ricky Ponting is in this Australian cricket team."

While Ponting is expected to play at the Wanderers, it will be interesting to see how he is handled by John Inverarity's new selection panel. The new group will pick the squad for Australia's Test series against New Zealand, which starts on December 1, and Langer said Ponting knew he was under pressure to score runs soon.

"He's human," Langer said. "He'll hate me to say this, but I've seen McGrath, Steve Waugh, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist. They went through it. I love seeing that: they're human. I thought it was just me and the nuffies who weren't very good, who had self-doubts. He knows. He's a very grounded person. He knows how the system works better than anyone: you've got to score runs to stay in the team. He's determined to do that.

"No, he's not making as many runs as anyone would like at the moment. But he is an incredibly important part of this team. I say that without any hesitation."

All the same, it is difficult for Langer to grasp the current state of the side, having himself played in such a powerful era for Australian cricket. His challenge is to help Michael Clarke's developing outfit to find their way back up. Their series win in Sri Lanka pushed them up to fourth on the ICC Test rankings but the debacle in Cape Town was a massive blow.

"When I made my debut in '93, I came into a team of very senior players. Allan Border was the captain, Mark Taylor, the Waugh brothers - very senior team. From '89 to now we haven't been in a situation like this. Sport is cyclical, there's no doubt about that. Fortunately our cycle went a lot longer than usual. The reality is, we've seen over the last 12 months or a little bit longer, that our cycle has changed; I don't know if we've reached the bottom of it yet. I haven't seen it in my career."

Langer said it was hard to understand what had caused Australia's collapse on the second day at Newlands, but he described "game awareness" as a key area the squad had to work on. When Australia walked out in their second innings with a lead of 188, it appeared that they played too aggressively in the hope that extending their advantage by another 150 runs would be enough.

"In the past, really good teams would have thought we're going to bury these blokes and we're going to get 500 and we're going to do whatever it takes to absolutely bury them," Langer said. "Maybe we got a bit relaxed with it and thought we were going really well. We had a good tour of Sri Lanka and we were going well in this series. That's not how it works. With this group we need to keep getting much better at that."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • EddyEhmed on November 16, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    @indianzen ... you should not compare Oz's with India, they have been on top slot for almost 2 decades with there Fire power and India wasn't able to retain the top slot for one year.... by the way they have been outstanding on foreign tours, while India has been OUT STANDING lolzz

  • TheOnlyEmperor on November 16, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    The Oz cricket establishment will keep Ponting going just as they did Border and Steve Waugh. Nothing will please them better than to see Kallis, Dravid and Sachin all retire. For all you know they may event want Jayawardhene and Sangakkara to retire so that there is no immediate threat to Ponting. Yeah, at an average of sub-53, Ponting is indeed the greatest batsman ever ... from Tasmania!

  • on November 15, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    Its time for Cricket Australia to sack Ponting and giv a chance to in form players like Katich and Usman. England had also taken a tough decision by replacing Graham Thorpe with Kevin Pietersen in 2005 and everybody knows the result of the series.

  • on November 15, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    Ponting was and is a best batsman and a best captain he was...what's wrong with those people ...r u compaing ponting with sachin..u forgot his innings in WC final against india...where was sachin that time..and don't forgot after the exit of waugh brothers macgrath warne bevan lemon hayden gillay martin ...ponting was the man who dwvlope this aussi team?? If anyone got answer tell me..who is the captain who won 2 world cup and champion trophies under his belt..did steve waugh did either taylor??? Don't count who was in the team..I think in those world cup time pakistan got the best bowling in 2003 and india got the best batting line in 2007 but were they able to win that?? Don't be silly guys just look at the stats as a batsman and captain what ricky got...I don't think so any other captain in the world would be able to achieve it..what he achieved...take ur time ponting u were and u r the best and great man....

  • natmastak_so-called on November 15, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Forget the cricketing world,ponting WAS and IS, not even 'most important man' in aussie team.when he was in his prime ,it was mcgra and warne who mattered more and now bhajji can play in aussie team as a batsman ,if punter is to continue.no, its not ajoke check their batting averages over last year.

  • ratdot on November 15, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    @Vivek G Nair - Tendulkar successful as captain and batsman? What planet are you on? Ponting did all he has done despite criticism from press and others and the rigours of captaincy...and he was not only arguably the best batsman int he world all this time but was also without doubt the most successful captain Australia or the world has seen...including Bradman.

  • dsig3 on November 15, 2011, 10:43 GMT

    I am a fan of Punter. Not because he was a wonderful batsmen. Because he captained us in a unbelievably tough time and took more flak than anyone in Australian sport. He took it all on the chin and never complained. He is the spirit of the Australians of old, he just doesnt have the ability anymore. He doesnt need to chase records like others. Tendulkar plays in a bubble, he cares not for winning or losing, only himself. Punter bleeds for his team and country.

  • RandyOZ on November 15, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    IS JL a good coach? I don't know. I would've much preferred Steve Waugh in there!

  • TheLoneStranger on November 15, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Ponting is no more "vital" to the Australian team than I am. He's either too arrogant or too stupid to realise that he's been there for 12-18 months too long. Here is the team which should be taking the field in the next test: Katich, Warner, Khawaja, Clarke, Hussey, Watson, Haddin (last chance!), Johnston (last chance!), Harris, Siddle, Cummins/Lyon (depending on the type of pitch). Unfortunately for Australia, the selectors still aren't man enough to admit their mistake in dropping Katich, so I suppose we'll be stuck with Hughes yet again.

  • Scube on November 15, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    @RandyOz: I completely agree with you that Sachin has been an unavoidable liability for long for the Aussies, but the Aussie selectors can't do anything about it except for praying for his early requirement! But, here most of the fans (mostly Aussies) are expecting your selectors to act on something which is within their control! Can you make out the difference!

  • EddyEhmed on November 16, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    @indianzen ... you should not compare Oz's with India, they have been on top slot for almost 2 decades with there Fire power and India wasn't able to retain the top slot for one year.... by the way they have been outstanding on foreign tours, while India has been OUT STANDING lolzz

  • TheOnlyEmperor on November 16, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    The Oz cricket establishment will keep Ponting going just as they did Border and Steve Waugh. Nothing will please them better than to see Kallis, Dravid and Sachin all retire. For all you know they may event want Jayawardhene and Sangakkara to retire so that there is no immediate threat to Ponting. Yeah, at an average of sub-53, Ponting is indeed the greatest batsman ever ... from Tasmania!

  • on November 15, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    Its time for Cricket Australia to sack Ponting and giv a chance to in form players like Katich and Usman. England had also taken a tough decision by replacing Graham Thorpe with Kevin Pietersen in 2005 and everybody knows the result of the series.

  • on November 15, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    Ponting was and is a best batsman and a best captain he was...what's wrong with those people ...r u compaing ponting with sachin..u forgot his innings in WC final against india...where was sachin that time..and don't forgot after the exit of waugh brothers macgrath warne bevan lemon hayden gillay martin ...ponting was the man who dwvlope this aussi team?? If anyone got answer tell me..who is the captain who won 2 world cup and champion trophies under his belt..did steve waugh did either taylor??? Don't count who was in the team..I think in those world cup time pakistan got the best bowling in 2003 and india got the best batting line in 2007 but were they able to win that?? Don't be silly guys just look at the stats as a batsman and captain what ricky got...I don't think so any other captain in the world would be able to achieve it..what he achieved...take ur time ponting u were and u r the best and great man....

  • natmastak_so-called on November 15, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Forget the cricketing world,ponting WAS and IS, not even 'most important man' in aussie team.when he was in his prime ,it was mcgra and warne who mattered more and now bhajji can play in aussie team as a batsman ,if punter is to continue.no, its not ajoke check their batting averages over last year.

  • ratdot on November 15, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    @Vivek G Nair - Tendulkar successful as captain and batsman? What planet are you on? Ponting did all he has done despite criticism from press and others and the rigours of captaincy...and he was not only arguably the best batsman int he world all this time but was also without doubt the most successful captain Australia or the world has seen...including Bradman.

  • dsig3 on November 15, 2011, 10:43 GMT

    I am a fan of Punter. Not because he was a wonderful batsmen. Because he captained us in a unbelievably tough time and took more flak than anyone in Australian sport. He took it all on the chin and never complained. He is the spirit of the Australians of old, he just doesnt have the ability anymore. He doesnt need to chase records like others. Tendulkar plays in a bubble, he cares not for winning or losing, only himself. Punter bleeds for his team and country.

  • RandyOZ on November 15, 2011, 10:07 GMT

    IS JL a good coach? I don't know. I would've much preferred Steve Waugh in there!

  • TheLoneStranger on November 15, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Ponting is no more "vital" to the Australian team than I am. He's either too arrogant or too stupid to realise that he's been there for 12-18 months too long. Here is the team which should be taking the field in the next test: Katich, Warner, Khawaja, Clarke, Hussey, Watson, Haddin (last chance!), Johnston (last chance!), Harris, Siddle, Cummins/Lyon (depending on the type of pitch). Unfortunately for Australia, the selectors still aren't man enough to admit their mistake in dropping Katich, so I suppose we'll be stuck with Hughes yet again.

  • Scube on November 15, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    @RandyOz: I completely agree with you that Sachin has been an unavoidable liability for long for the Aussies, but the Aussie selectors can't do anything about it except for praying for his early requirement! But, here most of the fans (mostly Aussies) are expecting your selectors to act on something which is within their control! Can you make out the difference!

  • satish619chandar on November 15, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    @5wombats : 8 innings is called as ALL SUMMER? Lolll...

  • thebarmyarmy on November 15, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    Keep batting Punter. Shortly your average will be under 50!! LOL

  • on November 15, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    @RandyOZ...well,all have their views.But ponting better than tendulkar?AND WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM?JUST GO AND LOOK AT THE RECORDS OF TENDULKAR AND PONTING IN THE LAST TWO YEARS...

  • on November 15, 2011, 3:32 GMT

    Behind the scenes they should have a chat to punter but maybe he brings more to the team than just scoring runs. A guy with his will to win comes along only a few times per generation. Punter will not leave the pitch if there's something that could be done for Australia. Hopefully that can rub off to one of the new group in Khawaja, S Marsh, Cummins, Lyon

  • Arun14 on November 15, 2011, 1:43 GMT

    Australia was so successful for two decades because the older players were weeded out even if they were in decent form. Case in point - Steve Waugh who was more legendary than Ponting. There should be some urgency in bringing players such as Warner and Khwaja into the playing XI. Right now it all seems so un-Australian. This side will at best stay in the middle rung.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 15, 2011, 0:50 GMT

    Ponting should be allowed to go out on his own accord. He needs to be given a chance to go out on a high. He should be allowed to play the next Ashes and set the record straight. It's really sad to see him suffer and struggle like this. What a Legend he's been over the years. Just because he didn't score well over the last year or so, people have forgotten what a Legend he's been for Australia and for the World of Cricket as a whole. Players like Ponting, Dravid, Lara, Kallis (team players) are impossible to be replaced by any young pretenders.

  • RandyOZ on November 14, 2011, 22:05 GMT

    Punter is way better than Tendulkar. Whereas Tendulkar has been a liability for years Punter is finally coming to his end. I hope he can reproduce in the second test but if not it's time to go old mate.

  • brittop on November 14, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    Unfortunately I am coming to the conclusion that it is time for Ponting to retire. I keep thinking he'll come good soon, but that's been going on too long. He has always been a bit of a dicey starter, but now, even when he gets a start, he can't seem to continue to a good score.

  • NSWGroucho on November 14, 2011, 20:53 GMT

    What will it take for Australian cricket to get over this idea of needing Ponting in the team? He has not scored a century for over two years and there are TWO very able replacements. If he is such an influential part of the team, what does that do to Clarke's captaincy. Enough of this - Ponting has to go.

  • Winsome on November 14, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    It's really not healthy for Punter to have hero-worshippers around him like Langer. At least Hilditch is nearly gone, he was one of the worst.

  • zico123 on November 14, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    the fact is you can't go on forever with Punter anyway, he is 36 and out of form for more than 2 years, there is absolutely nothing to lose to give Usman Khawaja a run. if Punter was in great form it would have still made some sense to persist with him, but not now when he has hit rock bottom.

  • zico123 on November 14, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    had he not missed a test match in Srilanka, we would have never known how good Shaun Mash is, same way if he doesn't make way for Usman Khawaja, you won't know how good he is

  • zico123 on November 14, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    well if Punter is in the team because he has 12,500 Test runs, in that case he has to go on forever, past is history, the present Punter is no great, he is out of form for last 2 years, he is very old, it is time to give a youngstar a run to develop.

  • 5wombats on November 14, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    @Gupta.Ankur - dude you have an enduringly funny sense of humour. The wombats watched SRT all summer and he MOST CERTAINLY did not "perform under pressure". Unlike Dravid, who did.

  • zico123 on November 14, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    Ponting says he cannot see the finishing line. He is not lying. how can he see it when he passed it 2 years back, he should have been dropped 2 years back

  • zico123 on November 14, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    Australia would remain at ranking 4-5 till they carry very old Punter and the most inconsistant bowler in the world Mtchel johnson who delivers once in 6 months, both should have been dropped 2 years back. Punter is selfish and will never hang his boot on his own, selectors will have to drag him out.

  • on November 14, 2011, 17:57 GMT

    The current Australian team is in self doubts. Before McGrath and Warne retired, they had an incredible bowling attack who fired at the same time. If McGrath didn't get you, Gillespe would, else Kasprowicz or the great Warnie. At the same time all other teams except South Africa were having one or two good bowlers and the rest at best pedestrian. This confidence that "we can take 20 wickets any time" and that "the opposing team bowling is no big deal" rubbed on the batsmen. This is no more the case. Hence Aussie batting is failing.

    Those who say that Ponting is greater than SRT or Dravid should note that Ponting never faced the great Aussie attack (just like Sir Viv never faced the great WI battery). Batsmen win matches sometimes but mostly they set the tone or save matches - it is the bowler who win the matches.

  • on November 14, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    with introduction of DRS, I think Ponting will not be able to build his innings. His shuffle across the stump always put him in trouble. All his so called great innings' were built on refusal of plumb LBW's by field umpires

  • on November 14, 2011, 16:02 GMT

    Of course langer would say something like this they're friends for petes sake Langer would want ponting in there as long as possible.Its about time people are finally saying get rid of Johnson i've been saying that now for about 2 years

  • mits6 on November 14, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    @ towfeeq Dear people all over the page are saying the same thing Ponting WAS a match winner. and ur stats are largely due to that golden period. And by the way do you think batsmen sud not score in first 3 innings?

  • IndianaJones79 on November 14, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    I think Aussie supporter are still in illusion. This article is on Ricky, so please don't bring Sachin in this. But because you already did that, Your guy was on his prime only for 5 years of his 15 years career. Where does he scored most runs during that time, answer is in aus only. In his prime also he could not play high quality swing bowling/spin bowling. Please dont insult cricket by comparing him with sachin and lara. On their prime and when they were not in prime, they dominated world for 20 years against all opposition and all grounds. If you call Sachin flat track bully then your Ricky Pointing is not even world class batsman. As he is avg 18 on those flat tracks. Ricky scored runs in Aus only(Avg.60). Outside Aus(Avg 47 only.). When he was in his prime? when all great bowlers were disappearing. Even he could not play Harbhajan/Harmision who were not gr8 bowlers. So respect your legend and stay in illusion if you want, but dont respect next best after Bradman.

  • on November 14, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    Pontig is and never should be the guy held responsible for the team failings. Give the guy a break, he was a wonderful captain who stood down when the time was right. He is in a slump, but he understands his game better than anyone else and thus knows when to stand down. There are baggages in the team such as, Haddin (I don't really remember the last time he performed as a batsman and not young either), Johnson (How long will he keep struggling..), siddle (don't really know what exactly is his worth). Set these things right CA, ponting will be back to his prime ....

  • mits6 on November 14, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    What immediately came to my mind was Mark Taylor , who after poor show in India said godbye to cricket scoring Triple century against pak . They sud know their time to call off , and not killing the chances of youngsters . Indian selectors are somewhat better in this regard dropping underperforming harbhajan their most experienced bowler. ponting is no longer that fearsome and is underprforming for quite sometime . 2-3 matches more and based on his performance, how he help his team sud decide his future.

  • on November 14, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    We love Punter, Probably this slump will motivate him to make a triple hundred in the next match. Comparing him to Sachin is awful, both are genius but different.

  • on November 14, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    @Rahul Reddy Yes guys like Rahul Dravid and Kallis have indeed rescued their teams when necessary , anyways Pontings 1362 runs at 54.58 (4 tons and 5 50s) in 4th innings show how "INCONSISTENT" match winner he is over Sachin tendulkar who has 1515 runs at 39.8 (3 Tons and 7 50s) . Mind you Dravid - 1507 runs at 41.8 (1 ton 9 50s) Kallis - 1231 runs at 43.96 (1 Ton 10 50s) + 40 wickets at 26.94 (Two 5w)

  • on November 14, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    Ponting is one of the greats... please hit form quickly and start competing with Sachin again..... u deserve to have a ceremonious exit. Don't let the selectors to take actions !!

  • bumsonseats on November 14, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    thought this was a piece on ponting. ponting in his prime i would take over tendulkar every time the important thing was though in his prime which should have ended when the captaincy was taken from him. dpk

  • bumsonseats on November 14, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    well if he has great influence on the team why oh why did they take the captaincy away from him, trust langer opens mouth and put both feet in it. dpk

  • Jaatitude on November 14, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    Ponting Pls Go on .I hope i could wish that players lyk Sachin,Ponting,Dravid,Lara Wasim n many more would never retire but that's the truth How can we get Kohli,Marsh,Bravo If they don't quit. Ponting is a Legend and will remain so

  • on November 14, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    Ponting says he cannot see the finishing line. He is not lying. One cannot see it when he is standing on it. :)

  • on November 14, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    Take ur own time to come to form buddy.But i tell u'all if he comes to form please send sachin home.Because sachin is also in his form slump. Since he played ever since he was born he could play since then he's been good no doubt but he has also had that times like our punter.GO on I support Ponting. GOOO PUNTER ! he's gonna rock.

  • on November 14, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    If as Langer says it; Ponting is a great influence in the team, then it is clear to see why the team is failing. If the lead influence is failing, 6then isn't it natural and logical for the ones under such influence to follow the leader. Come on guys; understand the dynamics.....

  • on November 14, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    What's wrong with those guys who saying he should be axed..how u can compare ponting with sachin..ponting won 2 world cup and championships under his captancy aand u can see he performances in those tournaments..sachin ever performed as a captain..its a hard time for ponting but he is a great captain great batsman and still got enough skills..its really hard to achieve what he achieved already ...he is still the best

  • Okakaboka on November 14, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    So is Haddin also an important part of this team as well? He should do the right thing....and fake an injury to get Wade over there. If he plays in the next test....I'd bat him at number 11. Why don't our selectors make the correct call? Haddin, Ponting and Johnston should be sent home ASAP!

  • on November 14, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    I have seen many people rating Ponting over Dravid.Dravid performed always when team is in danger.What about Ponting now team is in danger where is he,always in pavilion.

  • on November 14, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    when he lost the captaincy he should have left and make way for the new

  • DINESHCC on November 14, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    RAHULCRICKET007: WHETHER YOU SAID IT FOR FUN OR NOT? BUT IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN DEFINITELY.

  • Gupta.Ankur on November 14, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    Ponting was able to score runs when he had other players who could win matches for australia......

    After retirement of gilly,warne, mcgrath,hayden...... he hasn't been able to perform under pressure like a Dravid or Tendulkar...

  • on November 14, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    I wouldn't doubt that Ponting will recapture some form of old, but right now, the gap is still widening between himself and Tendulkar. Sachin has crossed 15000 test runs. Anyway, Australia, don't throw away Ponting just yet. He's still a class player.

  • PrasPunter on November 14, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    As a die-hard of fan of the Punter whose nickname i am proud to have as my login-name , it hurts to watch this Legend struggling like this !! Punter, have one last stab - and if it doesnt come through in the 2nd test, call it a day Sir !! You tried your best , but unfortunately, results do matter and no one else knows that better than you !! Someone who has played in 100 Test-wins doesnt deserve an ignonimous exit !! It should a very graceful one rather !!

  • on November 14, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    Where is Simon Katich ?

  • TheLoneStranger on November 14, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Justin, you're kidding yourself, mate. Ponting should be axed along with Hughes, whose technique is still woeful, and both Warner AND Khawaja brought into the team. What's more, Simon Katich should also have been flown over to take his rightful place in the team, thus giving us the following side: Katich, Warner, Khawaja, Clarke, Watson, Hussey, Haddin (last chance), Johnson (last chance), Harris, Siddle, Lyon or Cummins (depending on the type of pitch). 12th Man: Cummins or Lyon. As someone has already pointed out, Ponting won't go until he's kicked out, so have some courage and do it!!!

  • on November 14, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    No alternative of Ponting.He is the legend and still he can play well and make centuries

  • Perplexed on November 14, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    As A Saffer I'm quite happy that Ponting and Haddin are playing in this series - two cheap wickets in the top 7!

  • Aussasinator on November 14, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    Ponting has drifted well down from mediocre to liability now. Moreover, he's interfering with the grooming of talented youngsters. I've never been a fan of his but today one can clearly see that he is the great Australian burden and the captain is only putting up with him; guys like Watson hate to see him in the team and guys like Khwaja sit dumbstruck on the sidelines not knowing what they are doing wrong. Ponting won't go until he's thrown out.

  • rahulcricket007 on November 14, 2011, 6:10 GMT

    DEAR AUSSIES DON'T WORRY . I M SURE PONTING WILL COME IN FORM AGAINST INDIA . AFTER ALL WE HAVE THE BEST BOWLERS IN THE WORLD THAT CAN HELP ANY BATSMEN TO COME IN FORM .

  • indianzen on November 14, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    India believes solely on spin and Australia never believes on Spin, thats the problem, you got to trust your slower bowlers more than pacers.

  • anver777 on November 14, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    Certainly Punter is important for Aus, currently i don't think anyone is there to replace him.......still couple of years cricket is left with him & his experiences will play a good part until Aus groom the best XI for future..........I feel he will shine with the bat in 2nd test & prove that he still belongs to Aus team !!!!!!

  • MinusZero on November 14, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    @ foursandsixes. Ponting has already achieved mediocrity. His average has slid a long way. He has gone from 56.68 to 52.72 in just 23 innings. After having played so many innings to drop an average by 4 points in 23 innings suggests something is badly wrong.

  • Meety on November 14, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    @Marcio - agreed with most of what you said, but 47 is worse than awful. A strong message must be sent. To me, Warner should not of been the one on the plane, it should of been a REPLACEMENT wicket keeper. I've been a long time supporter of Haddin, but he's blown as far as I am concerned. Rather than " recency effect" - I'd say we need a sacrificial lamb - & to me it's Haddin.

  • on November 14, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    Khwaja is better option than Warner for replacing Marsh. Hope Khwaja will get the opportunity.

  • takenaback on November 14, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    I think it would be foolish to sack Ricky Ponting mid South African tour. He has always walked across his stumps and has made a lot of runs doing so, sometimes he has been found out but if you don't get him out early he can make the opposition pay. They were ridiculously cocky in the second innings but there was some very good bowling so it wasn't all to Australia's batting, South Africa were fantastic. Langer is correct in saying strong cricket teams are cyclical and I quite look forward to what Australia might have come 2020. Everybody focuses on individual selections the problem is Australia just don't have the talent at this point in time! That will change be patient! I suspect South Africa will win convincingly again, great bowling attack, great batting attack and overall a joy to watch if I was South African. Australia can take a positive out of the first test match and that is it couldn't have been worse, the only way is up and I only hope they have reached their trough.

  • EddyEhmed on November 14, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Punter should decide to retire now, else CA will be looking towards PCB as they are expert for humiliating their Heroes... Punter you were great all your carrier.. Hats off to u for serving your country will high collars... ;)

  • cindian on November 14, 2011, 5:10 GMT

    This is still a Ponting dynasty and friend Langer is praising friend Ricky--this is not good for Aussie cricket. They need a good stable opening pair one is Simon Katich for test cricket---but it seems Simon had falling out the Ricky group. Watson need to bat #5---Captincy should go Simon Katich---Ponting should not be on the team.

  • Marcio on November 14, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    If he is so vital to the team but can't bat anymore, then hire him as assistant coach, and give someone else a run! But overall I don't think too many changes are required. Johnson has to go, and probably Haddin as well. Ponting too, sooner rather than later. But too many people are overreacting to the last game, and one awful period of 24 hours. The team has been going well in all formats since Clarke took over, and won 4 of the 6 games on this SA tour before the test. I would wait till the next test before making any major changes. But I predict they will bounce back strongly in the next game. All this crap about how terrible everything is is just way over the top. SA were simply awful in parts of this last game too (and AUS brilliant in parts), but all anybody remembers is the last 24 hours of it. Its called the recency effect in psychology.

  • ajayrcs on November 14, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    Everyone knows whoever does any sorts of work "Experience matters"

  • jazzaaaaaaaa on November 14, 2011, 3:44 GMT

    And this is why people in Australia say CA is a boys club. Langer is great mates with Ponting and lands an assistant role, Ponting is now out of form and has been for a while so Langer comes out and says he needs to be in the team. Says it all really.

  • Kaze on November 14, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    *yawn* Ponting will play until he is 45 and take every batting record

  • on November 14, 2011, 2:31 GMT

    Ponting should decide when is a good point to hang his boots but he shouldn't wait for too long though. I am sure he wants to emulate a Dravid or a Sachin and hope that he will get a 2nd chance. But it doesn't happen with all the cricketers. So, it is extremely important for him to evaluate all the options and go out on his terms.

  • satish619chandar on November 14, 2011, 2:24 GMT

    Sad.. But Punter has everything on wrong side.. Age, Current form, Mode of dismissal!! His modes of dismissals are the ones which indicate his ageing.. Missing straight ball and getting LBW/Bowled, Mistiming his favorite shot - PULL(Being the best in it) and getting caught often!! He himself need to decide his future.. The legends like them deserve the authority to decide their retirement on their own!

  • Dashgar on November 14, 2011, 1:28 GMT

    Warner will surely play, why else would they bring him in given they already have Khawaja as a replacement for Marsh. Ponting needs to be dropped after this series. He isn't making runs and the team hasn't been developing enough lately despite him being there constantly. No player is above being dropped, not even Ponting. The time has come.

  • whitesXI on November 14, 2011, 1:21 GMT

    If a woefully out of form 37 yr old is so vital to the Oz team, then test cricket is dead and buried in this country. No-one wants Ponting to go out on such a bad note after all he has done, but it's becoming ridiculous and more importantly Oz cricket is suffering because of it.

  • bobagorof on November 14, 2011, 0:52 GMT

    The side gets dismissed for 47 and the coach isn't sure if that's the bottom? I guess we can go lower - 9/21 at one point, so we just need to tell Siddle and Lyon to play like a number 9 and 11 and we'd be there. The trouble with the selectors over an extended period is that they have stuck with guys when they should have been dropped. The time to bring in new blood is when a player is out of form. Ponting has been a great servant over the years but he's been out of form for such a long time that it's hard to say that he's still a classy player. Form is temporary, Class is permanent, but Ponting has not scored for 4 years - what does that tell you? He has been a weak link for a while, it's really time to bring in a younger guy while Hussey is still there to stabilize the order and pass on his knowledge. Move Watson to 4 so he has time to change mindset between batting and bowling. And get rid of Johnson, who has been almost as bad as Ponting.

  • foursandsixes on November 14, 2011, 0:35 GMT

    Ponting will still get a few opportunities - this series and against India, and if he doesn't produce runs, he will retire. He's a great player and will not want to go down into mediocrity.

  • on November 14, 2011, 0:22 GMT

    @Navdeep14 Jaques went out with a fairly serious back injury and wasn't invited back once he recovered. It took him a while to find form again, as I remember, when he returned to NSW but he's still playing now and made a century in each innings in a match last season. Averages 49.74

    I'd definitely prefer him to Hughes but then Hughes hasn't done much to demand he keeps his place and there's no shortage of openers in Australia. Chris Rogers, Dave Warner, Ed Cowan...

  • Meety on November 13, 2011, 23:39 GMT

    Sorry Justin, but if I were the Batting coach of a team just rolled for 47, I would be staying pretty quiet. It is not a highlight on your resume for the Head Coach role! @Navdeep14 - Phil Jaques was a top replacement for Hayden & Langar, he was a guy who could of averaged 50+ for his test career. Unfortunately for him & Oz, he had marital problems & back surgery & has never been the same since. He struggles to average 30 in Shield cricket & his last county stint his average was about half of what it usually was (30 instead of 60). I was a fan, but he is not an option.

  • kurtrudder on November 13, 2011, 23:37 GMT

    Langer nailed it, game/situational awareness was seriously misjudged & as usual it was our batting thinking its still the glory years & not being willing to knuckle down, grind & guts out a lead which would have put their foot on the throat of this series.

    England showed how it was done during the ashes last summer. Langer needs to take a good chunk of responsibility since he is our BATTING coach

  • landl47 on November 13, 2011, 23:20 GMT

    I'm not sure what kind of influence Ponting is in this team. He didn't seem to have any effect when Aus were collapsing; Aus have lost series to India and England and are on their way to losing against SA; Ponting's own form has been dismal so he's not leading by example. In what positive way is he influential?

  • RandyOZ on November 13, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    @samincolumbia - no chance. Any Aussie who plays for England knows they are never welcome back in Australia. On a serious note, I see this as the problem: the number 3 is meant to come in and sure up the batting after an early wicket. With our two cowboy openers this happens OFTEN. Punter is no longer able to settle things down and, as much as I hate to admit it, has been contibuting to our collapses. There's two ways to fix this. a.) We get someone like Marsh in opening or b.) Ussie comes in where Punter is at 3. This way we have some sort of stability in our top 3.

  • Navdeep14 on November 13, 2011, 22:05 GMT

    Hey can somebody tell me what happened to Phil jaques as he was a good opener, never saw him after his hundred against West Indies , heard got injured , Is he retired or not because he is better than hughes

  • samincolumbia on November 13, 2011, 21:28 GMT

    Ponting should retire from Australian cricket and join the English team!!

    The English are always looking to poach players from other nations!! Ponting could actually lead the england team to win the 2015 World Cup, which they have not managed to win even once!! LOL.

    At the very least, the english would not be humiliated by Ireland and Bangladesh like they did in the year's WC!!

  • IndianaJones79 on November 13, 2011, 21:05 GMT

    "recent lack of runs"??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!Does "Recent" means last 4 years since 2007?

  • spence1324 on November 13, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    Sorry off topic here! But is any one else aware of the 8 match 20-20 (unofficial) series between kenya and Namibia being played at the 'Wanderers' LOL

  • samincolumbia on November 13, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    "Unbelievable influence"...LOL. That probably explains the Ashes thrashing, failure to defend the WC and the most recent one in Cape Town.

  • 5wombats on November 13, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    @Angshuman Mitra Mustafi - the wombats do not like Ponting, but he will flog india "bowling" to all parts in the forthcoming tour! Then he can take his retirement whilst at a high point. He is worthy of a good send off - he's earned it. Been a great player for Australia, but it's time to go.

  • YadavAjay on November 13, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Give the guy a break??? You can see others too like watson(poor opener may be of bit more use lower down the order, because he gets out early and put pressure on others) Brad Haddin(I can't understand why he is in the team) Hughes(are not there any better than take katich back) Mitch(couldn't recall the last time he was a match winner except one test in last Ashes) Clarke:one good innings for such a long time enough

  • Vasi-Koosi on November 13, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    Talks of retaining Ricky are all fine, why is no one considering Simon K. The real regular opener. Yes, pup might have a problem with him; but sport is about setting aside personal differences and having the right set of people to improve. I have always said that Watson scoring 50-70 when Simon scores a 100 is great; but when Simon has a duck, Watson has not scored; Simon is no longer in the picture and Watson elevated to Vice Captaincy, and he does have a problem switching off/on. I used to think Indian Selectors were the only dumbos; looks like they are everywhere...

  • SnowSnake on November 13, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    Sure, he is an incredibly important part of to why Australia is losing recently.

  • on November 13, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    dont worry ricky, If not this series next series by net seris against India you will get into form... only threat would be ishant!!! If u dont get into form by that series,there is no fun watching matches... India will pull it off easily....

  • on November 13, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    Just a reminder Ricky Ponting has been averaging 26.00 in the last 16 innings (even his tormentor in chief Harbhajan Singh averages 39.00 in the last 16 innings). Incredible that he still does not see the finishing line. Stranger that Australian selectors still dont see the finishing line. May be they want to honour the agreement made with him to give him an honourable exit after facing percieved week attack of NZ and India this winter !!!

  • desi1 on November 13, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    People are putting unnecessary pressure on Ricky. Whole of the team is under performing. Have more faith on him. He has looked good many a times, just a matter of time that he starts scoring. It has been a long, very long lean patch but it will be unwise to reject Ponting without suitable replacement. Are there good replacements?

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on November 13, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    Anyone got an average innings score in Tests since Langer became batting coach? Ponting is not the only one in danger.

  • Winsome on November 13, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    What else would you expect Justin, BNG, to say?

  • trueindian on November 13, 2011, 17:48 GMT

    Yeah he is a good bloke...But ponting u are not far from being thrown away when others find form and get more and more chances. its simple u have to score or just get aside intelligently. and yeah he scored more than 12000 runs..... that was in past. Will they matter now? Langer, what about you? You also faced the same heat! Face it. Ponting is not staying nw for long. Either he HITS or he is HIT, mind you!!

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  • trueindian on November 13, 2011, 17:48 GMT

    Yeah he is a good bloke...But ponting u are not far from being thrown away when others find form and get more and more chances. its simple u have to score or just get aside intelligently. and yeah he scored more than 12000 runs..... that was in past. Will they matter now? Langer, what about you? You also faced the same heat! Face it. Ponting is not staying nw for long. Either he HITS or he is HIT, mind you!!

  • Winsome on November 13, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    What else would you expect Justin, BNG, to say?

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on November 13, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    Anyone got an average innings score in Tests since Langer became batting coach? Ponting is not the only one in danger.

  • desi1 on November 13, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    People are putting unnecessary pressure on Ricky. Whole of the team is under performing. Have more faith on him. He has looked good many a times, just a matter of time that he starts scoring. It has been a long, very long lean patch but it will be unwise to reject Ponting without suitable replacement. Are there good replacements?

  • on November 13, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    Just a reminder Ricky Ponting has been averaging 26.00 in the last 16 innings (even his tormentor in chief Harbhajan Singh averages 39.00 in the last 16 innings). Incredible that he still does not see the finishing line. Stranger that Australian selectors still dont see the finishing line. May be they want to honour the agreement made with him to give him an honourable exit after facing percieved week attack of NZ and India this winter !!!

  • on November 13, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    dont worry ricky, If not this series next series by net seris against India you will get into form... only threat would be ishant!!! If u dont get into form by that series,there is no fun watching matches... India will pull it off easily....

  • SnowSnake on November 13, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    Sure, he is an incredibly important part of to why Australia is losing recently.

  • Vasi-Koosi on November 13, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    Talks of retaining Ricky are all fine, why is no one considering Simon K. The real regular opener. Yes, pup might have a problem with him; but sport is about setting aside personal differences and having the right set of people to improve. I have always said that Watson scoring 50-70 when Simon scores a 100 is great; but when Simon has a duck, Watson has not scored; Simon is no longer in the picture and Watson elevated to Vice Captaincy, and he does have a problem switching off/on. I used to think Indian Selectors were the only dumbos; looks like they are everywhere...

  • YadavAjay on November 13, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    Give the guy a break??? You can see others too like watson(poor opener may be of bit more use lower down the order, because he gets out early and put pressure on others) Brad Haddin(I can't understand why he is in the team) Hughes(are not there any better than take katich back) Mitch(couldn't recall the last time he was a match winner except one test in last Ashes) Clarke:one good innings for such a long time enough

  • 5wombats on November 13, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    @Angshuman Mitra Mustafi - the wombats do not like Ponting, but he will flog india "bowling" to all parts in the forthcoming tour! Then he can take his retirement whilst at a high point. He is worthy of a good send off - he's earned it. Been a great player for Australia, but it's time to go.