Australia in Sri Lanka 2011 August 15, 2011

Ponting 'fresher' without captaincy burden

ESPNcricinfo staff
102

Ricky Ponting has said he is enjoying his new batsman-only role after giving up the captaincy following Australia's disappointing World Cup earlier this year. Ponting handed the leadership to Michael Clarke but decided against retiring, and it's a move that has allowed him to concentrate solely on his run-scoring.

In the last year of his captaincy, Ponting struggled to have an impact with the bat, and averaged 30.23 in one-day internationals and 29 in Test cricket. But half-centuries in his two innings in Sri Lanka over the past week have been encouraging, especially an unbeaten 90 that helped Australia to an eight-wicket win in Hambantota on Sunday, where Ponting earned his first ODI Man-of-the-Match award in 18 months.

"It probably has," Ponting said when asked if relinquishing the leadership had allowed him to focus more on his batting. "The World Cup didn't go to plan as I would have wanted. The one-day series in Bangladesh that I played when I wasn't captain, I felt like a played well there and I've started this series well.

"There's no doubt that for me to just be able to turn up to training and focus on my batting and my fielding only has been nice. I've been able to be just that little bit fresher and I've felt in control in the two games I've played here so far. Hopefully that continues for the rest of the tour."

By playing on after giving up as skipper, Ponting bucked the trend of recent Australian captains: he was the first since Kim Hughes nearly 30 years ago to play on. At 36, Ponting remains unsure how long he has left in the game, but he said for the time being he was keen to keep making runs at No. 3 and help Clarke in any way required.

"I thought long and hard about the decision I made," Ponting said. "Once I'd come to the conclusion that I wasn't the captain of the side anymore it was up to me to just be the best batsman that I could be for the side and another pair of ears for Michael if he ever wanted it. As the No. 3 batsman in the side there's a big responsibility for me to score runs more often than not. So far things have started well."

Australia have hardly been challenged in the opening two ODIs and they could wrap the series up with victory in the third match in Hambantota on Tuesday. So far their batsmen haven't had too much trouble against the Sri Lankan attack, so much so that the No. 6, David Hussey, has not yet been required to bat.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on August 18, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    @ hyclass - I saw a photo of Gilbert in his delivery stride - he was all arms! The Don also said his action was illegal, but I think in todays game, he probably was within tolerance! @ 5wombats - I remember "Grandma Gooch & Grandpa Gatting" - they were overweight & unfit. Ponting & Huss are amongst the most fittest players in the game. There's an old saying I first heard when playing Rugby League by Jack Gibson, "If you're good enough, you're old enough". In more demanding physical sports like the American NFL, Quarterbacks play on well into their 40s, (IF THEY'RE GOOD ENOUGH!). Punter is no longer captain so hopefully he will be retained "IF HE's GOOD ENOUGH!"

  • AdY113 on August 18, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    @spiritwithin :

    What these stats dont tell u is How often he ripped apart The Aussie batting order comprising of the Haydens ,The Gillys and The Pontings..How many Bowlers are there who have single handedly taken down Australia with just one furious spell of Fast bowling..The Aussies feared him and they had every reason to do so..And as far as the stats goes Have a look at Freddie Flintoff stats and let me know if he was such a fuzz about considering those ?? Stats dont always tell the picture mate..Shane bond was the other one i remember who troubled the Aussie batting line up..To me Ishant was over rated l and besides Australia in 2008 and Australia in 2001-02 are two different things..!

  • ali00 on August 18, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is a legend because he is batted No.3 in both ODI and Tests throught his career and Sachin Tendulkar can't do bat at no. 3

  • ali00 on August 18, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    i think Ricky Ponting is still the best batsma.

  • hyclass on August 17, 2011, 5:16 GMT

    Bravo @Meety...very well said! Outside India,Tendulkar is held in the highest esteem and ive never heard his claims to greatness called into question.The only negative comments ive ever read about Tendulkar,have all come from Indians.One only has to look to the current England series to see it on Cricinfo.I wonder when they will understand that they are doing their cause far more harm than good and that constantly hijacking inappropriate forums lacks grace.As for Bradman,I had heard of him shooting 75 when he was close to 80.I can say with confidence,that my current golfing prowess is similar to yours @Meety and i doff my hat to him.I find his conversion rate,over his entire career,of 50s to 100s,incredible.I know of no other cricketer at any level,from club onwards,who scores 2 X 100s for every 50.Amazing.In a segway,I wonder how fast Eddie Gilbert was.Bradman played him in 1931 and described him as far faster than Larwood or anyone else he ever saw.Larwood was timed at around 160kmh.

  • Meety on August 17, 2011, 2:40 GMT

    @rahulcricindia - sorry to offend you but you but you were clearly wrong in your first comment. His 100s to matches played is twice what you stated - still very good. The Don had a nation wanting a hero during the depression & then post war years - so matey he had heaps of pressure, he had a nation riding every ball he faced - like SRT! Nobody in Oz detracts from SRTs achievements, the only people that cheapen his outstanding career is people like you who bag other players to make SRT seem even better. Poor sportsmanship!! @hyclass - don't forget he (The Don) could beat his age in a round of Golf even in his late 80s as well!!!!! I've never cracked 90!!!!!!

  • hyclass on August 17, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    With respect @PeterBourke,the comments on SL attack are valid because the WC team had both Murali and Malinga contributing to their result.Neither of those two were available for the first ODI in SL.The comments regarding the performance of Mendis in the T20,should be focusing more on the game of T20 itself as a root cause for such bowling figures,rather than pitch conditions.The real danger in facing the variety of Mendis,is in having to score off every ball.Once that instant scoring pressure is removed,he becomes far more manageable.It highlights why 20/20 is such a danger to traditional cricket.Pontings runs are valid,but after 4 years of indifferent form,he has some convincing to do.All his innings since the Ashes have been ODI on the sub continent.His failings have been against pace and bounce,neither of which the sub-continent tests.Like Buchanan,i think he was heavily overburdened as captain and its no coincidence that his form lapse coincides with this administrations tenure.

  • maddy1986 on August 16, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    hai still ponting goes on strong and i am not accept that england are the strong bowling line up in the world they need to prove in the subcontinent and also in south africa . then for me they cant able to live in the top for too long south africa is the tight contestant and the magicman man dhoni at any time will come back with his magic wizard

  • Aussasinator on August 16, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    He's only thinking of himself even now, as he was during his captaincy. it wont be too long before the visible burden called Ponting will be so obvious on the TEAM THAT THEY'LL HAVE TO SEND HIM OFF IN THE INTEREST OF AUSTRALIAN CRICKET!

  • zico123 on August 16, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    Ponting has past his prime, he may get away in Srilanka in absance of Murli, but he will surely struggle in south africe against the quicks, can't undestand CA kept Ponting but let go in-form Katich, should have been the other way round.

  • Meety on August 18, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    @ hyclass - I saw a photo of Gilbert in his delivery stride - he was all arms! The Don also said his action was illegal, but I think in todays game, he probably was within tolerance! @ 5wombats - I remember "Grandma Gooch & Grandpa Gatting" - they were overweight & unfit. Ponting & Huss are amongst the most fittest players in the game. There's an old saying I first heard when playing Rugby League by Jack Gibson, "If you're good enough, you're old enough". In more demanding physical sports like the American NFL, Quarterbacks play on well into their 40s, (IF THEY'RE GOOD ENOUGH!). Punter is no longer captain so hopefully he will be retained "IF HE's GOOD ENOUGH!"

  • AdY113 on August 18, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    @spiritwithin :

    What these stats dont tell u is How often he ripped apart The Aussie batting order comprising of the Haydens ,The Gillys and The Pontings..How many Bowlers are there who have single handedly taken down Australia with just one furious spell of Fast bowling..The Aussies feared him and they had every reason to do so..And as far as the stats goes Have a look at Freddie Flintoff stats and let me know if he was such a fuzz about considering those ?? Stats dont always tell the picture mate..Shane bond was the other one i remember who troubled the Aussie batting line up..To me Ishant was over rated l and besides Australia in 2008 and Australia in 2001-02 are two different things..!

  • ali00 on August 18, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is a legend because he is batted No.3 in both ODI and Tests throught his career and Sachin Tendulkar can't do bat at no. 3

  • ali00 on August 18, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    i think Ricky Ponting is still the best batsma.

  • hyclass on August 17, 2011, 5:16 GMT

    Bravo @Meety...very well said! Outside India,Tendulkar is held in the highest esteem and ive never heard his claims to greatness called into question.The only negative comments ive ever read about Tendulkar,have all come from Indians.One only has to look to the current England series to see it on Cricinfo.I wonder when they will understand that they are doing their cause far more harm than good and that constantly hijacking inappropriate forums lacks grace.As for Bradman,I had heard of him shooting 75 when he was close to 80.I can say with confidence,that my current golfing prowess is similar to yours @Meety and i doff my hat to him.I find his conversion rate,over his entire career,of 50s to 100s,incredible.I know of no other cricketer at any level,from club onwards,who scores 2 X 100s for every 50.Amazing.In a segway,I wonder how fast Eddie Gilbert was.Bradman played him in 1931 and described him as far faster than Larwood or anyone else he ever saw.Larwood was timed at around 160kmh.

  • Meety on August 17, 2011, 2:40 GMT

    @rahulcricindia - sorry to offend you but you but you were clearly wrong in your first comment. His 100s to matches played is twice what you stated - still very good. The Don had a nation wanting a hero during the depression & then post war years - so matey he had heaps of pressure, he had a nation riding every ball he faced - like SRT! Nobody in Oz detracts from SRTs achievements, the only people that cheapen his outstanding career is people like you who bag other players to make SRT seem even better. Poor sportsmanship!! @hyclass - don't forget he (The Don) could beat his age in a round of Golf even in his late 80s as well!!!!! I've never cracked 90!!!!!!

  • hyclass on August 17, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    With respect @PeterBourke,the comments on SL attack are valid because the WC team had both Murali and Malinga contributing to their result.Neither of those two were available for the first ODI in SL.The comments regarding the performance of Mendis in the T20,should be focusing more on the game of T20 itself as a root cause for such bowling figures,rather than pitch conditions.The real danger in facing the variety of Mendis,is in having to score off every ball.Once that instant scoring pressure is removed,he becomes far more manageable.It highlights why 20/20 is such a danger to traditional cricket.Pontings runs are valid,but after 4 years of indifferent form,he has some convincing to do.All his innings since the Ashes have been ODI on the sub continent.His failings have been against pace and bounce,neither of which the sub-continent tests.Like Buchanan,i think he was heavily overburdened as captain and its no coincidence that his form lapse coincides with this administrations tenure.

  • maddy1986 on August 16, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    hai still ponting goes on strong and i am not accept that england are the strong bowling line up in the world they need to prove in the subcontinent and also in south africa . then for me they cant able to live in the top for too long south africa is the tight contestant and the magicman man dhoni at any time will come back with his magic wizard

  • Aussasinator on August 16, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    He's only thinking of himself even now, as he was during his captaincy. it wont be too long before the visible burden called Ponting will be so obvious on the TEAM THAT THEY'LL HAVE TO SEND HIM OFF IN THE INTEREST OF AUSTRALIAN CRICKET!

  • zico123 on August 16, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    Ponting has past his prime, he may get away in Srilanka in absance of Murli, but he will surely struggle in south africe against the quicks, can't undestand CA kept Ponting but let go in-form Katich, should have been the other way round.

  • 5wombats on August 16, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    Including players who are well past their sell-by date - players who are just hanging on because they think their history and "reputation" warrants it hoping their "form" will return is a SURE sign of abject mediocrity. Don't believe me? I well remember the "Grandma Gooch & Grandpa Gatting" Ashes of 1994/5. It was embarrassing. And this is the space that ponting occupies now. It's toe curling. As long as ponting is there World Cricket has nothing to fear from Australia; his presence says; "We are mediocre" or worse; "We haven't learned anything, we haven't moved on". @RAVI_BOPARA; he already has and he already did, serveral times.

  • RAVI_BOPARA on August 16, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    LET PONTING PLAY AGAINST THE BEST BOWLING ATTACK IN THE WORLD (ENGLAND) AND NO DOUBT HE WILL FAIL!!!!!

  • spiritwithin on August 16, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    @AdY113..ur great Akhtar averages a lowly 43 in aus where the pitches aids pace bowler more than in subcontinent,Akhtar's overall Average against Aus was 35 at an economy rate of 3.78,does'nt look like Aus were troubled by Akhtar not does it looks like Aus batsman feared Akhtar with those stats....

  • spiritwithin on August 16, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    there is no better sight in world cricket when ponting is in form,his hooks & pulls were the best i have seen from the day i started watching cricket,hope he also gets a new lease of form which sachin got after being awfully out of form during 2005-2008,if he plays two more years with his earlier form we fans r in for a great treat....wont be long when we see the likes of kallis,sachin,dravid,sachin and few other being retired from cricket,enjoy these last 2-3 yrs of these legends,in this series aus has to untangle some mystery of mendis coz some of the aus batsman r not seen uncomfortable with his variations but other than that its very difficult for SL team to take 20wickets in the tests...

  • rahulcricindia on August 16, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    @hyclass we indians never mention about our great player untill and unless other nation fans try to disgrace him....if one can not appreciate other team great player , they should not disgrace them ....................SRT too played for his team when his father died during the WC99 and that too got the century 143 against kenya just after and dedicated it to his deceased father..... that shows the toughness of the man and deep passion for his life in the name of game called CRICKET!!!!!!!!!!

  • AdY113 on August 16, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    as far as Punter's batting problems with Pace bowlers are concerned , I dont think he infact Any Aussie in their Golden Age period around 2000 feared anyone except 'The King of Pace' Shoaib Akhter !! For those who say Ishant troubled him just go back and have a look at What Shoaib used to do back there ..

    ~AdY~

  • redneck on August 16, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    @landl47 sri lanka with or without murali dont make much difference to australians! go look at muralis record against us, you poms couldnt play him but he had a bowling avg of 100 in the last series against us! mendis is more of a threat! however since you bought up ponting not making your all time 11 i would also asume you couldnt pick any english batsman in your 11 either as pontings record is far superior to anything that england have produced or recruited from africa or ireland! i mean for a country that invented the sport its been well over 50 years since you could last say with any seriousness about england being no.1. england play more tests than any team has in the past or does at present but yet how many or their players have ever gone past 10000 test career runs or 300 wickets or any international record for that matter! im not trying to claim aus are better than the current english team you have beaten us home and away but claiming no.1 without beating south africa is hollow

  • hyclass on August 16, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    @Meety...The one statistic that stands out of all others when looking at Bradman,is his conversion rate of 50s to 100s. Its around 2 x 100s for every 50. Astonishing to believe that it was accomplished over a 20+ year career. When you factor in that he was equally at home playing Davis Cup standard tennis and would have made the squad but for cricket,his reputation grows.When its realised that he took the 35/36 season off due to recovering from surgery and ill health,took up squash to stay fit and won the Sth Australian Open,It defies comprehension.He was also a top level golfer,able to make a hundred break at billiards,a year after meeting Walter Lindrum,a competent boxer,an excellent piano player,a fine after dinner speaker,a great captain and a prodigious responder to correspondance from fans and you have a trully unique human being.

  • hyclass on August 16, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    @rahulcricindia.If you wish to retain credibility,refrain from making emotive statements about Sir Donald Bradman and confine yourself to facts.The cricketing world is well aware of the stature of Tendulkar.He is universally admired.Why then is are so many Indians insecure about his achievements?There is no need to mention him at every turn in attempts to diminish other great players accomplishments.You do he and yourselves a great disservice.Bradmans feats were accomplished throughout his career under the highest of duress.He endured the Great Depression,Bodyline and long absences from family.Pitches were uncovered,sight screens werent used in England,sports drinks,sun protection and phones were non existent,he suffered sea-sickness,a 6 year war split his career,he almost died in 1934,helmets didnt exist and he had to work jobs to earn money.He toured in 1948,age 40,for his countries sake.He remains far ahead as a cricketer,batsman and one of the greatest sportsmen ever to have lived.

  • ishratjamaal on August 16, 2011, 5:35 GMT

    One of the great batsmen ever played in history... I ranked him way above the tendulkar....he has scored the runs when its required the most.....can't forget the inning in 2003 world cup final.... truly he is the champion...

  • on August 16, 2011, 5:13 GMT

    i am gald that the batsman whom i admire is back into run i am looking forward how well he performe against srilanka in test series, as a bataman he do not have to prove himself his record does it for him, but as a matter of confidence it is important to see how well he bats in srilanka against spinner.........the comming year is very important for this batting great

  • landl47 on August 16, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    Ah, great to see the good old Aussie fans, living on memories. Ponting WAS a great player. He wouldn't quite make my all-time eleven (a Mr. Bradman would keep him out), but he'd probably get in the 2nd XI. The thing is, he's 36 and his form over the last 2 years has dipped. He's playing against an attack which is not one of the best in the world (there's a big difference between Sri Lanka with Murali and without Murali) and a couple of half-centuries doesn't make him a world-beater again. Playing at home, against a top-class attack, he failed dismally. @redneck: in the West Indies, at the start of 2009 (the last time England lost a test series- they've won 8 and tied one since then, how have Aus been doing?) Tremlett was not in the side and Anderson did not play in the one test England lost. He did play in the two tests in which WI hung on for draws with 8 and 9 wickets down. Oh, and he got 24 wickets @26 in Aus, with Tremlett getting 17 wickets @ 23- in case you'd forgotten.

  • Meety on August 16, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    @Eli Mahendra - last time in Oz? Last time was in India & Punter scored 3 times in the 70s from 4 digs & was run out one of those times, Sharma got him once! Raina was MORE deadly having run him out & got him LBW (I think). In Oz is a different matter, he was the first pace bowler I've ever seen get on top of Punter thru pace, bounce & aggression. A few yrs later Roach gave him a torrid working over, so did Aamir.

  • on August 16, 2011, 4:36 GMT

    I wonder what Smith is in for. Does not get even one over to bowl, isnt expected to do miracles at no. 7. What skill is he in for ?

  • hyclass on August 16, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    It should be evident,that Pontings 4 year loss of form since the start of the 2007/08 season-2995 runs from 76 innings,3 not outs,average 41,exactly coincides with this administration.Buchanan cited the unacceptable burdening of Ponting with multiple extraneous responsibilities as being potentially responsible for his lapse.He mused that those burdens were normally the non playing staffs domain.Its good to see Ponting earning a place with runs.Since the Ashes,all his matches have been ODI on low slow sub continent wickets.Pontings failings have been against pace and bounce,neither of which is tested here.I look forward to SA for a more definitive answer.Congratulations to England on reaching No.1 in test rankings.Those are ICC Rankings,based on facts,not opinions and the consequence of results and quality over time,not one or two series.Just as Australia took 4 years to fall to number five under this administration,England accomplished their success with sustained quality over time.

  • hmabbas999 on August 16, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    All Asian teams have been losing.. doesn't matter whether the opponents are Aus, Eng or Zim, Asian teams can't get their best out for some reason.. all the best, cricket is a funny game, anything can happen, you enver know!!

  • rahulcricindia on August 16, 2011, 4:18 GMT

    @samreen khan ...might be sachin is not in good form but surely he will come into his ownin last test and in the ausie tour he is not gonna be sitting on 51...

  • hris on August 16, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    @land47 its funny how u avoid talking about england's performance in Sub continent during the world cup and how pathetic ur so called world class bowlers were. u just keep boasting of how well they did in seamer friendly conditions in eng and aus. world class bowlers are those u play well in different conditions. Anderson is not a world class bowler, he cant bowl in sub continent pitches and in ODI's as well. the same goes for Tremlett, broad maybe apart from swann who i believe is a very good spinner. as this aus team has struggled in Test matches then so has this English team fared badly in ODI's.

  • rahulcricindia on August 16, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    @Meety..you know one thing when we talk about SRT you guys found no other player of his standred ...so you bring don in the the discussion ...have you seen him play cricket ...you only talk his stats ...that is right....people says SRT has got many centuries but most of them are are in less pressure situation .....one can say same about don ...so it is the stats that tells you the story....that is why SRT is greatest in the contemporary players by far....

  • RDLikesCricket on August 16, 2011, 2:53 GMT

    Ricky has been a champion batsman thru out his career. Though I felt that he should've continued being captain for atleast a year, i am happy to see him adjust well to the batsman only role and contribute. He paced his innings well against SL twice and he is still the #1 batsman for the Aussies. Do well Ricky.

  • on August 16, 2011, 2:29 GMT

    Ishant seemed to have Ponting's number the last time they faced each other. Will be interesting to see how they fare when India goes to Australia

  • redneck on August 16, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    how can anyone ever doubt having ponting in the team? he is class and that always comes out on top if given time. @landl47 4 days as the no.1 team and look at your head swell! england just like india have nothing to brag over south africa with! never mind the sub continent go beat south africa home or away! and funny where were your beloved anderson and tremlett when england lost a 4 test series in the west indies? or drew 1-1 in new zealand??? mate england can talk up their no. 1 ranking all they want, apart from the ashes and india you still have 6 other sides to beat abroad and thats still why retaining the series' england currently hold! no where near being rightful number 1! south africa is closer in my book at present!

  • on August 16, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    @landl47 - how do scorecards show you the pitch conditions? Wouldn't looking at the pitch report show you the conditions? The scorecard just shows that Aus pace bowled really well, SL batsmen (good players of spin) held off the spinners reasonably comfortably, as did the Aus batsmen. Regarding playing the best bowlers on offer, your Eng team did not stand up very well to the Aus bowling attack of 2006/07. The form of players and teams will go up and down, and yes right now your team is playing at top form and on that form is deserving of the #1 rank. But to basically argue that these innnings from Ponting don't really matter because its a second rate bowling attack a) show that your knowledge of cricket outside the world of Eng is limited (SL are the runners up of WC so must be able to bowl pretty well) and b) undermines the true class of a player like Ponting who stands up when the team needs runs more often than not (2011 WC v Ind; 2005 Ashes @ Edgbaston; 2003 WC final to name a few)

  • Willow25 on August 16, 2011, 1:47 GMT

    Where are all the Sri Lankan Ponting bashers gone. Good on ya Punter, big year to come for you.

  • CandidIndian on August 16, 2011, 1:11 GMT

    Hats off to Ponting , he certainly is a great player,also he is a big match player just like Gilly, who can forget his great innings against out team in 2003 world cup final and then recent quarter final.

  • Meety on August 16, 2011, 0:50 GMT

    @rahulcricindia - as much as I hate to be talking about SRT, as this is an SL v Oz article featuring Punter, I have to correct your claim that SRT scores a ton every 3rd match! That is false - only Bradman had statistics that good (century every 3 INNINGS). Can't be bothered checking, but SRT has played over 150 tests & over 400 ODIs not sure how many T20s, the 100 centuries, (should he get there - LOL!), would be once every 6 matches!!!!! If the Don had played 600 Internationals he would have well over 200 International centuries - LOL!!!!!!!!!!

  • RandyOZ on August 16, 2011, 0:38 GMT

    @landl47, although you're wrong because Mendis took 6 on the same pitch as Meety alluded to, if that was indeed the case, then I'm pretty happy because according to people on here Punters weakness is against pace and he handled Malinga with ease! The fact why the pitch "did not seem to be turning" has got nothing to do with the pitch itself, its to do with the fact the Watson, Punter and Clarke are all good players of spin! You are a typical pom trying to blame SLs performance as the reason we are winning. Fact is it is our good batting against spin and pace. @rahulcricindia, what has "30 times SRT got out between 90-100" got anything to do with the fact that he cant play a second innings when the team actually needs him? How many of those 90-100 were second innings?? @Meety, I tend to agree with your comments re Ponting and 12 months of ODIs, unless he can keep the good form up. As long as he plays the next Ashes series in England and belts them around the park again i'll be happy!

  • EnglishArrogance on August 16, 2011, 0:37 GMT

    Nice to see the SL posters able to give Ponting credit where it is due. Perhaps it's because they don't feel threatened by any comparison with Tendulkar.

  • gothetaniwha on August 16, 2011, 0:30 GMT

    Theres one big diference between Punter and SRT at the moment - punter looks fit - he always does , unlike SRT

  • RandyOZ on August 16, 2011, 0:14 GMT

    @landl47, although you're wrong because Mendis took 6 on the same pitch as Meety alluded to, if that was indeed the case, then I'm pretty happy because according to people on here Punters weakness is against pace and he handled Malinga with ease! The fact why the pitch "did not seem to be turning" has got nothing to do with the pitch itself, its to do with the fact the Watson, Punter and Clarke are all good players of spin! You are a typical pom trying to blame SLs performance as the reason we are winning. Fact is it is our good batting against spin and pace. @rahulcricindia, what has "30 times SRT got out between 90-100" got anything to do with the fact that he cant play a second innings when the team actually needs him? How many of those 90-100 were second innings?? @Meety, I tend to agree with your comments re Ponting and 12 months of ODIs, unless he can keep the good form up. As long as he plays the next Ashes series in England and belts them around the park again i'll be happy!

  • VivGilchrist on August 16, 2011, 0:11 GMT

    It's just your smugness landl47. Maybe wait until England win three World Cups in a row and dominate the Ashes for 16 yrs before you get cocky.

  • Meety on August 15, 2011, 23:15 GMT

    @ landl47 - whatever happenned in the Ashes is irrelevant - apart from the fact he was caught down the legside TWICE in the series & it was 7 times he got out not 8. There is very little evidence to suggest that England can repeat their excellant 18mths in the sub-continent. If their W/Cup form is any guide, (you brought Test stats into an ODI series), England are likely to fail EPICALLY! Then you are more or less saying that pitches are seaming pitches. You did this by the outstanding method of looking at the scorecards of the 2 ODI games. You missed the fact that the FIRST ODI was played at the same ground that Mendis spun 6 wickets in the T20 game prior. The T20 series was universally acknowledged that it was played on a spinning track, suddenly when Oz do well its a seaming strip, despite the fact MJ has a great sub-continent record????? I DO AGREE that it would be good if SOME Sri Lankan pitches were more favourable to pace as it WOULD IMPROVE overseas results for Sri Lanka .

  • MeraBharatMahaan on August 15, 2011, 20:36 GMT

    About our great Sachin: http://blog.yahoo.com/_YC2PEQ34OS7WNX4ARD2QMHSFCQ/articles/117004/index?bb=0A

  • keralite on August 15, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    I can't understand why people are saying that was a scratchy innings.....And about the Sri Lankan bowling- they may not be the best. But in those conditions they are very difficult to play. But that was not Ponting anyway near his best.... Let's see how does against South Africa..

  • Blazedragon on August 15, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    @rahulcricindia: And guess which batsman (and I actually mean batsman) has the most ducks in cricket?

    Also guess how many times your hero got out between 0-10.

  • on August 15, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    @rahulcricindia.. i was only talking about the 100's in test matches... not test +odi 100s.. sachin stands at 51 test 100s and ponting at 39 100's.. sachin ages 38+.. and ponting 36+.. its just a matter of consistent form.. and if u do the math its very possible right.??.. and about the odi's.. agree that sachins record stands like an everest..

  • rahulcricindia on August 15, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    @Pras_Punter, RandyOZ....30 times SRT has got out between 90-100...most by anyone who hold the cricket bat ....had he got half of them which he lost between 90-100 i do not know how far he would have been......by the way ponting did got hundred in WC 2011 against india but in loosing cause of no use....so do not blame SRT for same old thing its not his fault that he is good enough to score a century nearly every 3rd match.....

  • on August 15, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    Strangely the strongest criticism of Punter has come from the Aussies. Ponting is a damn good batsman and still an outstanding fielder , even if he is nursing his finger and will never field in the slips. I feel that the last three innings that matter ( ignore the Bangladesh ones) which started with the world cup loss to India have demonstrated that he still has fuel in his tank. Maybe the best thing that has happened to him is the fact that he lost the captaincy. Now Clarke is in charge and seems good, based on the limited evidence. But I am surprised at Sri Lanka have succumbed so readily. Clearly they are unable to face sustained pressure that the Australians have dished up and the Sri lankans seem to be in awe of Watson"s bludgeoning power. Srilanka like India in england, seem to be shell shocked and while India is out for the count, Srilanka can and must bounce back in the one dayers and also in the test matches. But I am happy for Punter. sridhar

  • landl47 on August 15, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    @VivGilchrist: just enjoying myself. I'm not sure where you're going with that analogy; Ponting HAS faced Anderson and Tremlett, recently, and failed. Cook's done pretty well facing the bowlers who are playing today- picking out four of the best bowlers in history, none of whom Cook faced, and speculating how he might have done against them isn't quite the same thing, is it? In fact, carrying your analogy to its logical conclusion, Bradman wasn't that hot, because he never faced them either. You'll have to do better than that.

  • landl47 on August 15, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    @hris, RandyOz: I've looked at the scorecards for the first two ODI's and the wickets seem to have been prepared for seamers. Australia has rolled over SL for 190 and 208 and it has been the seamers who have done the damage. Australia's spinners (if you can call them that) have only 4 wickets in the two matches. Sri Lanka's spinners haven't managed to get Australia out and in the second match SL only got two wickets, both by the seamers. The argument that Sri Lanka bowls better at home clearly doesn't apply in this case. All credit to the SL board if they are preparing wickets with something in it for the seamers- and if that's true when England visit this Winter, look out Sri Lanka.

  • westindiancanadian on August 15, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    He will remain the worst ever ambassador of cricket but boy can he bat! It's hard to separate the two elements if you are a purist. one of the prettiest cover drives in history.

  • landl47 on August 15, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    @Meety: Sri Lanka's attack might be (slightly) better suited to their home conditions, but England knocked over Ponting in his 8 test innings in his home conditions for 113 runs and 51 of those were at the end of a dead game. You do THAT math.

  • Naren on August 15, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    @Kannan: What do you think about Tendulkar and Dravid? Why target Ponting alone about expiry date etc? I know in India nobody respects the expiry date in anything anyway.

  • PrasPunter on August 15, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    @rahulcricindia , Punter is not a chaser of records - he is a team-first man, unlike....

  • popcorn on August 15, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    Ricky Ponting has the umque distinction AS CApTAIN of having the HIGHEST NUMBER OF TEST WINS AMONGST ALL OTHER CAPTAINS IN TEST HISTORY, and the ODI Captain who HAS CAPTAINED AUSTRALIA TO TWO WORLD CUPS AND ONE CHAMPION'S TROPHY. He has himself been in three World Cup wins. He is also the second best run getter in Tests and ODI history. He brings imense value to the Team.Ian Chappell says he is the best batsman in the Australian side. Goodoh, mate, we need you to get back our Number One Ranking in Test Cricket.

  • mathewjohn2176 on August 15, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs, I see more comments from srilankans in eng -ind series compared to aus - Sl series.They were all over aussies when they won useless t20 and now no where to be seen here after 2-0 in odi series.Regarding England series,last two test mainly saved by rain ,which led to not enough overs bowled as per quota ,otherwise it could have been easily 3-0 like how England thrashing India now.sit back and enjoy while aus continue to thrash srilanka whereas England thrash india in the sametime.

  • RandyOZ on August 15, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    @landl47, do you not remember the world cup when anderson got spanked all over India? Punter is playing well in those conditions and would take anderson, tremlett, et al to the cleaners. You get to #1 on the back of Southern Africa and suddenly you're the greatest since the WI, haha! @Deepanjan Datta, as long as that second wind doesn;t follow Tendulkar's lack of ability to play a second innings knock when the team actually needs it most @rahulcricindia, if you only included centuries that matter you could count Tendulkars on your hand! @Kannan Venkateswaran , so you're the world leading on when someone is meant to retire? That's great because i've been looking for an expert such as yourself. I would've thought if you score a 50 and 90* in consecutive games against a World Cup finalist in their own backyard that you still have a few miles in you yet??

  • on August 15, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    If there was someone better to take his place he would be gone but this current Aussie team is quite weak compared to teams of old so he can still pull on those pads.

  • vj3478 on August 15, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    I see slide in Sachin .... so Ponting should peak again:)

  • BnH1985Fan on August 15, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    Ricky is Ponting Australia in the right direction!! Tough captain (albeit former) and an awesome batsmen. With more time he would have been the owner of all major batting records, but even as it stands he is phenomenal! We are privileged to watch him play.

  • sachin_vvsfan on August 15, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    Looks like ponting has got the re-birth every one wanted. Now that he is relieved off captaincy and i am looking forward to see this good old batting star esp in Test matches. @ Herath-UK please do not bring sachin or india to every article. Cricinfo has had enough. So lets just restrict this to SLvs AUS

  • Ianbaggygreen on August 15, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    @Green_and_Gold & @Rooboy, well said! It would be great if more support was shown. Punter knows all too well he is required to put in the runs now or he will lose his place. The unfortunate incident with Katto highlighted this. I thought Punter played a solid innings. Soft hands against the spinners, was quick on his feet when giving himself room to executing the cut shot and when he played an attacking shot against the pace on offer, he did so with fluency. His form is good and he looks relaxed out there. Would be great if support to a bloke who has worked his butt off for our team was shown, rather than just constant trash talk.

    At the same time, come the Tour against South Africa andmatches back home in Australia on faster tracks, it will be good (and tense) seeing how he handles the pace with his reflexes. My gut feeling is good for his season ahead.

  • rahulcricindia on August 15, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    @Herath-UK...the fact is that you do not like indian player and especially the fact that currently the best batsman in the world is from india...SRT , that is why you talked about sachin who is irrelevant in this topic as it is only about ponting ....it is just jealousy i can sense!!!!!

  • indian_rockers_2015_champs on August 15, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    no doubt pointing is a great batsmen ........he scores hundreds in a big matches....well i hope australia will wash them 5-0 srilanka deseves it .............cmmon srilankan fans wru hiding ur team is pussy cats even at home ha ha ha.......

  • Valavan on August 15, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    First all Indians think about their Big 3 who will be just useless out of subcontinent. if Ponting is passed prime, what about Laxman. Ponting was bad in tests in the ashes, what better did sachin and other 2 did better now in England to almost similar attack. Indians instead of peeping in Aus SL forum, should think about the overcooked legends who are well exposed in english conditions.

  • on August 15, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    so often happens,a captain plays much better if he plays just as a batsman and his captaincy is given to some one else,this is fact,because there are no pressure or expectations,i myself played as a captain for my club and university,and also just as a player,the difference is huge.im happy for ricky,he is really talented.

  • on August 15, 2011, 11:10 GMT

    He is past his expiry date. By playing him, Australia have exposed their resourcelessness

  • rahulcricindia on August 15, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    @ Shameer Khan SRT 99 centuries , ponting 69 centuries ...you are talking about ponting surpassing SRT no way!!!!!! SRT too has lot of cricket left in him.......

  • VivGilchrist on August 15, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Landl47, why do you come here just to bang on about England? By your logic, Cook is not a good batsman because he never faced Lillee, Ambrose, Garner, and Marshall....

  • Herath-UK on August 15, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    It is great to see ricky is in good nick ,now that other responsibilities taken away;in fact I see he is a better batsmen than much vaunted Tendulkar who struggles when confronted with good bowling,the best example is the current ongoing series. However his latest two ODI inningis were done under no pressure and would not reflect true form.I think Mahela should open ODI innings with Dilshan,lately he has become a failure when comes in the middle overs,probably because he is yearning to open the batting which the selectors should understand. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • on August 15, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    had shrilanka made more runs, he would hav scored a century...

  • johnathonjosephs on August 15, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    @Rahulcricket007 sri lankan fans are all over here commenting on how good ponting is, unlike indian fans who just hide when they are losing or blame it on the unfitness. We acknowledge when we are thoroughly beaten. sri lankan fans claim they are better than India? Obviously in Tests.... Your India is about to get whitewashed by England and when SRi Lanka toured, they would have drawn the series if not for a mad 3 hour session at Cardiff.... That was when it was more cloudy and slightly drizzling too. Ball was nipping around everywhere then...

  • on August 15, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    If he is doing good against this attack, I am sure he would not have any real worries by the pace that Indian 'fast' men are capable of generating. I am looking forward to the Aus vs Ind test series already.

  • Green_and_Gold on August 15, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    @TEST_CRICKET_ONLY - I would rather make a "Scratchy" 90* than a well struck 20 any day! Give the guy a break and maybe even some support rather than saying he has to justify his place in the team - and there are plenty of other players that have to justify their places first.

  • on August 15, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    Would be good if he can go on to find a second wind like Tendulkar did in the last quarter of his career. Perhaps because he came into a world- beating team and then turned it into an unbeatable unit with some of the modern greats of the game - no one quite realizes the value his batting provides. Once the bunch of greats and very goods retired at once - he has tried his best to blood in youngsters into the team and guide them. Yes, it didn't always go to plan but he still has been a very brave captain, helmed AUS through some great times and some dicey ones and one of the very best modern day batsmen. Let's hope we watch few more of his trailblazers till he retires ..

  • stFleming on August 15, 2011, 8:42 GMT

    Well great to see a true legend back in form...The world's no.2 batsman has started scoring runs again after resigning from captaincy....Captaincy finally was making life difficult for Ponting...

  • Main_Culprit on August 15, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    Shamefull i say.... How can you let a visiting team dictate terms in the fisrt two matches of any format????? You think Aussies would be that welcoming in Australia????? Not without a fight. C'mon guyz... you need to put up a better show. After all... SL are the WC runners up!

  • on August 15, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    ponting rocks. i would like to see him winning and retiring at 2015 world cup in front of his country people.

  • Meety on August 15, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    @TEST_CRICKET_ONLY (I like your name - but I think there is a place for 50 over matches), I do NOT agree that SL's bowling is that weak - it is well suited for SL conditions. Coupled with Ozzy's so-called weakness against spin, it is fair to say Punter is entering some sort of form. Needs to be in Tests as well though! @ landl47 - mate after 30yrs in the wilderness, suddenly Englands #1 status in Tests is making you lot so one eyed. ANYBODY that follows cricket for any length of time would know that SL's attack is well suited for their home conditions. Doesn't make SL a great bowling attack - but quite difficult in their home conditions. England LOST their last ODI in SL by 10 wickets!!!!! LOL!!!!! BTW - SL took 34 wickets in 5 games IN ENGLAND, (where they are less suited), so far Oz have lost 5 wickets in 2 games. You do the maths!

  • Winsome on August 15, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    He isn't playing proper pace bowling and it is there that he has had the problems for the past few years. If he goes ok in SA, then it will be full steam ahead. though for how long is tough to answer. This attack is not going to test his reflexes.

  • Rooboy on August 15, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    lol TEST_CRICKET_ONLY ... yup, Punter only has a fifty and a ninety, off just under a run a ball, without being dismissed, against the recent World Cup finalists. Extremely scratchy I would say ... a decent player would have scored several double tons in the two matches so far.

  • on August 15, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    I'm an indian and always been a big fan of punter since the 2003 world cup.. it took me in surprise that even being a terrific captain for a prolonged period.. he was put in such a big criticism last few years.. count the no of ODI and test series he won.. sustained NO 1 ranking for a period of six years.. 2 consecutive world cup wins with no matches lost in 2007 world cup scoring 300+ in every matches they bat first.. 16 consecutive test match cricket win.. his batting is always a class one such example is this 90 notout in second ODI.. i hope he scores good centuries in following series and take over the record of sachin's 100s in tests..

  • hris on August 15, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    @land47 the english attack does look good now, i'll give u that. but it looked rubbish in indian conditions during the world cup(anderson got carted all over even by ireland ---struggled to hold his place in the team, and tremlett and others looked pedestrian. so it a good attack but still not a world class attack if it so poor in sub contienent conditions. overall england is still the best team in test. thats all that matters in the end i guess.

  • anver777 on August 15, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    Certainly Ponting is looking fresher & confident..... with this two good knocks in ODIs i think he's much relaxed & playing freely at the moment !!!!! though i'm supporting SL Aus looks a better team than SL in ODI's.....

  • dutchy on August 15, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    Australia used to have ex captains playing on a lot more - Ian Craig, Richie Benaud, Bob Simpson, Ian Chappell, Graham Yallop and Greg Chappell all did it successfully. If he is in form it will be a big factor against India.

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 15, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    Ricky is a wonderful player. There is a certain change in his body language. I am not sure an aging Ponting is the way to go for Australia's future BUT for as long as he scores runs he's vital. It will be interesting to see how he goes about in the tests though. His record isn't very good in the subcontinent. Good luck to him and the team anyway.

  • s3ns3 on August 15, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    He's spot on in saying he has started off well, but it will be interesting to see what he does when the going gets tough for the team and not just for him. His natural tendency will be to play to win and thus put himself under enormous pressure. But still nice to see Ponting just being a player in the team putting aside the ego that he carried as a captain. Way to go, Ponting.

  • Rakesh_Sharma on August 15, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    Ponting is one of the greatest. Remember that more than 50 tests he has been Captain of Australian team and performed with all the responsibility. I am pretty sure if he was just a player like Tendulkar he would have excelled still better.But Ponting is a man who likes responsibility and his resistance to shed captaincy showed. Another thing is he does not play for records.Hope he fires in the last few years and make up for the lost time.

  • NIPPY_89 on August 15, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    Disappointing result for the lankans. The fact is that the sri lankan batting depends on dilshan, mahela and sangakkara. If they dont score runs it becomes very difficult. The middle order seems nonexistent. The way some of the players eg: mathews, sanga got out was very disappointing as well. The Ausies have been truly a class apart in this odi series so far and looks like they will wrap up this series comfortably.

  • PrasPunter on August 15, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    Fantastic to see my Punter scoring runs like this !! And for those who failed to notice things, though Punter needed 20 out of the 25 runs required for his century, neither Pup or Punter seemed to bother about it. For them, to take us safely beyond the finishing line mattered the most rather than individual records . Thats the way we play, we the Aussies. We may not be in the best of our test form, but for sure, I see some good signs of us coming back to our best. Congrats Boys, well played. A good team effort. Just a beginning this. Way to go !!

  • landl47 on August 15, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    Ponting has also been helped by not having to face Anderson and Tremlett. It's amazing how much easier it is to face second rate bowling instead of top class. Just ask India.

  • on August 15, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    Very nice to watch a great player bating very well... he played sri lankan spin attack very well . . . he's coming back into action..Best of LUCK Ricky.

  • robheinen on August 15, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    Good to see Ponting back in the runs. He's a class player, but forgot that due to the extra duties. You can't properly serve two masters, as the saying goes and this is a showcase for it. The other showcase happens to be in the same series, but with the opposing side. It's time to lift the captaincy from Dilshan and get him back to batting again. It would make for more attractive matches, I bet.

  • on August 15, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    very nice to see ponting Bating well again. . .great player.. Best Luck Ricky.

  • TEST_CRICKET_ONLY on August 15, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    And let's not forget he is batting against one of the weakest attacks in world cricket and still looks scratchy. He has a long way to go before he justifies his place in the test team.

  • Meety on August 15, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    IMO - this is EXACTLY the reason why Punter had to stay on. This was to see whether the Master Batsmen still resided within him, free of any captaincy baggage. I'd prefer that he retires from ODIs in the next 12 mths - then at least another 12mths (form permitting), in Tests. Great batsmen don't just fall out of trees. At the moment there are probably only 4 truely great batsmen playing - SRT, Dravid, Kallis AND Ponting. Far easier to have a return to form Ponting than wait for another one like him. His ODI ave for the calendar year is now over 50, so signs are that he is coming back to some sort of form. With an in-form Ponting (averaging over 50 in tests), Oz WILL climb the rankings much faster than many believe.

  • gzawilliam on August 15, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    Its great to see ricky back to his best with the bat again. The way he drove on the up through the offside was a sight to behold. He looks fresh indeed and also a bit more free of burden than before.

    I think we will see ricky back in the top 5 batsmen in the world by the time india come to australia.. Then they are in for it. As he gets better pace bowling in grade cricket than what india can provide.

  • on August 15, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    Punter is easily the best batsmen in the world, still I feel that he should focus on tests and give yougsters a chance to settle before the 2015 WC. the youngster walking in at no 3 has a huge shoes to fill and he needs time to settle in.If ricky does that i can bet he can contineu to play cricket untill the age of 39 or 40. Playing both formats could prove costly for punter.BTW, i am an Indian but love the aussie cricket a lot that i support them even when they play against india

  • Buggsy on August 15, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    This is definitely promising. Before he was burdened with the captaincy, Ponting was one of the most prolific and dangerous run scorers in the game. He should never have been given the job in the first place - Warnie should have taken over from Waugh and Clarke from there. Here's hoping he returns back to his old aggressive ways, even if he only has a year or two left in him.

  • rahulcricket007 on August 15, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    now where all the srilankans fans are gone ? you call that you are better than india . now look at your performance . can't play 50 overs twice on the home grounds in batting friendly conditions . at the start of the series you were saying that we will easily win against aussies . however i can see aussies will easily win this series by 4-1 or 5-0 . ponting is my favourite aussie batsman after hayden . he is back in the form and i will hope he will click in test series too so australia will win the test series too. GOOD LUCK TO THE AUSTRALIAN TEAM FROM AN INDIAN FAN and i hope both austalia and india willl regain there form .

  • GerardB on August 15, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    Great to see a champion fight back!

  • on August 15, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    Glad to hear Ponting will play on. He is one of the best batsmen of all time. Although I am Sri Lankan and support my team, it's a pleasure watching Ponting at his best. I still remember his world cup final in South Africa, where he belted the Indian bowlers all over the park.

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  • on August 15, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    Glad to hear Ponting will play on. He is one of the best batsmen of all time. Although I am Sri Lankan and support my team, it's a pleasure watching Ponting at his best. I still remember his world cup final in South Africa, where he belted the Indian bowlers all over the park.

  • GerardB on August 15, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    Great to see a champion fight back!

  • rahulcricket007 on August 15, 2011, 4:04 GMT

    now where all the srilankans fans are gone ? you call that you are better than india . now look at your performance . can't play 50 overs twice on the home grounds in batting friendly conditions . at the start of the series you were saying that we will easily win against aussies . however i can see aussies will easily win this series by 4-1 or 5-0 . ponting is my favourite aussie batsman after hayden . he is back in the form and i will hope he will click in test series too so australia will win the test series too. GOOD LUCK TO THE AUSTRALIAN TEAM FROM AN INDIAN FAN and i hope both austalia and india willl regain there form .

  • Buggsy on August 15, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    This is definitely promising. Before he was burdened with the captaincy, Ponting was one of the most prolific and dangerous run scorers in the game. He should never have been given the job in the first place - Warnie should have taken over from Waugh and Clarke from there. Here's hoping he returns back to his old aggressive ways, even if he only has a year or two left in him.

  • on August 15, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    Punter is easily the best batsmen in the world, still I feel that he should focus on tests and give yougsters a chance to settle before the 2015 WC. the youngster walking in at no 3 has a huge shoes to fill and he needs time to settle in.If ricky does that i can bet he can contineu to play cricket untill the age of 39 or 40. Playing both formats could prove costly for punter.BTW, i am an Indian but love the aussie cricket a lot that i support them even when they play against india

  • gzawilliam on August 15, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    Its great to see ricky back to his best with the bat again. The way he drove on the up through the offside was a sight to behold. He looks fresh indeed and also a bit more free of burden than before.

    I think we will see ricky back in the top 5 batsmen in the world by the time india come to australia.. Then they are in for it. As he gets better pace bowling in grade cricket than what india can provide.

  • Meety on August 15, 2011, 4:54 GMT

    IMO - this is EXACTLY the reason why Punter had to stay on. This was to see whether the Master Batsmen still resided within him, free of any captaincy baggage. I'd prefer that he retires from ODIs in the next 12 mths - then at least another 12mths (form permitting), in Tests. Great batsmen don't just fall out of trees. At the moment there are probably only 4 truely great batsmen playing - SRT, Dravid, Kallis AND Ponting. Far easier to have a return to form Ponting than wait for another one like him. His ODI ave for the calendar year is now over 50, so signs are that he is coming back to some sort of form. With an in-form Ponting (averaging over 50 in tests), Oz WILL climb the rankings much faster than many believe.

  • TEST_CRICKET_ONLY on August 15, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    And let's not forget he is batting against one of the weakest attacks in world cricket and still looks scratchy. He has a long way to go before he justifies his place in the test team.

  • on August 15, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    very nice to see ponting Bating well again. . .great player.. Best Luck Ricky.

  • robheinen on August 15, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    Good to see Ponting back in the runs. He's a class player, but forgot that due to the extra duties. You can't properly serve two masters, as the saying goes and this is a showcase for it. The other showcase happens to be in the same series, but with the opposing side. It's time to lift the captaincy from Dilshan and get him back to batting again. It would make for more attractive matches, I bet.