Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane November 24, 2010

Ponting still won't put away the pull

44

Ricky Ponting isn't giving up the pull and hook shots but he's going to think more carefully about when to play them. That attitude threatens to cause Ponting even more problems than his faltering cross-bat swipes have over the past year.

Hooks and pulls are unveiled on instinct, in the split-second when a batsman judges the difference in length. Adding extra time to consider whether the shot is safe cuts down the moments needed to play it - or avoid the ball. The catch 22 could provide more chances to fine leg or sore elbows like the one Kemar Roach delivered in Perth last year, which eventually resulted in Ponting modifying an approach that has gained him so many runs.

From the moment Roach had Ponting wincing, opposition fast bowlers sensed a weakness. Instead of a solid stance, Ponting became jumpy, even though he remained determined to keep swinging. Pride and programming could not alter his outlook and he fell to cross-bat errors against Pakistan in Melbourne and Sydney, and almost went first ball in Hobart. Age and softening reflexes were blamed for his mistakes along with the painful elbow.

In the off-season Ponting attempted to eliminate the errors but he has opened his summer by pulling terminally against Sri Lanka in an ODI and last week was bounced out by Shane Watson. Watson is sharp, but not express, so by that gauge the England bowlers will be capable of adding further confusion to Ponting's dilemma.

"I have to choose the right ball to play, choose the right ball not to play," Ponting said. "Probably my biggest strength in playing the short balls over the years is making sure I'm playing the shot to the appropriate ball. In the last 12 months I've probably been a bit the other way, been a bit keen to get away and get on top of the short-pitched bowling and got out."

Mitchell Johnson thinks Andrew Strauss's pulling is also suspect so both captains will be ready for bouncers. "I've had to deal with a lot of short balls in the past," Strauss said. "I'm quite happy with my technique against it. If Mitchell wants to let us know their bowling plans a day early that's very kind of him."

Both captains are involved early in the innings, increasing the prospects of a bumper opening to the five-Test contest. Ponting is a master at starting the series with a big score and is particularly effective against England. He has opened the past two home Ashes campaigns at the Gabba with 123 and 196 in the first innings, and also posted 150 in Australia's opening reply to England in Cardiff last year.

"It's to do with the challenge you're confronted with as an experienced player and a top-order batsman and leader of your team," Ponting said. "I've always really focused on making sure that I'm right for that first innings of the series. I feel that I have a big say in how a series develops."

As the one great player in the home side, Ponting needs huge returns to lift his team and also to avoid becoming only the second Australia captain to lose the Ashes three times. "I've worked hard the last eight weeks to be right to go," he said. "Hopefully there's another hundred there for me tomorrow."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Matricfail on November 26, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    Let's face it folks, Ponting is finished. He never started Ashes as lame as he did this time. 10 runs... I mean what the hell?

  • Lees_Legends on November 26, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    @stormzeusah: your 'empire' has been built by tendulkar, dravid and laxman and in the next couple of years they will retire and your empire will perish. sadly. :'( sehwag, dhoni and khan are good players but not great and you'll struggle to win series away from home.

  • Amol_Gh on November 25, 2010, 13:00 GMT

    Sachin has S-I-X centuries in AUS playing at an average of almost 59.00. And he has T-H-R-E-E centuries in SA. Did he achieve that without hooking and pulling? It's impossible.

  • superbindia on November 25, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    Poor Australians...they cant stand the fact that India is no. 1 in tests now...so they try to comment about indians in every forums they can...in the last decade most of the matches that australia played were at home and they had some 'great' umpires like Darrel Hair, Daryl Harper, Steve Bucknor (imported from west indies), to torture the touring teams... the poor opposition were playing against 13...no wonder nobody could win there...even then south africans defeated them in test series and england and india defeated them in one-day series. Srilanka has given thrashing recently with malinga hitting a half century...LOL

  • superbindia on November 25, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    @ MR Hopeless NorthernTerritorian - For your info, the bunch that was bounced out in t20 world cups are the younger bunch who unfortunately do not get bouncy tracks to grow upon, they will learn with time....if you think the bowling attacks of eng and WI were ordinary the current bowling attack of australia is less than ordinary..useless bunch who got hit around even by Ireland in a one day match...And Indians are not going over the moon with india's no. 1 ranking, the fact is you australians can't just digest that and so in a topic that talks about ricky ponting, you unnecessarily bring the indian batsmen....so whos jealous...if you werent jealous why are you even talking about indians in this article...and australians ruling in tests in last decade was due to the fact most of the matches were played in australia and to get an umpiring decision in the touring teams favour is hopeless (99-00 & 06-07 series with india)...dont forget your stupid team is yet to win a series in srilanka

  • stormzeusah on November 25, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    @ NorthernTerritorian....there is an old saying......the grapes are sour......ever heard??????to realize search on youtube the videos of laxman pulling australians off in kolkata..or in sydney in 1999-00....or in sydney in 2004..or of dravid in adelide in 2003-04..or sachin in 1991-92...best innings in australia as they say it...to know how to take off a particular shot if its giving trouble and still excel watch sachin bashing aussies in sydney 2004.....yr "ruling" years...:P we dont go bam -bam over being no. 1...but face it mate...we are....your empire stood on mcgrath..gillespie n warne and sadly......it perished......ponting is a great player but he is now like lara in west indian sides of 1997 till his retirement......one of his kind...with no support....

  • Amol_Gh on November 25, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    I'm an Indian and I know and readily admit that The Ashes is bigger than any other Test series out there. No competition. And I hope...this time ENG send Ponting to the record books for being a captain who lost The Ashes thrice.

  • Amol_Gh on November 25, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    What makes Sachin, Dravid greater than Kallis and Ponting? Kallis/Ponting never had to face their own superb/great bowlers (Donald, Ntini, Steyn, Morkel, McGrath, Lee, Warne Gillispie, McGill). Sachin, Dravid and had to face A-L-L of them. The only great bowler they faced when playing against IND was Kumble and they never had to hook or pull him.

  • hulk777 on November 25, 2010, 6:00 GMT

    @Mark00, When sachin is smart and understands that the age has an influence in playing the attacking shots like pull and controls it, you say he thinks it as "high risk" shot. But when ponting is dumb to realize it and keep playing it and gets out. You call it as his regular shot and he will adjust. Did Sachin say to you that" I am thinking pull is a high risk shot" . Typical Australian, Biased!

  • tough_cool on November 25, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    @NorthernTerritorian - Mixing apples and oranges are you !! aint we talking about tests and specifically about players like RD, SRT and VVS, when did these three play in t20 world cups (2009 and 2010), dont try and use statistics not related to the topic just in order to get your point. You guy have not watched test cricket much if you say any of above three players cannot play pull shot coz they play it as well as any other, as for ponting being best hooker thats only coz he did not face the likes of Mcgrath, Lee, Gillespie etc. He did reasonably well against Ntini from SA, and other medium pace bowlers, but the real express fast bowlers like harmison, flintoff etc, always got his wicket

  • Matricfail on November 26, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    Let's face it folks, Ponting is finished. He never started Ashes as lame as he did this time. 10 runs... I mean what the hell?

  • Lees_Legends on November 26, 2010, 7:23 GMT

    @stormzeusah: your 'empire' has been built by tendulkar, dravid and laxman and in the next couple of years they will retire and your empire will perish. sadly. :'( sehwag, dhoni and khan are good players but not great and you'll struggle to win series away from home.

  • Amol_Gh on November 25, 2010, 13:00 GMT

    Sachin has S-I-X centuries in AUS playing at an average of almost 59.00. And he has T-H-R-E-E centuries in SA. Did he achieve that without hooking and pulling? It's impossible.

  • superbindia on November 25, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    Poor Australians...they cant stand the fact that India is no. 1 in tests now...so they try to comment about indians in every forums they can...in the last decade most of the matches that australia played were at home and they had some 'great' umpires like Darrel Hair, Daryl Harper, Steve Bucknor (imported from west indies), to torture the touring teams... the poor opposition were playing against 13...no wonder nobody could win there...even then south africans defeated them in test series and england and india defeated them in one-day series. Srilanka has given thrashing recently with malinga hitting a half century...LOL

  • superbindia on November 25, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    @ MR Hopeless NorthernTerritorian - For your info, the bunch that was bounced out in t20 world cups are the younger bunch who unfortunately do not get bouncy tracks to grow upon, they will learn with time....if you think the bowling attacks of eng and WI were ordinary the current bowling attack of australia is less than ordinary..useless bunch who got hit around even by Ireland in a one day match...And Indians are not going over the moon with india's no. 1 ranking, the fact is you australians can't just digest that and so in a topic that talks about ricky ponting, you unnecessarily bring the indian batsmen....so whos jealous...if you werent jealous why are you even talking about indians in this article...and australians ruling in tests in last decade was due to the fact most of the matches were played in australia and to get an umpiring decision in the touring teams favour is hopeless (99-00 & 06-07 series with india)...dont forget your stupid team is yet to win a series in srilanka

  • stormzeusah on November 25, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    @ NorthernTerritorian....there is an old saying......the grapes are sour......ever heard??????to realize search on youtube the videos of laxman pulling australians off in kolkata..or in sydney in 1999-00....or in sydney in 2004..or of dravid in adelide in 2003-04..or sachin in 1991-92...best innings in australia as they say it...to know how to take off a particular shot if its giving trouble and still excel watch sachin bashing aussies in sydney 2004.....yr "ruling" years...:P we dont go bam -bam over being no. 1...but face it mate...we are....your empire stood on mcgrath..gillespie n warne and sadly......it perished......ponting is a great player but he is now like lara in west indian sides of 1997 till his retirement......one of his kind...with no support....

  • Amol_Gh on November 25, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    I'm an Indian and I know and readily admit that The Ashes is bigger than any other Test series out there. No competition. And I hope...this time ENG send Ponting to the record books for being a captain who lost The Ashes thrice.

  • Amol_Gh on November 25, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    What makes Sachin, Dravid greater than Kallis and Ponting? Kallis/Ponting never had to face their own superb/great bowlers (Donald, Ntini, Steyn, Morkel, McGrath, Lee, Warne Gillispie, McGill). Sachin, Dravid and had to face A-L-L of them. The only great bowler they faced when playing against IND was Kumble and they never had to hook or pull him.

  • hulk777 on November 25, 2010, 6:00 GMT

    @Mark00, When sachin is smart and understands that the age has an influence in playing the attacking shots like pull and controls it, you say he thinks it as "high risk" shot. But when ponting is dumb to realize it and keep playing it and gets out. You call it as his regular shot and he will adjust. Did Sachin say to you that" I am thinking pull is a high risk shot" . Typical Australian, Biased!

  • tough_cool on November 25, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    @NorthernTerritorian - Mixing apples and oranges are you !! aint we talking about tests and specifically about players like RD, SRT and VVS, when did these three play in t20 world cups (2009 and 2010), dont try and use statistics not related to the topic just in order to get your point. You guy have not watched test cricket much if you say any of above three players cannot play pull shot coz they play it as well as any other, as for ponting being best hooker thats only coz he did not face the likes of Mcgrath, Lee, Gillespie etc. He did reasonably well against Ntini from SA, and other medium pace bowlers, but the real express fast bowlers like harmison, flintoff etc, always got his wicket

  • Mark00 on November 25, 2010, 4:08 GMT

    Ponting has been one of just a few contemporary batsmen with the ability to play the pull comfortably as a regular scoring shot (unlike, for example, Tendulkar for whom the pull is a "high risk" shot and very rarely used). He gets out simply because he hasnt adjusted to the changes in his body. Just like a fast bowler looses pace at a certain age due to wear on the tendons and ligaments, the batsmen also loses bat speed for similar reasons. Once he adjusts to the fact that the body isn't responding as quickly and that the feet and bat take a little longer to get to where he wants them to be, he'll be just fine.

  • SRT_GENIUS on November 25, 2010, 2:19 GMT

    Like Harbhajan, Ponting should learn from Sachin. I am really excited about Sachin in SA and big sixes on short boundaries.. proteas beware... sachin is coming!!!

  • SnowSnake on November 24, 2010, 23:26 GMT

    I think Ponting is down on confidence. Till he regains his confidence, he should restrict his pull shot. He appears to be obsessed with the shot and uses it when the opportunity presents itself. Most teams place a fielder to catch a mistimed pull shot, which has led to his downfall. Being adament on using this shot is really not going to help Ponting-- unless he times it so well to get a six and that would require some confidence. Just like bowlers mix it up in thier bowling, Ponting should mix it up when he plays short balls. Currently, he is becoming predictable.

  • South_Indian on November 24, 2010, 22:46 GMT

    @ superbindia - should have been HOPELESS INDIA ! Dont forget that even in the World T20 (2009 and 2010) ordinary bowling of WI and Eng "bounced" Ind out of the tournament. You forgot so soon?? Indians were ruthlessly exposed of their inability to play even a proper defense, let alone the hook n pull :P And why am I jealous of Ind # 1 ranking? After all Aussies were undisputed # 1 in both ODIs and tests for more than a decade and none of the Aussie fans bragged about the "no.1 ranking" those days. With or without ranking, the world acknowledged us as the best on field then.

  • on November 24, 2010, 21:18 GMT

    @Steve Spragg - Agree with you. Nothing can better the aura / greatness of Ashes...

    @Raghuraja - Just the count of spectators is not a metric for greatness of a series. the competitiveness, the history of Ashes supersedes any other series..

  • smudgesbutler on November 24, 2010, 21:13 GMT

    I am sorry but this is a nonsense. Ponting has a major problem, yes, the pull shot does come off occasionally for him, however this is not a problem that has only just appeared, look at the records, people made much of it being an issue last year after Roach hit him, but look at the records. This problem first revealed itself 2 3 seasons ago against Sri Lanka/India, especially the one dayers, but even more than that the next year against NZ and South Africa, fully half his dismissals were from the pull shot, and that does not include the chances missed from this shot. To say its not a problem or that hes "the best puller in the world" is to completely ignore the elephant in the room, if Mr Ponting truly wants to play in England in 2013, he needs to put the shot away and face reality.

  • soorajiyer on November 24, 2010, 20:53 GMT

    Hook/Pull shots are an instint, Dont think anybody can really control their instinct even if its RP. @Steve Spragg, mate I fail to understand why Indians should deal with Ashes being No 1 test attraction... By the way for us in India, its India-Pak matches.

  • on November 24, 2010, 20:06 GMT

    @Steve Spragg, have you ever seen India vs Pakistan test matches? the audience count may 5 times more than Australia's population...probably its #1 attraction in Australia...but the world is much bigger than Australis...have a good week without burning your back !

  • on November 24, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    as for indians' interest in the ashes, i think we are enjoying every bit of australia's downfall ever since sydney 2007.. :) and we wud love to see them lose the ashes at home soil against england.. i feel tat wud just b the final nail in their coffin

  • on November 24, 2010, 19:36 GMT

    Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar play the hook and pull short reasonably well enuf... aftr all wen they hav almost all the shots in their book, y needlessly tak the risk of a pull shot??? thr was this bowler (shaun tait) who threatened to blow away the indians at perth in 2007 with his pace and bouncers.. does any1 remember wat happened to him?? well.. he retired from tests aftr that test!!! lee and mcgrath hav always done well against india not bcoz of their bouncers, but bcoz of their swing and accuracy! not to mention, australians are sitting ducks to quality swing bowling... ( as we saw against england and pakistan in england)

  • popcorn on November 24, 2010, 16:43 GMT

    The Master will dazzle with his pull shots this summer.

  • nlambda on November 24, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    Look at the youtube video of Tendulkar's upper cut off Brett Lee - just look at it! It is an amazing shot off a 90+ MPH bouncer on off stump, which is one of the more difficult balls to handle. Those who say Indians/SRT cannot play bouncers should watch and learn. Doubt Ricky P. has the skills to pull off that shot. Not anymore for sure.

  • on November 24, 2010, 15:48 GMT

    I notice the Indian supporters chipping in :) Welcome to the debate on the greatest series in the world of cricket....What you have to remember is that even if the Aussies and poms were ranked 8th and 9th, the Ashes would still be the number 1 attraction in test cricket.

    Always has been Always will be. Deal with it.

  • 3rd_man on November 24, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    " I have to choose right ball to play, choose right ball not to play" Interesting.... nicely put Ponting, you are correct. its all about chose right ball for right shot isn't it? ok lets look at this way. if a batsman keep getting out from same shot, which is the strength , then there is a problem. why he don't accept he no longer good like he used to be. I personally believe he was majestic with that particular shot. I have seen unbelievable pull shots by Ponting. but with the age slowing down your reflexes. you can say anything on the media, lets see what s going to happen on the field. Cant understand Mitchel what he talking about. Strauss is fantastic with his pull shot. i dont see many weakness in his game. but Ponting have anouther problem with his footwork. that big stride forward of his. I think he will be tested on this series. but if he manage to score big century, then going to bad news for England. cause he only need little confidence. then he will be back.Good luck!

  • superbindia on November 24, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    @Mr. Useless NorthernTerritorian, You conveniently forgot to mention VVS Laxman who pulls better than most of your australian batsman....And Sachin, Dravid and Laxman are good short ball players anywhere in the world. You tried to blow away India in Perth and India won the match in 2007 in Perth. Well, is your back burning? Cant you digest the fact that India is the no. 1 team in the world...go get a life...

  • on November 24, 2010, 13:54 GMT

    Ricky ponting has it's own way of style of batting like Lara and Sachin...But Punter's pull and hook is not doubt better than any other batsmen .I want ricky ponting to play his natural game I am very much sure he will be back like a hero in this ashes as he has scored many great centuries for Australia and made them won many series due to his ability

  • Amol_Gh on November 24, 2010, 13:29 GMT

    All you experts, should stop Sachin-bashing and GET EDUCATED. Sachin doesn't play those pulls and hooks because of his severe back problems and the physicians themselves have advised him to avoid those shots to prevent any further more excessive back-spine problems which themselves were a result of playing excessive cricket. How easy it is for you so-called-experts to call a guy, who has been playing non-stop international cricket for TWENTY YEARS, a coward, when you yourselves have NOT even held a bat in hand for years!

  • on November 24, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    Ponting=Pull+Hook.There's no doubt about this that Ponting is the best puller in the world.Come on punter....

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on November 24, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    I could be mistaken, but its hard not to suspect that Ponting's reflexes are slowing. In all these years, I never once saw him mistime a pull but he's repeatedly mistimed the pull in the last year or so. There also is the fact that he has seldom looked his old self in the recent past. Having seen him in India recently, I got the impression of a once-great batsman who was recapturing the magic of old in flashes. On recent form, Ponting is still a class act, but not the kind of batsman who can give oppositions captains/ bowlers sleepless nights.

  • stormy16 on November 24, 2010, 11:19 GMT

    One of the best ways to play a short ball is to leave it which is obviously a hard thing for Ponting to do, easily one of the best in the business in modern times. But if he keeps falling to it then he must put it away and make use of his huge selection of shots for scoring runs. Its not like other problems where you have to play at the ball outside the off - he could easily put it aside and get on with it as its clearly opened up a weakness in what was othewise a near perfect technique.

  • anver777 on November 24, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    Ponting has scored majority of his career runs by pulling & hooking, (his pet shots) so why change, if it is profitable......sometimes u succeeds sometimes u don't

  • vamsy517 on November 24, 2010, 10:53 GMT

    @NorthernTerritorian: Agreed that Indians aren't great hookers\pullers but Ponting's best years as a batsman seems to be a thing of the past. Now he neither has that tremendous skill he had earlier in pulling of the shot nor the courage after a few lusty blows. Given the fact that Ponting got out to bouncers on "Slow, Dead tracks of Subcontinent" I'm not being that critical on him. Ain't I.

  • Plugger14 on November 24, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    Sorry to disaPont you DavisonGarvasis but Punter has plenty of runs left in him. Watch him top score in the first Test. Most have written Punter and the Aussies off which is a big mistake. Aussies 3-1.

  • othello22 on November 24, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    Ponting has always been the master of the hook and pull shots and it's been mortifying to watch him playing them so poorly over the past year. He's right about one thing - He's been so pre-occupied with trying to get these shots right that he's now playing them haphazardly to deliveries that he should be looking to either leave or cut, which is what is getting him out. The one that got him out in the 2nd ODI against SL was the perfect example, way too wide of off stump to be playing the pull shot. At least he realises and admits there's a deficiency there, Australia need him to pile on the runs this summer. If Ponting fails against the Poms, Australia will lose and lose badly, and his career as Australian captain will be all but finished.

  • jonesy2 on November 24, 2010, 9:14 GMT

    i have a vision.....its the useless poms bowling short and Ricky latching on and hammering a 120-ball century day 1.

  • Something_Witty on November 24, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    Ponting has become a bit of a compulsive hooker towards the end of his career, but the pull shot HAS got him out in the past. At Adelaide in 06 Ashley Giles dropped him in the 30s when pulling, and then out Melbourne Freddy bounced him out with a short and wide ball. The problem arises not from balls that are at his body, but balls that are outside off stump that he is trying to drag through midwicket. - Balls that he should be cutting instead of pulling. It's not really a major problem, but if Ponting wants to extend his career (but become far less enigmatic) a la Tendulkar, he should put it away. Putting away the pull shot would be the cowardly option, but the more pragmatic one as well.

  • Aussasinator on November 24, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    Too much talk and analysis. He's suspect against the pacy, bouncy ball, there's no doubt about it. He got away in an era when there were either no genuine quicks around or when they failed to read this weakness. Past replays which keep coming up, show him falling to Akram, Akhthar, Bond, Ishant Sharma, Flintoff etc. quite regularly to rising balls, pull shot or no pull shot. I'm sure England will know how to bowl to him and through which bowler.

  • South_Indian on November 24, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    Ponting, even in these troubled times can teach the Indians a thing or two about playing bouncers - the Indians are just hopeless against the short-pitch stuff, the way they jump and literally dance to balls coming at their ribs and throat makes them look so clumsy :) Their best batsmen Tendulkar and Dravid are just ok with pulling in the slow, dead tracks of the subcontinent but are hopeless in playing the hook shot. And they just simply avoid the bouncers when playing on the bouncy Aus/SA/NZ/Eng wickets. Obivously it takes "courage" to play the hook and pull and players like Viv Richards, Miandad, Lara, Michael Vaughan and Ponting (until recently) must be considered as the best in this business. Even Sangakkara played the pull shot brilliantly in NZ.

  • vswami on November 24, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    Does anyone have any appetite left for the cricket itself ? The articles are getting tiring to read.

  • DaisonGarvasis on November 24, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    It's great to see poining STRUGGLING. I used to be a fan of Ponting till he visibly cheated at Perth. Till that day he was scoring 100 after 100. After that day KARMA got to him and he started the slide downwards. That was the beginning of his END.

  • PcDadda on November 24, 2010, 6:59 GMT

    If Johnson has decided that bowling short is the way ahead, then I cannot see him making much of an impact - Aussies are better off getting Ryan Harris in for Johnson. But then again, Mitch does not know how to swing the ball and may as well try the short-stuff....as long as Mitch Johnson remains the bowling spearhead Aussies are likely to remain 4-5 in the rankings.

  • Nihontone on November 24, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    Time to put the hook & pull away, Ricky. Waugh & Tendulkar did and it added years to their careers.

  • mrmonty on November 24, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    Little less conversation; little more action please...

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on November 24, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    ponting is again gonna be roasted with pull and hook on his elbow like roach by broad and tremlett

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on November 24, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    ponting is again gonna be roasted with pull and hook on his elbow like roach by broad and tremlett

  • mrmonty on November 24, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    Little less conversation; little more action please...

  • Nihontone on November 24, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    Time to put the hook & pull away, Ricky. Waugh & Tendulkar did and it added years to their careers.

  • PcDadda on November 24, 2010, 6:59 GMT

    If Johnson has decided that bowling short is the way ahead, then I cannot see him making much of an impact - Aussies are better off getting Ryan Harris in for Johnson. But then again, Mitch does not know how to swing the ball and may as well try the short-stuff....as long as Mitch Johnson remains the bowling spearhead Aussies are likely to remain 4-5 in the rankings.

  • DaisonGarvasis on November 24, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    It's great to see poining STRUGGLING. I used to be a fan of Ponting till he visibly cheated at Perth. Till that day he was scoring 100 after 100. After that day KARMA got to him and he started the slide downwards. That was the beginning of his END.

  • vswami on November 24, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    Does anyone have any appetite left for the cricket itself ? The articles are getting tiring to read.

  • South_Indian on November 24, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    Ponting, even in these troubled times can teach the Indians a thing or two about playing bouncers - the Indians are just hopeless against the short-pitch stuff, the way they jump and literally dance to balls coming at their ribs and throat makes them look so clumsy :) Their best batsmen Tendulkar and Dravid are just ok with pulling in the slow, dead tracks of the subcontinent but are hopeless in playing the hook shot. And they just simply avoid the bouncers when playing on the bouncy Aus/SA/NZ/Eng wickets. Obivously it takes "courage" to play the hook and pull and players like Viv Richards, Miandad, Lara, Michael Vaughan and Ponting (until recently) must be considered as the best in this business. Even Sangakkara played the pull shot brilliantly in NZ.

  • Aussasinator on November 24, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    Too much talk and analysis. He's suspect against the pacy, bouncy ball, there's no doubt about it. He got away in an era when there were either no genuine quicks around or when they failed to read this weakness. Past replays which keep coming up, show him falling to Akram, Akhthar, Bond, Ishant Sharma, Flintoff etc. quite regularly to rising balls, pull shot or no pull shot. I'm sure England will know how to bowl to him and through which bowler.

  • Something_Witty on November 24, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    Ponting has become a bit of a compulsive hooker towards the end of his career, but the pull shot HAS got him out in the past. At Adelaide in 06 Ashley Giles dropped him in the 30s when pulling, and then out Melbourne Freddy bounced him out with a short and wide ball. The problem arises not from balls that are at his body, but balls that are outside off stump that he is trying to drag through midwicket. - Balls that he should be cutting instead of pulling. It's not really a major problem, but if Ponting wants to extend his career (but become far less enigmatic) a la Tendulkar, he should put it away. Putting away the pull shot would be the cowardly option, but the more pragmatic one as well.

  • jonesy2 on November 24, 2010, 9:14 GMT

    i have a vision.....its the useless poms bowling short and Ricky latching on and hammering a 120-ball century day 1.