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Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 1st day

Ponting's time is running out as his team slips away

Ricky Ponting is losing control of everything he desires in cricket. His influence on the side is disappearing and his power over the selectors has waned.

Peter English at the WACA

December 16, 2010

Comments: 175 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting had plenty on his mind after falling for another low score, Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 1st day, December 16, 2010
Ricky Ponting had plenty to consider on his long walk back to the pavilion after another low score © Getty Images
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Ricky Ponting is losing control of everything he desires in cricket. His influence on the side is disappearing and his power over the selectors has waned. His batting is an imitation of the man who once swung at the same level as Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. Ponting is physically at his fittest and looks in fabulous shape, but his mind, 36 years old on Sunday, is winding down.

His team is in even greater decline. Valued players let him down often and the new faces are not yet helping. Ponting is in charge during Australia's most damaging crisis since the mid-1980s and the situation becomes worse by the day. Everything is going wrong: the wrong XI chosen, the wrong attitude employed and the wrong shots displayed after the coin fell England's way.

Australia did recover from a horror first session to post 268, but it will take something extremely special over the next four days to stop England from taking the 2-0 lead that would ensure they retain the urn. Ponting is already facing the prospect of becoming only the second Australian to lose three Ashes series. If that happens his hold on the captaincy will be weak and he is not a man who will play without the leadership. In this form, with 80 runs in five bats in the series, Australia wouldn't want him to.

The time has come to speak in the past tense of Ponting as a great batsman. Sparks may remain but the periods of sustained excellence have gone. Ponting walks to the wicket on reputation and has been leaving without regular results. He has played 24 Tests since the start of last year and averaged 39.87, including series against West Indies and New Zealand, and two against Pakistan. A No.3 who previously created fear has become a shadow.

Ponting is meant to be the one Australian batsman who can change the game or wrestle back the series. Picking four specialist fast bowlers, omitting the spinner Michael Beer and then losing the toss made his task even harder. He was called to the middle after two overs following Phillip Hughes' early legside wobble, and was lucky to last more than three balls. If England had four slips instead of three, Ponting probably wouldn't have scored. Briefly, his fortune had changed.

Boundaries from a pull and a flick to midwicket raced him to 12 off nine deliveries. He was aggressive and seemed in, but he could not tone down the high-energy tempo, a trait his batting partners also struggled to conquer. Four wickets fell in an opening session that required graft not glamour.

Ponting used to love the bounce of Perth, a ground which hasn't always treated him well. He was lbw, hit high on the thigh, when 96 on debut back when he was already destined for greatness. Last year he was struck on the left elbow by Kemar Roach here, forcing him to retire hurt after a painful, jumpy display. There were more jerky movements today as he attempted to get on top of the ball but couldn't.

To his tenth delivery he leaned on his back foot to James Anderson and pushed unconvincingly at the ball, which found his edge and shot towards Paul Collingwood at third slip. Collingwood launched himself to his right and the ball buried in his outstretched hand. It was a catch Ponting would have claimed a couple of years ago, but one that would surely escape his reach now.

Ponting's lips pursed as he watched the brilliant interception and he then turned his head in anger, disbelief and resignation. He left slowly, watching the replay on the way back, and seeing the score. Yes, he was really out, the victim again. The team was 2 for 17 and heading to an even worse start than the destruction of Adelaide. It would soon be 4 for 36 and 5 for 69 before the rally from Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson.

Michael Clarke, the leader in waiting, went with a tame waft outside off and Shane Watson was beaten by a searing yorker from Steven Finn. Smith, a batsman Ponting didn't think was good enough for the top six five months ago, tried hard but went tamely after lunch. Haddin is too low at No.7.

In the second session Ponting sat next to his mate Justin Langer, who doubles as the side's batting coach. They have a lot to fix but no guaranteed way of achieving answers.

Usually when Ponting talks publicly he is so reassuring about his team, remaining convincing even during extended losing streaks. On the eve of the match he made a rare slip. When asked if his captaincy could survive another Ashes loss he said the choice was out of his hands. "The powers that be will make those decisions I guess at the end of the series, or after this Test match," he said.

Ponting was the one who brought forward his potential judgment day. He doesn't want to leave the scene, as he showed with his funereal shuffle off the ground after his dismissal, but he knows the price of continual individual and team failure.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by argylep on (December 19, 2010, 16:11 GMT)

Australia may have won the third test but Pontings time as an international world class batsman(and Captain) has come........and gone.... and whatever the outcome of the Ashes he isn't and won't again be the player he was. His test match batting average has been falling steadily for the last 2/3 years, during which time he hasn't scored a hundred. Other test match playing countries have found him out, exposed his technique and weaknesses....particularly outside the off stump to the swinging/seaming ball, vulnerability to off spin, and with the hook to the point where he has looked ordinary and in obvious decline. Great batsmen -including him - should have no real, exploitable, flaws - Kallis certainly doesn't - and also know when its time to go - Lara did and went out on his terms - but if Ponting continues to play and fail then he'll be remembered more as a very fine fading batsman than a true great.

Posted by WicketLeaks on (December 19, 2010, 4:28 GMT)

My my my, how quickly things change. The down and out team in crisis with everything going against it (according to this article) has just trounced England and surged to Ashes favourite. Pontings form slump is still a worry but dare I say the selectors won't be thrwoing him to the baying press hounds just yet.

Posted by anshekhar on (December 17, 2010, 7:18 GMT)

@Gopal Krishna Sharma Nandyala, Ricky isn't a great player! Then we have to delete word "great" from dictionary. A player who is just behind sachin in almost most of records & he is not great. Then, sachin is also not great & might be none is great cricketer.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 6:46 GMT)

Mitchell Johnson, you go boy! 62 runs and 4 wickets at the moment, has justified your inclusion and silenced your critics.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 6:22 GMT)

go australia.....change comes slowly..........fisrt get england out thn comes the big poting score........all batsman nid time to rethink......luk what happened to johnson.......

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 5:45 GMT)

U have to value the true performers and consider them as your assets....

U should be able to differentiate b/w avg players and the gifted players.....It is the avg players that just keep u in the match. but it is the gifted ones who win u the matches......To begin with, Aus should not have let Gilgrist, Daimen Martin and Shane Warne retire....and now Aus should invest on guys like Johnson, B Lee, S Tait.......and keep Ponting as captain..give him full faith because it is the captain and the team that wins matches not the team administration, coaches or selectors they r mistakenly overrated nowadays.. . they r mere sport staff and should be treated as such...period...At best team needs an analyst to help captain formulate winning strategy and a phsychologist to raise the self belief level in gifted players and keep reminding them that they r above all.cricket is sport not an office ...there is literally no role of administration. coaches should only offer tips at best to players.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 5:38 GMT)

I love to see those pull shots and off drives of Punter, hope he will be starving, its time to deliver we expect lot of those in the second innings, and now Mitch has started delivering, we hope you will start from where Mitch has given hope of win.. You are such an exciting cricketer to watch, we miss your fancy shots and drives for long time!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 5:09 GMT)

@youngkeepersdad: "hussey is not a proper batting superstar"?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! didn't get u........ are u talking about david hussey???????? @Ahok Rajasingh: Without having class and being consistent a batsman batting at no.3 in tests can't score more than 12000 runs..... I hope PUNTER silents you all........ Its just that nothing going right for him..... He is not out of form but out of luck..... Though its no excuse in cricket..... PONTING has a lot to give before he leaves......

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 4:33 GMT)

What will happen if Aussies retain the Ashes? The English look equally wobbly in this match. There is a good chance that the home side will have its tail up, and who knows might even win it. Will that recharge Ponting as a captain and as a batsman. If that happens some of his personal demons may go to sleep, but if doesn't than he needs to consult the yoga teacher of Sehwag. Afterall in his second coming Sehwag is destroying bowling (joberg not with standing)

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 4:23 GMT)

This third test match could be very tight. England are playing extremely well for the last two years. However, Australia have not declined as much as the public makes it appear. They make a few rash shots, a few inexperienced players are in and so they lost a bit of confidence and spark. One should not be so quick to write them off. Who knows what could happen if they put some good pressure on the opposition and get their belief back. All batsmen go through slumps. It isn't really a predictable science - making big runs. Ponting will score big soon - he is in form - so is Haddin, Hussie and Watson.

On another note SA batsmen will have to be really horrible at spin for India to win a single test there or Steyn or Morkel will have to be retired somehow. I just don't see it. The way England are playing now I would rather see them play SA in SA and maybe India visit Australia. Why don't sides meet when they are equally matched in form??

Posted by seaboy on (December 17, 2010, 3:51 GMT)

I completely agree with tullym. He should do what Tendulkar did. Give up the captaincy and concentrate on his batting. Funnily, this article reminds me of the infamous Ian Chappel article about Tendulkar a few years back. Everyone knows how Tendulkar bounced back into form. Same will be the case with Ponting. Good luck Ponting, u r a very good batsman.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 3:27 GMT)

Sachin was in the same boat a while ago. Ponting can take a cue from him. He need to do this to prove that he is on par with Sachin or else he'll wane into a thin shade.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 2:58 GMT)

Its time up for punter if Australia loses the Perth test,watching him and the rest of the top order get out to poor shot selection .the Poms are playing well and deserve to win the series.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 2:47 GMT)

Completely agree Ashok Rajasingh. In general, the Aussie and English players get over hyped very soon. He was a very good player, which one needs to be to get that amount of runs, but never a great which he was made out to be. And the less said about his captaincy the better. The only good thing is the humility he's developed recently. All the best Ricky!!

Posted by RubberblubRoger on (December 17, 2010, 2:42 GMT)

You can't just axe ponting like that. He has had some rifts in his career but so what? Hé is 36 years old and has more experience than the rest of the team. Putting pressure on him won't help. Losing a series is bad but losing his career would be catatonic. Replacing him with Cameron White as captain is stupid. No other players in the team have played in any tests before 2000. Only ponting has learnt from matches like Kolkatta and the match that Mark Butcher won in 2001/2. He has also had to come in at times when openers haven't done anything. That's hard. Dfinetely help him by putting Hauritz back. Brad Hodge should get another shot.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 2:15 GMT)

I don't agree with my own thought when it says Ponting's time is out. Cricket is not about one man or captains game. There are 11 boys and everyone has to give their best. There has been some critics on his captaincy. Oh common!!! when other side gets the most of the runs for his field settings now you say his captaincy is bad, where were you when his field settings blocked most of the runs in a match. Captain is the not one who will bat in 1st to 11th position or bowl for 50 hours. Everyone has to give. Support Him and surprise us. Stop criticizing

Posted by Meety on (December 17, 2010, 1:52 GMT)

Ponting is in the twilight of his career, no doubbts about that, however he could still play a useful role over the next 2 years. It is not impossible for Punter (like Hussey), to have a renaissance. I do agree that the mental side of things has dropped off. He has been run out that many times in Tests it is really frustrating, caught down the leg side at the Gabba too. Writing is obituary is far too soon, particularly as nobody other then Khawaja would be a like for like replacement. Ferguson is more middle order - so to is D Hussey. I think Punter needs to drop down the order & see how he goes there before making any rash decisions, particularly as he deserves a tilt at the next WC. I still think if he can get past the first 20-30 balls (like SRT), he has plenty of runs in him. Time is running out, talk of White replacing him is crap - he has not got the level of form behind him. Anyway - there is always the 2nd innings..........

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 1:52 GMT)

pay back time punter.. it's time to step down gracefully..

Posted by cricketgirl on (December 17, 2010, 1:27 GMT)

This is ridiculous, Ricky Ponting is one of the most stunning batsmen ever - and an average of nearly 55 backs me up, I think. OK, he isn't the most stunning Skipper - he can't engineer a win from nowhere - even Warnie probably couldn't with the bowling attack the Aussies have at the mo - but you do not get to 35 and have an average of 55 after 150 Tests and deserve the crap Punter is getting. I am biased though - am just a Pom wanting the Aussies to kick ass...!

Posted by skkh on (December 17, 2010, 1:24 GMT)

I was at the WACA and it was a painful experience. The sad decline of Ponting is evident. His early exit is causing a demoramilising effect on the team. And this is not an one off but a repeated experience. Sad but its time for him to go. Clarke the captain in waiting is in shambles and seems to have no idea as to how to handle the bat !!! It is time to select ateam for the future irrespective of the outcome. Watson needs to be told of the world beyond the 50's and to strive for it. Hughes should be persisted. Usman and Fergusan should be given a fair go. Haddin would be the better choice as captain or if for short term Hussey would be ideal. Clarke should be given time to sort out his problems. Johnson, Hilfy, Harris and Siddle should be persisted. Maybe for a short term David Hussey can be considered in place of out of sorts Clarke. White is not a test class batsman at the moment. The Ashes are gone but let us plan for the future we have enough talent in youth like Hazelwood, George.

Posted by Benkl on (December 17, 2010, 0:21 GMT)

Ponting looks good just makes some stupid slots and has been out of luck - he is like Hussey..

The younger brigade has shown itself well either ( and a few have been tried Smith , Hughes , White) while their battign is good at state level the step up hurts . Anyway they are blooding a few but i would MUCH rather have Kattich with Kattich Poning and Clarke would not have had to face the new ball.

For me Clarke is the biggest issue he has rarely done well when it is needed ( like North) and Ponting cant always save them.

Posted by tullym on (December 17, 2010, 0:12 GMT)

Ponting is a world class player and will return to world class form.

All you people were saying Hussey is over the hill before the 1st test. WRONG.

Form is temporary, class is permanent.

Ponting has the desire, and will return to form in no time.

Overblown article.

Posted by Rooboy on (December 16, 2010, 23:50 GMT)

Unfortunately Punter is but a shadow of the guy who terrorised bowling attacks in the early mid 2000s, but I still hope he has a couple of big innings left in him before the series is over. He should drop down the order but wont, perhaps that would be a different story if he had some support from anyone else in the side who looked like they could bat at 3 instead. @Mahmood Siddique - Australia has won the last 2 World Cups without dropping a game so to say 'Clive Lloyd has a better record as captain in WC' is laughably ignorant. Are you suggesting Lloyd has a winning rate of over 100%? The WI under Lloyd were undoubtably a fantastic side but I don't think even they had more wins than games played ...

Posted by The_Lethal_1 on (December 16, 2010, 23:41 GMT)

This is officially the end of an era and it would be wise for Australia to clear out the decks and do a proper rebuild. I can think of 3 batsmen ready and able to come into this Australian team right now. Callum Ferguson, Shaun Marsh and Cameron White are all batsmen with a heap of potential and more importantly younger than 30. It's time for them to come into the side and help replenish Australian cricket. My future Australian top 6: 1. Hughes, 2. Marsh, 3. White, 4. Clarke, 5. Ferguson, 6. Watson.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 23:39 GMT)

Cameron White = next test captain. Play him in the 4th test. Ponting can stay as a batsman.

Posted by HOMEBREW on (December 16, 2010, 23:21 GMT)

Anyone starting to smell the fall of Pointing just like Kim Hughes? It won't happen though as his best mate Boonie is a selector. Maybe it's time he is sacked along with Clarke (who would NOT be the best option of the next captain, due to fitness problems). Hughes should not be in the side at all, no foot work eveident yesterdayl. These three should be replaced with: S Marsh, R Quiney & C White (as captain). I'd make Watson the vice captain. While we're at it lets get selectors from the states that are going the best in the shield. Where are the selectors from QLD & VIC? I don't think we have any at all. Like i've said before, the current selectors only seem to pick there mates from the state their from. This HAS TO CHANGE or Banglaedsh will overtake us soon!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 23:16 GMT)

I always felt that Ponting was over rated. Except for a period of about 4 years from 2002 to 2006 he has not been a really world class player. He has not shown the consistency of a Khalis, Chanderpaul, Dravid etc. He has never dominated in tough situations like a Laxman, Sehwagh, Dravid, Sachin, Inzy, Border, Steve Waugh, Kevin Peiterson etc. Ponting has been a bully when supported by Hayden, Langer & Gilchrist with Warne & McGrath to take the wickets. It is sad to see the Ausies in such a rut with little options in the cupboard. I wonder why they do not call in Brad Hodge & Bret Lee.

Posted by MinusZero on (December 16, 2010, 22:45 GMT)

Haddin should be next in line for captaincy

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 22:34 GMT)

The batting options for Australia are fairly thin with Marsh, Khawaja, Lynn the youngster from QLD, Ferguson and perhaps Cosgrove the options in the top and middle order. Also if he hadn't been injured then McDonald should have taken the number 6 role. Once the Ashes are over I think our top 6 will look like this (I think Katich, Ponting and Hussey will all go if we loose- to retirement because for Hussey a chance to go out in top form, Ponting - just will go and Katich injury will be the end for him) so the top 6 by next summer- Watson,Marsh ,Khawaja, Ferguson, Clarke, McDOnald - With Lynn the next cab off the rank and COsgrove a chance becuase he brings something different and a lot of talent. Smith unfortunatly can't bowl or bat well enough at this stage

Posted by ygkd on (December 16, 2010, 22:30 GMT)

Australia's problem could well be that Watson & Hughes aren't proper openers, Ponting is not a proper captain, Clarke is not a proper captain-in-waiting, Hussey is not a proper batting superstar, Smith is not a proper allrounder, Haddin is not a proper stumper, Johnson is not a proper strike bowler, Harris & Siddle aren't proper bustling seamers and the problem with Hilfenhaus is I don't have a problem with him and that rather ruins the tone of this comment.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 22:05 GMT)

It will be foolish to underestimate Ponting's ability. He is such a player who has always bounced back when under pressure. I am sure he will find his way back in this test itself. All he needs is one big knock. He is a champion batsman, maybe the pressure of ashes is getting to his mind. If somehow Aus can win/save this test, then its anybody's ashes...

Posted by RJHB on (December 16, 2010, 22:04 GMT)

I can't see any reason why Ponting wouldn't continue as a batsmen free of the captaincy. He needs to get his batting mojo back and losing the captaincy would be the best thing for him. The extra responsibility might also make Clarke think more about his game and less about his latest model girlfriend! And Ponting is still a great fielder and catcher, that pathetic dig at his fielding ability is just kicking the guy when he's down!

Posted by Neil1489 on (December 16, 2010, 21:46 GMT)

It's unbelievable how many people are blaming Ponting for Australia's current decline. One of the greatest ever batsmen and statistically at least a good captain. I've even read comments on here from people blaming him for the lack of players coming through. Incredible. It's clear that he has little control over selection and that is where the blame should lie but people also need to note that Australia is just going through a lean period and is not producing many world class cricketers at the moment. Also, how many of the people calling for his head were saying the same about Hussey a few weeks ago? When did cricket fan's lose all sense of perspective?

Posted by swervin on (December 16, 2010, 21:37 GMT)

it;s funny that so many folk here can see the problems so clearly but the Aust selectors can't - you wonder what planet they are on - maybe ponting should do what allan border did and bat a bit lower as many have suggested - it takes a bit of pressure off him too because if ponting doesn't get runs in an innings it often seems aust is stuffed whereas it doesn't seem to matter if clarke fails - he needs to take more responsibility

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 21:29 GMT)

We need to bite the bullet and build for the future. This happens to every team in world cricket so it is not the end of the world. They have made Tim Paine captain for Canberra - why not make him vice-captain under either Cameron White or George Bailey? Bulid these guys for the captaincy in the future. Overall we need guys like Hussey who perform under pressure. White can do this, so can Ponting on a good day. Clarke is so inconsistent and a real risk for the captaincy. Look for the mongrel - Peter George and some tearaways. We need to put fear once again into the opposition. Shaun Marsh,Watson, Ferguson, Cowan, David Hussey, Paine, Michael Hussey,Haddin,George, Hilfenhaus, Siddle, Johnson, Hauritz............for christ's sake let's do something different!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 21:11 GMT)

Look at the way M Hussey got his form back and now is the leading scorer for Australia in this series when people were doubting his ability and his place in the team. I think the same can be said about Ponting. Aussies might not be able to regain the Ashes however Ponting will make a great comeback to silence the critics. Even the other greats like Tendulkar got into a lean patch a few years ago and when people started to points fingers at his age he made such an incredible return that made people dig their own grave. Full backing for Punter! you ll do it. Form is Temporary, Class is Permanent.

Posted by hmabbas999 on (December 16, 2010, 21:02 GMT)

Honestly, Greg Chappell needs to be removed, he's got no cricketing sense, what so ever.. he ruined Indian cricket during his time in India, now, he's messing up the whole deal in Australia... they need someone better up there.

Posted by landl47 on (December 16, 2010, 21:02 GMT)

Ponting was a great player and I'm sure will play well if he stays, even though less frequently than before. His main problem is time; he's almost 36 and very few players in the modern era have remained great players after that age. Tendulkar might be an exception, but he would make an all-time all-world side. Ponting's style of aggressive play needs him to be seeing and timing the ball perfectly, and he hasn't seemed able to adapt to a style more appropriate to an older player. His captaincy is another matter. He's only ever looked a good captain when Australia is on top. When they're struggling, he's indecisive and unimaginative. It's all part of the same personality profile; he's very stubborn and won't admit that things have changed. Before this tour, when it was pointed out that England now had bragging rights over Australia in tests, ODIs and T20s, his response was to go back in time to when Australia was great. It's time for him to go.

Posted by m_baker on (December 16, 2010, 20:35 GMT)

Great idea having Ponting relieved of captaincy but still playing further down the order. The problem is who do you promote ahead of him and who gets to be captain. I think Cameron White would be the best choice for the latter role. I have never understood why people are so enamored with Michael Clarke. His angle-bat shot dismissal shot yesterday said it all. He simply doesn't have the technique or the mental wherewithal to be a test match playe. He constantly perpetuates collapses instead of reversing them. Perhaps when Katich comes back you could give the number 3 role to Hughes, who could turn in to a good counter-attacking 3. But whichever way you cut it, this team looks like it is in trouble for a good 5 years to come.

Posted by David47 on (December 16, 2010, 20:33 GMT)

If the test is lost in Perth, I wouldn't be surprised if Punter not only relinquishes the captaincy but retires from international cricket as well. He certainly will at the end of the series if the Ashes are lost. In either event there is only one real alternative that could provide the leadership needed - Cameron White. White should already be the ODI and T20 captain, and would provide continuity across all forms of the game. He's the obvious and logical choice - so the selectors will, of course, go with Clarke. Ricky would be remembered as one of the greats of his generation with the bat and a good captain rather than great (although the stats suggest better than good). It's the last 12 months or so that let him down - he has not been able to do what Border did. Having said that, the low calibre of the current CA administration, the selectors and the coach has not helped. If Ricky goes, it would be a good time to dump them and start afresh as well.

Posted by brucee41 on (December 16, 2010, 20:18 GMT)

past selectors have been ruthless in the way they have pushed great players and captains out the door, look at Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor, Allan Border. Ponting is no better than these and overall a worse captain so its time he was pensioned off along with that other non entity who has coached this team to oblivion - Tim Nielsen, what a waste od space, tell me what he has achieved in his tenure apart from masterminding a couple of ashes losses

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 20:08 GMT)

Ricky Ponting is one of the finest batsman and I am sure he will make a fighting comeback in the next innings. Australia's real problem is the No. 4 position which is occupied by Clarke. He is not as good a batsman as he is made out to be and it would best if he is pushed down the order or even replaced.

Posted by timmytimmytimmytimmy on (December 16, 2010, 20:08 GMT)

why is it not possible to drop ponting as captain and keep him as a player. his captaincy over the years has been ordinary at best and criminal at worse (bowling choices at nagpur).

he might be on the deline as a batsmen but he´s clearly good enough for this team. the obviously best decision of replacing him as captain and letting him focus on his batting is not being discussed

Posted by mathewsphy1 on (December 16, 2010, 20:04 GMT)

Remember no captain has score 150 runs in the world cup final. Pele was a brasil footballer and very high standard players were playing with him and part of three world cup winning team. Only result and facts will support Ricky not blah blah or high voice or mad people. Mad fans doesnot make lie to truth.and they cannot convert truth into lie and also last two world cups were one sided and a standard which no one ever played. If you love cricket and away from partiality, you have to give full credit and value. People are mad about one and they blindly tellling greatness. For India Dravid saved so much test matches and won many. Nobody bother about that. Cricket is not patriotic thing. It is a game only .

Posted by Suresh123456 on (December 16, 2010, 19:55 GMT)

@ Bravobravo... dude when u are making such a big statement like "GREATEST LIVING CRICKETER"... atelast get u facts right.. ponting hasnt won three world cups as captain he has done it twice only .. in 1999 S waugh was the captain... as other comments said " this is the testing time for his greatness " as he no more has the luxury (to play with greats like hayden, langer , gilly, warne mcgrath etc.. ) what he enjoyed during his PRIME... may be out of context but same thing i will say about sehwag also.. right now he can play freely because he has a middle order of dravid, sachin , luxman to follow and hence no pressure on him... if he continues playing the same way after these player retires .. i will call him also TRUE GREAT till then i will keep my finger crossed...

Posted by beakyjonjo on (December 16, 2010, 19:53 GMT)

Ricky Ponting should be relieved of the captaincy. In Fact he should have lost the captaincy after the ashes defeat in 2005...there is no doubt his poor decision making during that contest contributed to australia losing that series. Clarke is not the answer either. His mental fragility when the going gets tough has been exposed on numerous occasions. On form neither deserve to be in the team. I would hand the captaincy to Hussey and then build a new team around him with the idea he will eventually hand the captaincy over when a younger prospect is identified. I would perservere with Hughes, but Watson needs to drop down the order. Another young opener like Marsh should be given the other opening berth. Usman should be given a chance and I'd bring David Hussey into the team to add experience. Then, Copeland should be given a chance along with Cameron and /or Christian. But the first thing they need to do..is get rid of the selectors!!!

Posted by dhonis11 on (December 16, 2010, 19:51 GMT)

Give M.hussey the captaincy and shane watson the vice captaincy to groom him as a future captain.Ponting should play as a pure batsmen coz i still think he has some scores to settle.Steve smith should be kicked out asap and cameron white should replace him as he can also bowl dibly dobly leg spin,more or less of smith quality.Australia cant bring back the urn for sure,they should be happy if they win 1 of test match.Poms r the team to beat.they have worlds best spinner,best swing bowler,decent captain,great fielding unit n some preety decent batsmen.go poms...atlast things are changing for them!!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 19:50 GMT)

As a great fan of Ponting (his batting minus the attitude); I so hope that he towers again to his hey days. That is when he'll be able to claim to be in the same league as a Sachin or a Kallis. Every time obituaries for these 2 greats were being written, they roared back to life. I do hope Ponting can do the same- for the sake of the game!

Posted by Finn92 on (December 16, 2010, 19:40 GMT)

As has been said, he was a good captain of one of the best XI's the game has seen but now the team he is charged with is fairly mediocre he's not up to the task. He should stand down, it would be a great shame to see him dumped by the country he has given so much to but that may happen if Aus lose 3 or 4 nil this series. I don't just mean step down from the captaincy but also the team, this isn't a slump it's a decline that is inevitable. Retire with grace Ricky, you have been a great competitor

Posted by Santhosh3186 on (December 16, 2010, 19:31 GMT)

@BravoBravo... In 99' WC, Aussie captain was Steve waugh. Pointing has been in the WC winning team thrice... Won it as captain twice.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 18:59 GMT)

tjsimonsen says that Ponting is "too proud" to give up the captaincy and drop down the order to 5 (or 4 perhaps, with Hussey at 3 and anyone but Clarke at 5 with Haddin at 6). I see it as more an excessive focus on his own performance at the expense of supporting his team.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 18:57 GMT)

steve waugh was the captain in 1999 WC. Clive Lloyd has a better record as captain in WCs. captaining a side with players like warne, Mcgrath, hayden, gilchrist, langer is easy but only when you have avg players does it show how good a captain you are. Ponting has shown that he wasnt a great captain but just lucky to have a great team.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 18:49 GMT)

I think the sooner this Ashes campaign ends for Australia, they better they will in the future. The selectors had made a couple of tactical errors in the original 12 that were selected (Hughes and Smith with their techniques are not test batsmen and Beer was too raw), today they made another blunder by not picking Beer, after originally selecting him based on his knowledge of the wicket - funny! I think a better Australian side would be one devoid of a few players in the current 12 - here's my list of players that should be in the Australian set up going forward -

1) Watson 2) Need to find an opener 3) Hussey 4) Clarke (captain) 5) Need a good batsman (Marsh/Kwaja) 6) Haddin 7) Paine (WK) 8) Johnson 9) Hauritz 10) Siddle 11) Hillfenhaus

This should form the basis of a good team, with the immediate future in mind and then there will be opportunities to blood at least a couple of youngsters to be ready over a 2 year period - in time for 2013 Ashes.

Posted by westindiancanadian on (December 16, 2010, 18:35 GMT)

tjsimonsen got this one right. As a Windies lifer I have only the past glory days to dwell on but Clive LLoyd was not a great captain...he only had to make sure to be at the ground on time. Greenidge, haynes ,Richardson, Richards, Gomes, Lloyd ,Dujon ,and four genuine hungry quicks. What decision was required? Ponting had that same luxury and will only be remembered as ruthless to the point of destroying the gentlemanly aspect of the game and borderline cheater. Sorry Aussie supporters but I am loving this!!!!

Posted by Praxis on (December 16, 2010, 18:29 GMT)

We all understand that Ponting is going through a lean path now, its ok, we get that. But his captaincy seems to be really poor in recent times. So who's going to replace him if needed? Don't say Clarke.

Posted by calcric on (December 16, 2010, 18:22 GMT)

Bravo what utter rubbish......it is now we have to see how great mr. ponting is or as has been said b4 whether his success is based on the quality that had been around him in previous australian teams. He is only 36 years so that his reflexes arent shot..we will see how great he really is... that is why commentators have always questioned whether he was in the class of lara and sachin... cause they made their runs in really weak teams...it is now time for ponting to step up...i remember some years ago that he was making disparaging remarks about lara.. let us see him make them now that the shoe is on his foot...let his bat do some talking.. lets see the player of the decade.......i doubt it, making runs wen you have gr8s around you and making runs wen you are horatio at the bridge is something else, ponting is now finding out... making runs when you are the captain of a weak team now that is pressure...he should have a long chat with a true Australian great under pressure Alan Border.

Posted by anikbrad on (December 16, 2010, 18:22 GMT)

AUS HAS PROBLEM IN PLENTY IN THEIR HAND. FIRST THEIR BOWLERS. THINK BOWLINGER AND JHONSON IS SIMILAR BUTBOLLINGER IS MORE OF A SWING BOWLER SO IF PITCH SUPPORTS PLAY HIM . HARUTZ IS MUST. SIDDLE AND HARIS ARE SIMILAR PLAY BOTH IS THERE IS BOUNCE IS SWING THEN PLAY HIFINHAUS AND BOLLINGER. WITH KATICH NOT THERE PLAY MARSH WHY OTHERS. I THINK HE IS IN FORM. PLAY ALSO D.HUSSEY AND ONE OF KHAJA/WHITE. WITH PONTING IN TATTERS BEST IS TO RELIEVE HIM OF CAPTENCY HE CAN REVICVE AGAIN AND THAT WOULD BE BEST FOR AUS AS WITH HAY/GILI/MARTIN/STEVE/LANGER OUT HE IS ONLY ONE TOP PLAYER LEFT DONT BURDEN HIM WITH THIS RUBBISH TEAM AND SPOIL HIM ALSO. WITH CLARKES FORM EITHER FOR SAKE OF RESPONSIBILITY MAKE HIM CAPTAIN OR BRING DAVID OR WHITE AS PLAYER AND CAPTSY CANT BE CAPT AS HE IS 36 ALSO NOT GOOD FOR FUTURE. TRY WHITE HE IS GOOD AND ONLY 26. NO OTHER CHOISE TO SAVE AUS ONLY OBTION IS TO REVIVE PONTING

Posted by Beertjie on (December 16, 2010, 18:12 GMT)

Whatever happens in the rest of the game at the WACA no one can deny that these are desperate times for Australia. Also undeniable is the lack of form and leadership by those required to do so. So what's to be done. I like the suggestion of @rollertroy. Why not give Hadden a shot. He's in good form and can give the team a new perspective. Ponting may still have a year or two to give the team, but not as the leader and not batting at number 3. White may be a good call, but can he be trusted to bat well enough, i.e., can he command a regular place in the team? But other changes are essential, too. If Clarke is not to be Ponting's successor why is he indispensable? Whether he's carrying a suspect back or is just out of form, give him a break and blood Usman K. at 3. Also, give McDonald a go to stabiize the batting and keep it tight. That way Smith can enjoy an extended place and develop (remember how frail Tugga was in the beginning?). But O'Keefe is a must for the MCG.

Posted by tjsimonsen on (December 16, 2010, 17:54 GMT)

I don't think there can be any doubt that Ponting is an all-time great batsman. And though I don't necessarily agree that he is the best Aussie bat since Bradman (that would be unfair to the likes of G. Chappell, N. Harvey and to some extend Border), I think he is one of the five best of his generation (the others being Lara, Sachin, Kallis and Dravid). I don't, however, think his is/was a great captain. He was a good captain of great players, which probably isn't all that easy at the end of the day. But he doesn't seem to be a good captain in a crisis, especially since his greatest ability (to lead from the front) seems to have deserted him (momentarily or not). I agree that he should give up the captaincy and drop down to 5. That could give him a couple of years more as a great batsman which he deserves. But I think he is too proud to do that.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 17:51 GMT)

I think Australia needs to go for a wholesale change in the team. Ricky Ponting should play as a player and should be relieved of his captaincy. This will enable him to gain his batting form. Michael Clarke should be given the responsibilities of captaincy. As far as the bowling is concerned, where is Stuart Clark. He is the ideal man Australia needs to get the initial breakthroughs.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 17:42 GMT)

This is @ Kairava Please note that a weak West Indies beat them in the West Indies too. With Chanderpaul and Sarwan humbling the Aussies.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 17:35 GMT)

I hope Ponting leaves before he is unceremoniously thrown out. I am certain his mind is pondering that and it is further causing decline in his batting. This man has done so much for the Cricket and I would hate to see him shunted out for lack of performance. He is managing his team badly and they are losing confidence in him and themselves.

Posted by swervin on (December 16, 2010, 17:30 GMT)

ponting is in a form slump like everyone has but he has more cricket in him and is ultimately the best player in the team...as many have said, he just doesn't have the quality players around him (only watson, haddin and hussey currently make the grade)...the problem in this test was australia is so focused on fixing their bowling woes they forgot they needed more depth in the batting - when katich comes back maybe they should keep hughes (hopefully he does better) and put watson at three and pointing at four, then have clarke, hussey haddin smith johnson harris and either siddle/bollinger/whoever... aust just needs to accept this is a rebuilding phase...i guess the only silver lining is that aust scored a few more than india overnight ;)

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 17:27 GMT)

Ponting is a gem of a batsman in fact one of the very rare modern era's batting icon despite of the placid tracks around the world supplemented by the battery of below par bowling line ups of the major Test playing nations. I do have an eerie feeling though (For the Pommes exclusively) that Ponting is on a verge of smashing an imposing streak of big scores and his detractors and cynics have to be extra careful before wrongfully writing off the magnificent grit and class of this wounded tiger.

Posted by Podatik on (December 16, 2010, 17:20 GMT)

@BravoBravo: I agree with you that Ponting is one of the great cricketers of the modern generation. I would stop short of calling him the "greatest", let alone placing him above Lara/Tendulkar. For the better part of his career (until 2006), he had the luxury of playing with safety nets all around him (i.e. Hayden, Langer, Martin, Waughs, Gilly, Warne, Mcgrath, Dizzy, a fit Lee, etc.), while Tendulkar/Lara had the task of not only shouldering inconsistent (in WI's case appalling!) form from their team-mates, but also a mountain of expectations from their countrymen. You have to agree that Ponting was less likely to be burnt in effigy if he scored a duck. So, I agree that Ponting is a great, but is failing the tests of (a) time, and (b) leading/performing when the safety nets are no longer available. I wish him luck, but that's not going to save his career. On the flip side, he seems to have Hilditch in his back-pocket, so maybe he will get a (temporary) stay of execution....

Posted by Razor88 on (December 16, 2010, 17:19 GMT)

I accept most of them here!!!......Ponting may be a Good batsmen,But his Poor Sportsmanship and ego has let him down...He can't be Sachin,He remains to be a Ponting that is all to it.Hence he should not be Compared to Sachin,Dravid,Kallis and Lara,If you wanna know the Opposite of Legends - The answer for that is Ponting.He can not be a Sachin,Kallis and Lara - Who are the only Legends of our time!!!

Posted by mathewsphy1 on (December 16, 2010, 17:10 GMT)

Ricky ponting is a great player. If you look because of the ugly pride of some former players like ian chappel this thing happened. This is a curse they are going through. You people did not give credit to John Buchanan the coach and teacher. In India there is belief if you are insulting a teacher you are supposed to get into a hell. That is happening His coaching style was the reason if you look at victories they becomme a great team from a good team on with his guidance. So called Shane warn was absent in their two victories World cup. Even Clarke looked like a perfect batsman without any fear he batted. Also loo k this coach Tim Neilsen taken the charge after Buchanan their first twenty twent y was a failure with so called great players. I think still they are good ok. But they should realise the man behind the success other wise injustice

Posted by calypsocricket on (December 16, 2010, 17:06 GMT)

And who will replace him in these desperate times for Austraila? Michael Clarke ? You've got to be kidding ! Captain "Koala" ? He will be the weakest Captain ever for Australia.

Posted by ArjunVS on (December 16, 2010, 16:58 GMT)

We hate Ponting in India when we compete or when he is referred to in the same sentence/context to Sachin, or when he threatened Sachin's supremacy, but none will deny he is a great of the game. I hate to see the knives out for him, and the short memory on the accolades he brought Australia. Many of us in India may be happy to see the back of Ponting, but the game would have lost a legend. Give him time, space and support I say.

Posted by suresh_sksj on (December 16, 2010, 16:56 GMT)

Ricky it's time u decide about your future ASAP else you will be down the drain soon....I recollect a line from Clint Eastwood's movie Magnum Force ...." A man should know his limitations "......guess Ricky does not know that....and that Rome did not last for ever, he should accept the fact that CHANGE is the only thing in the world that's permanent...and it's other teams time to come up and dominate world cricket....Ausies your days of domination is done with....accept the fact...even Chappel, Healy, Shane, Billy, Slates...in the commentry team keep talking of Ausies coming back and dominating again.....god..... where do these people come from.....it's now time for Eng, Ind, SA to dominate guys....time over for Ausies....the quicker you guys digest that the better Dear Punter..leave a graceful exit, else you'll be consumed by critics who will lable you as one who lost the Ashes 3 times in a row, though you may have got the WC thrice..but that's pajama cricket...Ashes is ASHES

Posted by Anneeq on (December 16, 2010, 16:49 GMT)

While i think Ponting is a fine player, (10,000 runs says that!!) id hardly say hes great. Greatness to me isnt only scoring runs when times are good, its also scoring runs when times are bad. He scored runs when teams used to fear Australia, when his side was packed with legends. Take the legends out the guy cant hack it!! Brian Lara for example had some pretty ordinary players on his team, he carried his team. Not only did he carry his team in the bad times, he was immense in the good times also for west indies cricket. Unless Ponting gets his act together soon, this 'great' title he apparently has is going to be lost and quickly!!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 16:41 GMT)

Bring back all of them... Hayden, Gilly, McGrath, Warne, Lee .. the 40+ will do better than their 20+ compatriots.. They seriously failed to handle the transition is what one would think... Symo could have mattered but then he went the wrong way and was left out eventually.. Disappointed at Punter's temperament.. he should be fighting it out in the middle.. his agression is not helping.. he should atleast move down the order... and that'll certainly help get back a good frame of mind.. Hussey and Haddin are the ones in form.. they should bat higher up...

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 16:24 GMT)

He is down and sown day by day....................

Posted by r1m2 on (December 16, 2010, 16:24 GMT)

Ponting is not doing well. But, the big problem for Aus is not that!!! Big problem for Aus is that they do NOT have anyone better than Ponting. Ponting is during his bad years is still a far better batsman than Clarke will ever be, and the rest combined. I do not even rate the other batsmen in the team, they are kings in fair weather and homely conditions with people egging them on, but in a hostile environment I can only (and even now) put my money on Ponting to weather the storm.

And as far as captaincy is concerned, he is not a great captain, however he is still a FAAAAR better option as a captain than someone like Clarke. IF Clarke is the next in line to take over the captaincy of Australia and also the mantle of the best batsman, then Australia is yet to see their darkest days in cricket. With the promotion of Clarke it will be the last remaining nail on the coffin of Aus greatness in cricket.

So, I suggest savour every moment that Ponting remains with the Aus team.

My 2c.

Posted by vparisa on (December 16, 2010, 16:08 GMT)

Ponting is a great cricketer, but please stop comparing him with Tendulkar or Lara or even Inzi. Tendulkar and Lara have always played in the teams with no great bowling attack like the Aussie of Today. The difference is they used to deliver consistently not necessarily winning the games but losing respectably. Ponting is unable to bear the expectations. These kind of situations were bread and butter to Sachin and Lara through 1995-2004. The inability of Ponting to handle these crisis situations are only making the work of Tendulkar(billion expectations) and Lara(lone warrior for years) look towering. Respect to Ponting but Lara/Sachin will always be the batsmen and Kallis the cricketer of my generation.

Posted by 5wombats on (December 16, 2010, 15:44 GMT)

@BravoBravo ; "Ponting is the greatest living cricketer"... LOL LOL LOL

Posted by Bigskyrocket on (December 16, 2010, 15:24 GMT)

The problem is not just Pontings decline (someone said his average of 39 over the last year was ok but that was against all teams ranked below australia) but several members of this current team are not good enough. Hughes and smith are not test standard yet but this side can't carry too many inexperienced players. Their bowlers are struggling to put in consistent performances, Harris was rubbish with new ball tonight after bowling well in adelaide. Not having a genuine spinner there is criminal. Only Watson, Hussey, Haddin, Hilfenhaus are certainties to play on in test side beyond this series in my opinion. David Hussey is averaging 55 in all cricket and not to play in this team, the weakness side for over 100 years if not ever, doesn't make sense. Khalawja and ferguson should be in side also if ashes lost after this test.

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (December 16, 2010, 15:07 GMT)

Time to relieve him of captaincy and let him free his mind to play cricket the only way he knows best. It is obvious that the pressure of an incompetent team that he is leading is showing in his body language and his batting. He seems unable to decide whether to defend or attack. Relieve him of captaincy and prolong his internation career, or simply sit back and watch the ending of a glorious career.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 15:06 GMT)

All good things must to an end one day and Ricky is no exception. It is sad to see the greatness of this man shading out gradually but at the end of the day one has to be prepared to face the reality. I dont think Aus will be able to gather themselves any sooner, Ricky or no Ricky.

Posted by kitten on (December 16, 2010, 14:57 GMT)

Ponting is way past his 'sell by date', and his shelf life is almost certainly over. When he bats now, he looks like a deer caught in the headlights. I think he should gracefully bow out and let another youngster be picked. Let's face it, that youngster can't do any worse than Ponting is faring at the moment. And for a captain to keep failing time and time again with the bat, is no example for the later batsmen to follow. Sadly, his lieutenant Clarke is also on a bad streak, with the exception of the second innings at Adelaide, and this has resulted in the top order being rolled over once too often. Seeing that this test seems to be going the same way as the last, drastic changes should be made for the last two, and one or two promising youngsters given a chance.

Posted by mrcricketlover on (December 16, 2010, 14:55 GMT)

For the people who argued Ponting was better than Sachin and Lara, they should realize how difficult it is to handle pressure and the reason Sachin is called the best batsman of modern era. Go Ponting, prove the world you belong to the best, have fun :)

Posted by cyniket on (December 16, 2010, 14:51 GMT)

can't believe people are writing off ponting! just as they were doing with hussey. Ponting is a truly great player, but just like other batsmen (even tendulkar) he has the odd lean trot. He will have an impact on this series at some point.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 14:43 GMT)

i think people here are writing off ponting so soon. lets wait and watch. australia on the descendancy though but we cant just write them off soo soon.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 14:36 GMT)

No doubt ponting is not only a great player but also a great captain.I dont think dat these r his years which r putting him into trouble,actually he no more enjoys the company of great players,the upcoming players r very ordinay,the dont ve any class.Now whether it is ponting or clarke the captain,it wont b easy for da Aussies to bt good sides like england.I would blame the ACB for not preparing class players after the retirements of Mcgrath,Warne,Martin,Langer etc.My good wishes r with ponting i know he will fight back f not as a captain dan as a batsman.

Posted by indy.rockz on (December 16, 2010, 14:31 GMT)

This is the time when australia needs him the most... i understand that he is out of form however having him in the side is more of a psychologically advantage to australia and i am sure that he will find some form soon.. after all 39 is not that bad an average ...and he is one of the best no.3 batsman in the world over the last decade....39 centuries is no joke.. i have full faith in him and if anyone could come out in flying colors from this dry run.. its him .. and australian team is still very competitive however they right now need a role model .. !! go aussies goooo

Posted by oldnbald on (December 16, 2010, 14:19 GMT)

I agree with the comment 5wombats made earlier. He referred to three tests where Ponting made shocking decisions based on little more than a belief that an australian cricket side was sufficient to win a match regardless of the quality of the opposition. That sort of misplaced arrogance wins no friends and makes it so much sweeter when you fall back to earth. Ponting is a great batsman (over 10,000 test runs earns you that accolade) but a very poor captain. He has the misfortune to captain the poorest australian attack for over 20 years and to work with selectors who favour the "names out of hat" approach much beloved of england selectors of the past. I thought Beer was picked because of his knowledge of the conditions in Perth. If so - will he still be in the squad for melbourne ? Clueless. However as an englishman I find this worth the long and painful wait.

Posted by Vindaliew on (December 16, 2010, 14:19 GMT)

I don't understand how people can say that Ponting was not a great player - 12,000 test runs, second on the all-time list behind only Tendulkar (who has played more than 20 tests more), do not appear by magic, nor do they appear when your fellow batsmen are playing well, nor when your bowlers are world-class. The batsman scores them himself, and no amount of luck or freeriding can produce such numbers if the batsman was not gifted in his own way. He may not command respect as a player in terms of spirit and character, but in terms of stats there's no way he's anything less than a great.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 14:14 GMT)

give the lad a break. match is still on. and ponting, he is fit. will hit form soon.

Posted by BravoBravo on (December 16, 2010, 14:05 GMT)

Ponting is the greatest living cricketer. In my opinion he far exceeds in achievemnts compared to the likes of Tendelkar and Lara. He is the only Captain who won 3 consecutive WC titles, the most covetted trophy in Cricket, by thrashing his opponets namely PAK, IND, and SL. Indded, there are few players who have scored more centuries (Test/ODI) and runs in their active career but they never led or guided their team even in a single win of WC title. Probably it is his declining age, and eye-to-hand coordination, which is sort of waning, are the factors behind his recent failures as a batsman. But he still remains a CLASS. I hope he will regain his aura and command soon before he retires or sacked.

Posted by gargi_vizag on (December 16, 2010, 13:57 GMT)

i totally disagree with the writer here, Ponting is going thru a lean patch just as we saw Sachin go thru couple of years ago...maybe Ponting could try something different and which the opposition may not expect by moving to No.5 or No.6, they could promote young Smith or Hussey to No.3. I would not like to see Punter give up at this point in time, i am sure he has a good couple of years left in him and remember, he is still one of the best fielders around at the moment.

Posted by KAIRAVA on (December 16, 2010, 13:36 GMT)

Look at these stats: India was the only team to have won more than a test match against the mighty Australia at their peak when they had Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Hayden all playing in the final XI. In fact, in matches where all these greats played together, Indians managed to win 2, lost 3 and drew 1 match to tally an impressive win/loss ratio of 0.66 against the Aussies. South Africa came a distant second with a win/loss ratio of a meagre 0.14 having managed to win only 1 test and losing 7 in 9 tests against the then all conquering Aussies. England was a close third with a win/loss ratio of 0.07 having won a solitary test in 16 tests and losing 13 tests iin the process. No other team never won a test match agaianst Australia when the legends Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Hayden all played together in the their final XI of a test match.

Posted by rollertroy on (December 16, 2010, 13:34 GMT)

We need new direction and fast. I believe the Australian players are good enough to match the English (with the exception of the spinner) but clearly the preperation has been lacklustre. What about Haddin for captain? White is talked about but probably not good enough to make the team on merit, so we would be back in the same situation again. Haddin is a dead cert for the team and has state leadership experience. Also, no one seems to be talking about the management? Surely after a series where the players are being so poorly managed as this the Tim Nielsen led show needs to be reconsidered. Have a read of this article http://www.espncricinfo.com/india-v-australia-2010/content/story/483152.html. Is this the message consistent with the current selection rollercoaster? Lets listen to Tugga and bring in the youngsters that are performing in our domestic game and give them the backing they need.

Posted by Philip_Gnana on (December 16, 2010, 13:31 GMT)

Pointing being blamed for the inefficiencies of the selectors. That is how I see it. How do you expect him to rally the team when you do not give him a "team"? The selectors remind me of how the former England selectors used to do. Chopping and changing. Rookies not given a good run. Expect instant results and be saviours at the age of 20/21? Does this ring a bell? The former England strategy (or no strategy if you want to call it) being followed to the letter by the OZ. It just brings to light the influence McGrath & Warney had on the team. You got to accept that the OZ bowling team then was a two man band. The difference here is the senior batmen are letting the side down big time. You have to give the young guns a good run. Home conditions are the perfect place for them to get some experience. Come on Aussies give us some fight..we dont want to see short test matches and the Ashes won so soon.....I am just soaking up all that I can get now. Philip Gnana, Surrey

Posted by Micgyver on (December 16, 2010, 13:21 GMT)

Punter is 1 of the greats.Unfortunetly for him at the moment he doesnt lead a great side.Its all good to say Ricky will lose the captaincy but who will replace him.Clarke??PLEASE!I do think Ricky should bat at 4 or 5 and throw Clarke in at 3.Lets see how much character and fight Clarke really has cause ive never really seen it.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 13:21 GMT)

Its Defnately disappointing that Ponting is not the force he once was. The problem with Australia is that they are not used to rising after falling... they have all remained on TOp and now are struggling

Posted by fatburner on (December 16, 2010, 13:07 GMT)

Ponting needs to drop down the order to 5 and Hussey should move up to number3.also David Hussey should replace Smith and Clarke should be sent back to shield cricket for a while. Remember most great batsmen have ended their careers down at 5 or 6. Haddin should move up the order to 4 for a while until a young batsmen proves them selves or maybe even open the batting. This would allow Johnson to bat at 7 and this would allow for either two spinners in say Sydney or a mixture of swing and seam bowlers with one spinner otherwise. They could bring back Hauritz and use Kreja or Beer as the second spinner. I am not sure about the pace attack if that is the right word but Bollinger should return as soon as he is fully fit and keep Harris.The House in my opinion should stay there in his house! Of course I could be wrong! My team? Haddin Watson Hussey Hussey D Ponting Macdonald /White captain (hehe) Johnson Harris Hauritz Bollinger Cameron/Kreja

Allan Border full time manager

Posted by TheLoneStranger on (December 16, 2010, 13:05 GMT)

I've been saying for 15-18 months that Ponting should be at 5, not 3. No-one in the corridors of power took any notice; they knew best. I said recently that Hughes, averaging around 15 in Shield cricket, is not the answer at the top of the order at the moment, and that Jaques was the better option. Jaques has been getting more consistent starts than Hughes and has no technical problems; all he needs is a change of mental attitude. When was the last time that a player averaging 15 was picked as a test opener?! Sack Hilditch and make Greg Chappell chairman of selectors and pick a team that has some form credentials, and with the future in mind. The choice of Beer was ridiculous; even more so when he didn't get a run on his so-called "home track". Bring Hauritz and Bollinger back and show some faith in them. Bollinger, Johnson, Siddle and Harris are all good quicks. Hilfenhaus is a good swing bowler who should be used on a "horses for courses" basis. It ain't rocket science, boys!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 13:03 GMT)

well...it is nt so eazy.4 england to beat austrelia in the ashes...no doubt they r in better possition..nd their team is moro balanced then austrelia..nd also this is the best chance for england to win the ashes in austrelia after a long time

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 13:02 GMT)

In my books,Ponting is better than Lara and Tendulkar,yes he's going throught bad patch,he will surely deliver,He is not as great captain as Waugh was.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 13:02 GMT)

there is no question about to sack Ponting... He is a world class cricketer.. Now he is stumbled due to poor form... dont forget India's flashback... The same incidents were happens to our master blaster... I think ponting surely overcomes from his poor form... if cricket australia will decides that removing his captaincy, it like to add fuel in fire...

Posted by Marto_TheLegend on (December 16, 2010, 12:53 GMT)

People, stop being ridiculous

Ponting is not in good form, yes. But you simply have to trust a player who had been the best in the world for a long time. Sure, he cant go back to the 2005-06 days again, but can he still contribute to help win/save test matches, yes.

Even more silly are those who are calling for his head as captain. If anyone is playing for his place, its Michael Clarke.One good innings the entire season and even that ended with him getting out irresponsibly in the last over of the day. (How many times does he seem to do that?)

People have to acknowledge it would have been so easy for Ricky Ponting to give up the captaincy years ago and go ahead and make all his records, like Tendulkar smartly did. But Ponting was bigger than that. He took the responsibility to mould a new side post 07 World Cup. Atleast appreciation is deserved for that.

He simply has to be captain till the World cup, take it from there. Australia might lose the Ashes, we just have to live with it.

Posted by dessertfox on (December 16, 2010, 12:52 GMT)

Have to agree with Chappelis-l-b... given his age, Ponting should bat at no. 5 or 6 while he's struggling like this. It would be stupid to ditch him now, with the cupboard relatively bare, but a break from facing the new ball might help. The idea of Clarke as captain is uninspiring at best. Let's see how much he really wants it.

Posted by riley22 on (December 16, 2010, 12:52 GMT)

It must be difficult for Ponting to realise his career is almost over- but he is 36 years old and made millions from the game. It comes to us all, and I agree with previous writer- announce retirement at the end of the Perth Test and accept the last hurrahs in Melbourne and Sydney. Give some one else a go, Ricky!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 12:50 GMT)

@Andre: At what point in time was Ponting ever "a great captain"? In the days when his team won everything, he didn't even set their fields. Warne and McGrath did. And I don't remember a single 'suggested bowling change' from Warne that Punter ignored.

He was a great batsman. He's gone now, unless he can rival Tendulkar for career revival at a late stage. This should, by all means, be his last series as an Australian Test player. But certainly his last as a captain!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 12:45 GMT)

I think we all need to realize that the Australian team is in a rebuilding mode right now and we can't expect them to dominate as they used to. They've lost a lot of match winners lately with the likes of Hayden, Langer, McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist etc etc. Now that being said, through that time no quality players or match winners should i say, filtered through to the team they form right now. Watson, Hughes, Clarke,North, Smith, Harris and Johnson are no bonafide match-winners like Australia had in the late 1990's and Early 2000's. A lot of the blame should go to the Australian Cricket Board who failed to envision the future for Cricket Australia. ACB didn't make sure that they were grooming players for the future and now are having to face this day.

I believe Ponting is shouldering a lot of the blame that he is not entitled to. Kudos to him for sticking with this team. When 8 spinners have been used and disposed, it clearly shows the selectors have still not got it right. Go Poms BTW

Posted by cricfanraj on (December 16, 2010, 12:37 GMT)

I see lot of comments asking for Pointing head . I believe these people are the same who praised him like genius a few years before . The simple fact is Cricket is a team game. When you have Mcgrath ,Warne,Gillespe and Bretlee you don't need a great head to lead. Similarly when you have Michel Jonson,in current bowling form, cannot land at least two balls an over on good length , there is very little captain can do. Captain is as good as team. He can change the performance by + or - 10% (offcourse it makes difference between winning and losing) but nothing more than that . Pointing is a great batsman . But as a captain he was neither a genius nor a poor captain. Earlier he had great team and now he is leading bunch of jokers .

Posted by AdithVenky on (December 16, 2010, 12:25 GMT)

He is too good a player and i am sure he will come back storng in the second innings. What he is going tru as of now is a bad patch and one good innings can change all. "Class is permanent form is tempoary". People call for his head should realise that AUS having tough time since most of their good players retired. Rebuliding a team takes time. 2 more test is left I am sure Punter will come back punching. He is only batsman in this era who can be compared with SACHIN. His average in second innings is better than most of the current lot.... COME ON PONTING ...... you can score min of 400 runs in 5 test innings .... good luck

Posted by Kamalakantameher on (December 16, 2010, 12:23 GMT)

Whatever cricket pundit say i dont think ponting as a good captain or player.3 years ago aus was unbeatable.Pundits said it is the captancy and performance of ponting that aus was no.1.What happened now.Why people showing fingers to punter and what is the cause?It is easy to lead a team where there 6 to 7 stars who know what to do and how to perform well.I means 3 years ago they hv hayden,gilli,mc grath,warne,langer and ricky himself.They are so well that if u keep a monkey as a captain than its possible aus win.Strong opening of hayden and langer vanished fear from ponting and u know a batsman performs well without pressure.He was leading a superior team so he performed well with no pressure.Now he had an unbalanced team so his performance shows which type of player he is.Look at lara and sachin,they perform consistantly.In the 2000's sachin and lara played for weak teams and performed lonely which are brilliant.I think sachin and lara are best.Ponting is only a player not a great.It is perfect time to farewell cricket for him.For his poor performance he will out of team next year.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 12:23 GMT)

Ponting still has more to offer - all he needs to do is have a chat with Sachin, who was asked to retire 3 years back by Chappelli...

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 12:20 GMT)

ponting will retire from cricket after this match for sure because aussie will definetly loose this match nd thereby the series as well

Posted by Point4 on (December 16, 2010, 12:19 GMT)

strange that age is considered so much against Mr.Cricket.The best player should be the skipper and if he cant manage it then the mantle needs to be given to some one equally respected.Right now Huss is the best Aus batsman (was always among)and the new team should be captained by him.What is this nonsense about making a debuting/rookie player the skipper.How can the The likes of watson,clarke(if he is there)or even johnson respect him.Ideally Mike should be given a 2 year confident term with may be white/Watto/Clarke (a lot needs to be changed as far as Pup is concerned) as heir apparent

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 12:15 GMT)

I think it was one thing for Ponting to dominate in the company of great ex-players, but now it is an entirely different task. This tells you why Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara are way up above him. They flourished when they had weak teams. Tendulkar and Lara scored bulk of the runs in the 90s and early 2000s for their much weaker teams who completely depended on them while facing much menacing bowlers. The same can be said of the likes of Andy Flower who never gets his due.

Posted by othello22 on (December 16, 2010, 12:14 GMT)

Ponting has achieved enough in his career but the burden of captaining a rubbish side to one bumbling distaster after another is clearly taking its toll. I just watched an interview he did with Shane Warne and he hinted he may finally have realised that dropping down the order may be the only way to save his career. He would do well to step down from the captaincy (he'll be stood down soon enough anyway, better to jump rather than be pushed) and drop down to 5 or 6 in the batting order. I have no doubt this would help him reignite his batting prowess. Let's hope so, because his career is on the skids and this is just no way for a great player to go out.

Posted by varada76 on (December 16, 2010, 12:14 GMT)

Ponting needs to step down from captaincy and that might bring the class out of him again. But will he play under the captaincy of Clarke is another question. Certainly the stress of the captaincy is taking a toll on him. If Sachin is still going strong is because he is relaxed and need not worry about the captaincy. Who knows it might happen to Ponting as well.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (December 16, 2010, 12:10 GMT)

Ricky Ponting's luck over the last two years has been just horrible. Losing the toss at the WACA this morning showed that more than anything else. On today's wicket, had England batted they would have been in similar straits as Australia were. But then that is what luck does. You lose everything even if you are in great form at the nets. Ricky should take some comfort from the fact that even as he himself was narrowing the gap in centuries between Sachin and himself, Sachin seemed to have run out of gas in both forms of the game. Suddenly Sachin came back in a manner no one had imagined to be possible. I am sure, his luck is going to turn for the better soon. He has been a great batsman and still is in my opinion.There is simply no young batsman in Australia of the type Ricky was when he made his debut. When one's batting is not clicking, your captaincy also undergoes a downfall. That is the story of Ricky Ponting. He still has a couple of years of cricket left in him I feel.

Posted by boris6491 on (December 16, 2010, 12:09 GMT)

We cannot doubt Ricky Ponting's achievements, although not put up on the pedestal next to the 'greats of the game', he certainly belongs to that category based upon his career record. For a number of years in the mid 2000s, he was comfortably the world's best, even ahead of Tendulkar. He is a class player but I am afraid that his time has come. He just does not have the same aura and reflexes he once did as a player. I hope he proves me wrong but I just see no other option than to move on and leave Ponting being remembered as part of the golden era where he belongs, not part of a struggling team. The captaincy though has not been taken from him because Clarke is just not ready to be the Australian captain. He is not senior, or responsible enough for the role and needs to prove himself with the bat first. If Ricky elects to play on, I don't see us as having much choice but to accept that he is not the best option, but the ONLY option we have as captain.

Posted by amitkumaronnet on (December 16, 2010, 12:08 GMT)

@sumit_pillu and others: Stats are misleading. ponting did well against SA, but when? He has played against SA only b/w 2002-2009. If people remember Donald was not a great force by 2002(ultimately retired in 2003). Pollock without support has not been a one man army. If Ponting had played against SA in the 1990's then his inflated stats would have surely been deflated. More so, he had the leverage of hyden-langer combination at the top during that period when they more often than not had a century+ opening stand. That is why Ponting was able to cash on and has such great figures against SA.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 12:07 GMT)

Donot Write off punter. he's a class apart !! Micheal Clarke should be dropped and Callum Ferguson can be tried !!

Posted by STalluri on (December 16, 2010, 12:04 GMT)

The problem with Ponting right now is he is trying to play every ball. He is not showing patience to leave the balls outside the stumps. By trying to play every ball he is giving chances to the slip cordon. He should be more patient in chosing which ones to play and which ones to leave.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 12:02 GMT)

It's age that's all - Waugh, Hayden, Gilly, Langer, Marten... all looked great til they passed about 34 and the eyes just are not as sharp as before. I'm afraid that is a simple fact. He is a great player, awesome competitor, and hemay have an innings or 2 left in him in this series (I thinkthe most hardened English fan would hope so) but time is catching up. Nothing shameful in that, it happens to all of us. What would be sad would be him clinging on too long - no one wants to see that.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 11:58 GMT)

Is history repeating, is Oz doing what Windies done 90's after dominating 70's and 80's....I guess yes. But olny thing i see Oz not hitting as low as windies does....Oz main problem is not one area of game they are loosing grip on all the areas be it bat, ball or even fielding. They need to know that are still not the greatest of team and they need to work hard on wivket while batting and bowling, there are no bats man who can play a inning of 200+ when the score line is 2 for 3 or 50 for 4. There is no baller who can produce a spell of 5/20 when other team is sitting at 500 for 1. I will still give a chance to ponting to pick his own 11 without selectors putting him under pressur. If they cannt give him this chance they should make him sit outside and play with a dummy captain. Knowing ponting struggling with performance its better to give some rest (may be for ever) from test cricket.

Posted by Whothehell on (December 16, 2010, 11:57 GMT)

I hope you guys remember this is Perth... the fastest bouncy wicket in the world... don't rule out aussies yet... i don't think england can get to 250 2morrow

Posted by righthandbat on (December 16, 2010, 11:48 GMT)

I have always thought the right time for Ponting to walk away from the game was at the end of the 2007 WC with his other teammates. Taylor walked away at 34, so there's no shame in retiring a bit earlier. Now instead, he could easily be axed after a 4-0 loss on home soil (not saying that will eventuate, but it could) and will be remembered for that a great deal more than the earlier years when he used to pile on the runs with ease. Furthermore, he will often be only considered great due to the great players he had around him.

So yeah, assuming England win this match and go 2-0 up, if I was Ponting I would drop myself down to number 6 for the rest of the series, announce my retirement after Sydney from all forms of cricket, and try and salvage something from the series (possibly with a farewell century/win in Sydney). This would be seen as very unselfish and would take the pressure off himself and the team.

Posted by stormy16 on (December 16, 2010, 11:46 GMT)

The horrible part of this whole drama is that Ponting cannot be dropped - who will replace him as captain and #3? I dont see the point in dropping him now - remember the WC is after the Ashes. I would say to him right now your position will be looked at after the WC and you will captain till then so relax and play your normal game even if you loose the Ashes. Its just one of the situations which was unthinkable but its happened. Aus cant bat or bowl at home and Ponting of all people cant get a run!! The damage has been done and drastic changes now I dont beleive will make the difference. Cameron White for captain!! The guy is not in the team - WTF is going on around here?

Posted by WilliamFranklin on (December 16, 2010, 11:45 GMT)

Now I've never been a huge fan of 'Punter', mainly because of his whinging when things are going against him and double stamndards over honesty etc.

This is certainly not been a great year for him but he's still averaging 39. Not great, but not awful. Loss of form happens and unfortunately for him it has come when Australia need him the most and when their decline is being shown in sharp contrast to England's rise.

I still feel he'll have a huge innings in this series, hopefully after The Urn has been retained by England mind.

Ponting was, and is, a great of modern batsmen.

Posted by chappelis_last_blast on (December 16, 2010, 11:44 GMT)

His team is ordinary thats why they are losing to better sides. He is feeling more pressure to make runs, I do think a move to number 5 like AB and Steve Waugh would help. Leave him captain for the time being. Put Clarke at number three and if he cant hack the pressure of it he shouldnt get the captaincy or a spot in the side.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 11:44 GMT)

For a long time, Ponting was lucky he had great players to work with as well as being lucky with the toss. Now that he has neither, he demonstrates that after years of being an arrogant captain, when his captaincy skills are truly needed, he has none. And to make matters worse, his batting is poor. After losing the second ashes, his captaincy should have ended, and a new leadership should have been developed. Now, we're staring at a likely third ashes defeat under him, with a vice captain who can't be our next captain. For years we had great players in the test team, and great players like Hodge who couldn't make the team. We were invincible. But now we're set to become like the West Indies.

Posted by aussiescantlosenoway on (December 16, 2010, 11:42 GMT)

Australia will win this game easily, England will be 9 down by the lunch tomorrow and one weekat later on.

Posted by colinham on (December 16, 2010, 11:39 GMT)

Sorry Chapel - that's bunk.

I'm an Englishman, with no axe to grind on Mr Ponting's behalf, but irrespective of the fact that he played in strong teams, and his record in India isn't stunning, there is no doubt that he is one of the great batsmen of the last 20 years. Mr Warne reckoned some time ago that his judge of length was second to none, and I feel privileged that my lad and I saw him at full throttle last year.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 11:38 GMT)

I think that axing Ponting is harsh! He's a really great player and a brilliant captain. Johnson's inclusion was frowned upon. I wonder what the people are saying now. I've always been a fan of Gilchrist, Ponting and Johnson. Gilchrist was an extraordinary talented and honest cricket player. Ponting, what can be said about the man? Brilliant batsman and outstanding captain. Yes, he has had a slump of late, but he will come right. Just because most of the top order is having a hard time at the moment is no reason to call for Ricky's head. Johnson was amazing in all the South African series. And yes, I know that was some time ago, but he took wickets and made valuable runs. A wicket or two and he'll be back in business. Atleast he made a good contribution with the bat. Go Mitchell! I'm South African, so you can understand my respect for these players.

Posted by AlexAlderic on (December 16, 2010, 11:35 GMT)

Pointing is One of the Greatest Player & Captain in this Cricket World but It will be going to End very Soon!!! We are going to say to Pointing Bye Bye Cricket!!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 11:27 GMT)

Pointing has class. Form is temporary, class is permanent. Don't write him off yet. I hope Cricket Australia keep the faith in him. 39 centuries is nothing short of really, really great!

Posted by AEST on (December 16, 2010, 11:24 GMT)

In Australia's win against South Africa last year, Umpire (Bucknor) played a crucial role. During most of the Australian realm, Umpires have managed to get them on top... Now Australia's true form is getting exposed...

Posted by sumit_pillu on (December 16, 2010, 11:23 GMT)

Ponting is a good batsman and there is no second thought about it.He is highly successfull against the SA. SA were the only team in this era which boast of good seam bowlers but but but there is also a point in ponting batting.During the Hayden and Langer era, Aussies were used to get a good start and ponting was coming when there was hardly a pressure plus there were a lot of capable batsman in the team that can bat very well so the pressure was less on ponting.He was scoring runs freely or at his will.But the real test of a batsman is to make runs when there is extreme pressure and ponting fails in this region. No.3 in test means the batsman need to stabalize the team batting and also involve in the partnership and i think Rahul Dravid is a best example of that.Rahul has played against Aussies,English,WestIndies,SA bowlers..and he is highly successfull as well.He has made runs at no.3 pre Sehwag Era .So i am having doubt on ponting skill at no.3.His day's are gone now.

Posted by R4Rushi on (December 16, 2010, 11:21 GMT)

Ricky is great batsman. He is just out of form. to lead a team which is not great as yet is proving bit hard for him. If he steps-down as a leader and just play as batsman he will be back to his rocking best. Many players have done that in past.

Posted by anver777 on (December 16, 2010, 11:20 GMT)

Another batting failure for Ponting !!!!!!! really he's in bad bad form of his life currently & bc of that can't handle the pressure situation & effecting his captainship on the field as well......everything is going bad to worst for him right now.....POOR PONTING !!!!

Posted by vatsap on (December 16, 2010, 11:19 GMT)

The Aussie media is as fickle minded as the Indian media. I can't stand Ricky Ponting for his (lack of ) consistent sportive spirit, his double standards on catches and player behaviour but he is a great batsman and Australia is going through a huge change. For all those baying for his blood, the fact is there is no replacement. May be with captaincy off his head, he would become concentrate better with his bat. But who would be captain ?

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 11:19 GMT)

Peter english full of garbage. Any batsman has a bad run, you try to captain when your team is losing it what a joke of an article. I dont think Pontings the best captian but this article deserves tiolet paper. What about the struggling bowlers? why not just forgive a team that has lost its aura and its legends and is merely trying to re-establish itself at number 3 in the world and is struggling and should find itslef at 5. What a load of populist junk. Offensive actaully

Posted by Sreerang on (December 16, 2010, 11:15 GMT)

A great batsman, no doubt. But he was never going to be a great captain given his temperament and arrogance. He had a very good record initially as a captain, simply because of the great players he had like Mcgrath, Warne and Gilchrist. Of course now that he has been continuously loosing, he has suddenly become graceful in losses. Maybe, relieved of captaincy he may still have a last burst as a batsman and that's worth a try for the Australian selectors as they desperately need a good batsman to hold the innings together.

Posted by amitkumaronnet on (December 16, 2010, 11:14 GMT)

Well, Ricky relieve yourself of captaincy, focus on your batting, and give a run to Sachin Tendulkar's Test runs and centuries, so that the Greatest batsman of the era is more pumped up to win over the challenger and remain in the fray until you retire and is not a threat to his records. Of course, Pete sampras would not be what he is without conquering Agassi, and Federer and Nadal greatness would have been a little diminutive without each other. Sachin's legacy is added as he conquered Warne and sometimes McGrath, and till he retires it will be great to remember that he was above his other contemporary greats called Lara and Ponting and if you include then Inzamam.

Posted by Aljoe on (December 16, 2010, 11:11 GMT)

I am not sure if he is really that great. True talent should show when the chips are down and in such times Ponting has been found wanting along with his deputy in charge Michael Clarke. They have let Australia down in the last three years and their continuous failure in the big games as the main reasons that the youngsters struggle to perform to their expected levels. with openers like Hayden , Langer and the likes of Gilchrist to come and the backup of McGrath and Shane any decent batsmen with batting skills can impose themselves as there is no pressure. Under his leadership this could be the third ashes series loss, Never a win in India, home series loss to south Africa. the true greats were Allan border and Steve Waugh and the good work of last 25 + year have been undone by the pigheaded attitude of some of the senior players and the selection committee. The likes of Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Jason Kreja, Michael Kasprowich, Nathan Hauritz are all victims of this era.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 11:11 GMT)

Ponting has been a great servant to Australian cricket but I think the selectors will give him the axe at the end of this series & if Australia goes on to lose this match then with it they lose The Ashes. If that happens I think the axe might come in even sooner. The best thing for Ponting to do if they lose this test match is to walk away before being dropped. Agreed that going out on the back of a Ashes defeat isn't ideal but it will be far less embarrassing than being dropped.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 11:10 GMT)

Ponting need change...He is going through from a tough period...having players like hayden, warne , mcgrath , lee and gillespie under your captaincy makes you confident. But he dont have strong support from players . Earlier also batsmen used to not score runs but bowlers used to cover up which doesnt happen any more. Right now cricket australia need him as a batsman more than a captain. One more thing..australia playing cricket than anybody else....It can effect anybody s performance no matter how fit he is .

Posted by Point4 on (December 16, 2010, 11:06 GMT)

I can hear the knives being sharpened to chop off Ponting's head here in Bangalore....But Punt and Hussey are the only greats in this side(see how Hussey batted today although Aus needed a big 100 from him).Till now it seemed that once bowling became alright aus batting would take care of itself.Ponting's problem is he is still batting for 2003 series.A pull shot and 2 more boundaries and again trying to attack...the whole world knows that but ponting seems reluctant to admit that Aus CANNOT attack on all fronts any more.His dismissal mirrors his state of mind---confused.a bit like where am i and what am i doing/supposed to do.All i can hope iwhen Aus chops playesr after this Ashes is that they retain Punts as a batsman..ONLY as a batsman.bcos we have nt seen the last of Punter as a batter.....its just that captaincy and fear of failure is making him bat like atherton against warne/mcgrath..confused,timid and scared!!!!

Posted by Roods on (December 16, 2010, 11:05 GMT)

Dont be feeling sorry for Punter. Here's a man that has shown his fair share of arrogance, skant regard for others and been "in the face" of many other players. His time to cop a bit of that in return is fair return. May he have another low score in the second innings:)

Posted by Chapel on (December 16, 2010, 11:04 GMT)

He is an overrated cricketer.Not gReat in any way.Ponting WAS a good batsman until 3 year ago because of the strong openers and middle order of his team. And now the team is gone and his form is gone too.

Posted by Gunnerseleven on (December 16, 2010, 11:02 GMT)

Too much is being written off against Ponting.These kind of dark patches comes to every cricketer and being a captain of a side which is in rebuilding phase all these things are common.He had a pretty dissent outing in India and those 70 plus knocks were played in pressure situations.One good knock is separating all these talks. With the same team he managed to win a series in South Aftrica last year.Same kinda patch happened to Dravid and everyone said "it's time for him".Same thing is happening to Ponting right now.

Posted by Fareen on (December 16, 2010, 10:58 GMT)

It's easy to say that he should retire from intl. cricket..But then again,who'll be the captain?..Michael Clarke?He himself is in danger of being dropped.Hussey is 35+ so no chance...There was only 1 candidate to be the captain & it was C.White but he wasn't even picked in the test.Who else?...And also,who'll bat @ no. 3?You just can't drop someone without a replacement.My suggestion is if he gives up his captaincy...play him as a batsmen & make White skipper & play him @no. 6....

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:57 GMT)

A Man in Shambles..I just back him up for a reincarnation of his batting just the way it was for Tendulkar & Lara. He is not enjoying the Cricket instead he is just trying to prove the world that he is still the best. The Ego problem. Denying the fact that he cannot play short balls well anymore.

Captaincy of Ponting is better less commented the world knows he is sitting in a swamp without 4 pillars..Hayden, Gilly, Mcgrath & Warne. I still remember his ugly face when a partnership crosses 50. A Tense Face..No Sport !!

Posted by kabe_ag7 on (December 16, 2010, 10:57 GMT)

Well Punter's just finding that it's totally different and much harder to perform in a not-so-champion team, a luxury he hitherto enjoyed.

Posted by Something_Witty on (December 16, 2010, 10:57 GMT)

A few weeks ago everyone (me included), was writing Hussey off as a totally lost cause. Now he's averaging 100 this series. Everyone spent the best part of two years or so ragging on Tendulkar for being past it, and look at how he's turned his career around. Everyone has form slumps, and Ponting at the moment, just needs a bit of luck early on.

Posted by BuddyLee on (December 16, 2010, 10:57 GMT)

Spoken just like the English!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:56 GMT)

i have ollowed ponting very closely, without providing any stats i can easily say, ponting was the best in the same era when hyden, langer, wagh brother and martyn were performing. the day all mentioned were retired poning was he exposed as a leading batman he hardly have proven it right. From now on ponting and cricker austrelia needs to take the fact that thier team is now an ordinary team and no individual or two can revive the team overnight. they need to give due time to youngster to settel them and prove their metal. hiring and firing for a series or two will never make a team banalce. let player know thier worth. In the mean time oldies like clark, watson, jonson should take thier place as granted... they need to see all end approch

Posted by Vindaliew on (December 16, 2010, 10:55 GMT)

Having longed for the best part of 15 years for the time that Australia would be brought down to earth, I can't believe I'm feeling really sorry for Punter. No great player (and he does fall into that category despite his unpopularity outside Australia) deserves to end his career like this, with low after low hitting him mercilessly with no comfort or silver lining to hold onto. By the way, the series against Pakistan does not make his average look worse - they had one of the best bowling attacks in the world then. Even the West Indies were capable of true fire - perhaps Ponting brought out the best in Roach!!

Posted by Gunnerseleven on (December 16, 2010, 10:55 GMT)

Too much is being written off against Ponting.These kind of dark patches comes to every cricketer and being a captain of a side which is in rebuilding phase all these things are common.He had a pretty dissent outing in India and those 70 plus knocks were played in pressure situations.One good knock is separating all these talks. With the same team he managed to win a series in South Aftrica last year.Same kinda patch happened to Dravid and everyone said "it's time for him".Same thing is happening to Ponting right now.

Posted by Rydham on (December 16, 2010, 10:54 GMT)

It is a testing time of the greatness !! If Ponting is a great indeed, then he will come out of this like Sachin did in 2007 onwards. Otherwise it is clear that there is only one god of cricket and the rest are rest !!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:49 GMT)

I am almost a Ponting hater for his brand of cricket and would almost love to see him stripped of captaincy but to give credit where it is due.. this bloke is a batsman of the purest genius... It would be sad that his lousy captaincy and ego wont let him be the batsman he could have been...

Posted by amit1807kuwait on (December 16, 2010, 10:49 GMT)

England on the rise and Aussies on the decline, as the gap between the two teams widens and widens further. England are continually showing why they should be ranked above Number 4, whilst its just the opposite for Australia. But I guess no one is shedding tears on the free-fall being exhibited by the Aussies. Most would probably be thinking it serves them best.

Posted by amit1807kuwait on (December 16, 2010, 10:48 GMT)

England on the rise and Aussies on the decline, as the gap between the two teams widens and widens further. England are continually showing why they should be ranked above Number 4, whilst its just the opposite for Australia. But I guess no one is shedding tears on the free-fall being exhibited by the Aussies. Most would probably be thinking it serves them best.

Posted by SPJADHAV on (December 16, 2010, 10:46 GMT)

I think its all over for Ponting.he doesn't have that charisma in hm now,ponting is past, Australia cricket must find someone like mike hussey who can lead his team convincingly. Past days never return Punter.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:45 GMT)

to be a good captain u should be like a king who's never sacred like waugh n pollard (who r mentally very strong n fight to death n never scared). ricky is good captain too. replacing ricky with clarke is just foolish. clarke has no great quality to become a captain. infact he's exactly opposite to a fighter. i've seen him scared to death in many situations on field. u can see it in his face. he's just jovial n good person. captaincy to him is foolish. mike hussey is a good fighter, if not great. at present ricky is the only 1 capable. even waugh cannot win any match if he captains NZ or banglad. every1 says remove pointing. remove the present selectors damn it. when u change all the time(eg. bolly was the best bowler in ipl this year)there is no particular unit. when there is no unit...theres no unity. the problem is in the selection process as waugh stated.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:44 GMT)

the bad boys of cricket made no fans in their glory days .. what with the attitude, the arrogance ... horrible winners ... aah .. nice to see goliath whimper for a change !

Posted by v_singh on (December 16, 2010, 10:41 GMT)

I feel sorry for Ponting.. there is a real chance of getting his name in record books now (3 time Ashes loosing Aussie captain).. Though the series (and the match) is still on, I feel Aussie supporters should not vilify him and should remember him for his contribution to Australian cricket (when he retires, or is forced to retire)... Greg Chapell made people like Tendulkar & Sehwag under-perform when he was the Indian team coach (and could have handled Ganguly episode better).. now it seems he is taking Aussie team in a similar direction (as a selector) !!

Posted by Praks on (December 16, 2010, 10:40 GMT)

Stupid assumption to make that Punter is on his way out. Only recently he played three very good innings in India when the rest of his team flopped. All he needs is one good innings and everyone including this writer will hail him once again.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (December 16, 2010, 10:37 GMT)

I still remember what Punter said just before Ashes. Poms middle order is vulnerable and cook is not in good form. He has to swap the Word "Poms" with "Aussies". It looks like Punter is finished after another 4 days. He cannot survive until 2013.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:33 GMT)

Whose leaving is the turning point of ausis cricket team? a. Gilli b. McGrath c. Hayden d. Symonds e. Warne f. Others multiple answers accepted. It would be better if you state the reason.

Posted by Chapelau on (December 16, 2010, 10:32 GMT)

Aus have to rebuild around a new leader but it is wrong to change in mid-series. If White is the man, then Hussey, Watson and Haddin will be his core team for the future. Agree with Fifthman, we love to see the back of Ponting, but I am fast changing my thoughts - we need to/love to see the back of Hussey and Haddin.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:30 GMT)

Like Muhammad Ali, Ponting will be remembered as the champion who stayed on for a few fights too many. Where men like Langer, Warne and McGrath could retire before the vaning of their powers became obvious, Ponting's sense of duty towards Australian cricket did not allow him to emulate their example. I hope this will be taken into account and that like Muhammad Ali, history will recall the great champion he indubitably was. Then again, cricket is a funny old game and the series isn't dead just yet...

Posted by cheeseburgers on (December 16, 2010, 10:28 GMT)

Bring back Richie Benaud lol:)

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:28 GMT)

Now Aussies face the problem of Every other team does at least once in 5 years, that's SELECTION. Where's Greg Chappel now? They should be ruthless and decide which is more important? People or the Ashes? They should drop Watson, Hughes, Clarke and Ponting as well probably and bring in Some really good Run-Hungry Younger batsmen from across the Country. Australia's main problem is the Batting right now and not the bowling which they are trying to muddle with so much. Their bowlers are doing decent enough job on Flat tracks to be Honest. England bowlers are bowling the same and only Hussey and Haddin are batting well. Hussey will score more if he comes down at 300-4 than 30-4. So, if they coulld some how hang on in Perth and make a wholesale change to their Batting, that would really Augur well and who knows they could even Win the Ashes in the last two tests. Remember, Melbourne is one of their favorite hunting grounds. No one is hanging on there to fight.

Posted by Sachin7 on (December 16, 2010, 10:27 GMT)

Even being a great Sachin fan, I feel very sorry for him, he is one of the best batsmen of this era and his state becoming like this is very very sad. With the likes of ordinary batsmen like Sangakarra and Jayawardene (both also happens to hold a degree in acting and have proved to be excellent actors like claiming wide for wickets etc) boasting as top batsmen, Ponting's numbers gives a sorry state. I wish he has one last flourish in this series and if not win but level the series and retire on a high. He is certainly one of the best of this era

Posted by 5wombats on (December 16, 2010, 10:25 GMT)

....TALL POPPIES.... Australians will know what I'm talking about when I say"Tall Poppies....". And Ponting is one Tall Poppy that's good to go. While you can admire some of the skills he has shown as a decent batsman over the years for Australia - to a major extent Ponting was only successful because the team he was playing in was fantastic. During those years he learned an attitude which was graceless and arrogent - his outburst on being run out at Trent Bridge in 2005 being a prime example. While I didn't agree with it there were reasons why portions of the English crowd booed him last year during the Ashes. A lot of England followers found him to be a loathsome individual.... On the pitch he made decisions based on that arrogance that were just plain wrong - putting England in at Edgbaston 2005, not bowling Warne from the off in Englands 2nd Inns @ Trent Bridge 2005. Not picking a spinner for the Oval 2009. Shockers. Now the Poppy has finally fallen. Goodbye Ricky.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:23 GMT)

it is sad that Ponting has to go the way he may. Ideally Australia should relieve Ponting of his misery and leave him out of the next two tests. But who is to capitain Australia. Surely not Clarke the way he is batting! It was sad to see the selectors tell Ponting that Beer was being left out and he running to inform that poor young man! What a let down. Yet Ponting is paying for the sins of Cricket Australia and the selectors. If they had dropped North for the India tour and given Khwaja and maybe even Hughes a go on these wickets, they would have had a few players who had been blooded and not throw them to the lions, for suddenly England are playing like lions . It is a good learning for Australia , they cannot live in denial any longer. They are at the bottom of the pit and the sooner they forget the Ashes and Ponting and prepare for the future , the better for them. Wake Up Australia, relieve Ponting of his misery and save the team for the future sridhar

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:22 GMT)

Ricky should take retirement from international cricket now. He is a great batsman and should say bye bye now before something worst.

Posted by Fifthman on (December 16, 2010, 10:03 GMT)

If it's any consolation to Aus followers, Punter is the one guy we most like to see back in the hutch, as his continued decline rubs off on the whole team. Chop off the head and the body doesn't last long. I've been wary of writing off Ponting, knowing how destructive he can be on his day, but it now looks as if there won't be any more of those days. Time and tide waits for no man.

If we could just get Hussey to emulate his skipper, it would be game over and 4-0 to England...

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