Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, 3rd day December 28, 2010

The sad demise of Ponting

His team needed a huge score, but Australia's captain managed just 20 as the end of a career looms larger
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Ricky Ponting cannot stir himself from his Ashes nightmare and when he wakes on Wednesday his side will be only four wickets from a defeat that ends any dreams of winning back the urn. A day after being fined 40% of his match fee for arguing with the umpires, Ponting failed to inspire his side and went quietly for 20 when he needed 200.

A cloud of depression hangs over Ponting and it seems the only way it will clear is if he walks away from the side he has been trying so hard to nurture. Stepping back is not part of his nature so he may require a push - either out of the side or down the order.

The rest of the players look to Ponting as a role model, but he is not providing them with many valuable lessons. In this game the troubles of his predicament morphed into an ugly debate over a dismissal that earned the fine and he has provided only 30 runs, taking his tally to 113 at 16.14 for the series.

It has been sad to watch such a great No.3 perform so consistently poorly at crucial times. He looks fit but fidgety, slim but a touch slow to respond to the bowlers. When Tim Bresnan forced Ponting back, he jumped awkwardly and thrust down an angled bat, which rebounded the ball on to the stumps. The shot was played by a man no longer in total control.

At 36, he is nearing the end of a wonderful career yet the only time he has been able to find his voice is when approaching officials. He was booed when stepping on to the MCG to bat, mostly by the English supporters, before the Australian fans responded with a long cheer for the hero who has steered them to so much success and a handful of key failures. Winning the Ashes is the most important responsibility for an Australian captain but Ponting has almost given them up three times.

While a drawn series is still possible, the Sydney Test will not be a celebration. Apart from a couple of days in Brisbane and Perth, Australia have been outplayed by a side that has been purring at every spot except Paul Collingwood at No.5. The hosts are wobbling in too many departments and on the same surface on which England skipped to 513, Australia scraped to 98 and 6 for 169.

Ponting was not the only local batsman to falter in both innings, with Michael Clarke, Phillip Hughes and Michael Hussey also managing less than 40 runs for the game. But he is the man that matters most to the side.

"Ricky doesn't need any encouragement because he's been there and done so much throughout his whole career," Shane Watson said in defence of his leader. "He's a very tough man mentally and he's shown that throughout his career. Everyone is - and will always be - right behind Ricky. He's been a brilliant leader for us."

Watson said Ponting was still the right man to captain Australia after the Ashes. "Of course he can," Watson said. "It's unfortunate he hasn't scored as many runs as he would've liked.

"But no-one will ever question his ability to lead the group because of the things he's be able to do throughout his career and for everyone in the Australian cricket side." The questions might not be coming from within, but they are being asked by almost everyone else who follows the team.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vilander on December 31, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    Something tells me that a monstrous assault from Ponting is around the corner..but when?

  • on December 29, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    @vxttemp

    It's not a comparison between Sachin & Ponting where Sachin is miles ahead of Ponting. You have just supported my point. Yes, Sachin always gets the support of his team members to thrive , it could be sehwag, dravid, laxman ,dhoni whereas Lara hardly got any support. Lara played magical long knocks with minimum support. For instance his 230+ knock in Adelaide with the next highest score of 30+ runs by a teammate was a horrible team experience and Lara played majority of his knocks under those circumstances unlike Sachin. Yes you are correct, India wins and thrives as a team. Same case with Sachin, he relies and has relied hell of a lot on his team mates unlike Lara who battled all alone, but still managed to reach the pinnacle of success and hence he emerges as the best batsman of our era IMO.

  • on December 29, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is a legend and he is a fighter. He knows when to step down as the captain. He is trying really Hard and everyone goes through such a phase in their career. Now for those who are comparing Sachin, Lara and Ponting. Yes, Lara has brilliance but he lacked consistency. He compiled 400* but he could have rather declared and give his bowlers a chance to win the test match (Those who say Sachin plays for records). Ponting is brilliant but he has had a world class team to support him and now he is failing under pressure. Sachin has faced tremendous pressure of expectation for the past 21 years and will for the years to come.. Maybe you can say i amk biased but the stats and facts also indicate that Sachin is better than both. The True Ambassador of Cricket.

  • AlfZ on December 29, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    keep him then you kill your future But at the same time understand that the team's current form is not ONLY because of him....the youngsters failed poorly.

  • bubbsea on December 29, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    Hunting as a pack probably sums up Australian cricket- rather feral and mindless. We'll be better off without Ponting. At times the best fieldsman and batsman in the world though that some time ago and overall a role model we could do without.

  • on December 29, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    @Rajiv Nadukuru. Do no compare Sachin and Ponting. Both belong to different styles of Cricket. Tendulkar entered a team that was losing its Stalwarts to time and has been its batting mainstay for over a decade while Ponting entered a team that has stamped its dominance in world cricket owing to its batting and bowling greats. Once the greats have retired, Ponting couldn't carry the team on his own while Tendulkar did that with flair for a very long time. At an age of 37, he continues to make centuries and is still considered a danger to the opposition in every form of the game. I don't think the same can be said about Ponting. I am not saying Tendulkar is better but to compare, they should've started on level ground which isn't the case with Ponting and Tendulkar. I cannot imagine Ponting making this far if he has the same amount of pressure of expecations that is on Tendulkar.

  • KrashNBurn on December 29, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    Seriously wen was Sachin alone in the Indian batting lineup. This is a whole lotta nonsense sustained by the media. India has always had a decent batting order. Its not like nobody else scored any runs, it was more a case of Sachin getting the starring role. India struggled more due their bowling being not very good and the tendency to play an extra batsman. Too much is being made of Sachin conquering Warne in 1998. Its not like he did it on his own. It was a trend set by Sidhu as the opener and everyone in the line up took to Warne, hell even Mongia who opened in that series went after Warne. Getting the better of Warne maybe a big deal to SA or English teams. For India its no major achievement Even in India rarely has Sachin scored big runs when everyone above him has failed. There is no way you can compare with Lara's solo acts where Chanderpaul was the only other batsman who had a chance of making it into any other nation's test team

  • stormy16 on December 29, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    What a sad stage in Pontings career - lost the Ashes at home, cant make a run and cant get his team to do much other that get flogged by Eng. Regardless of what CA does Ponting needs to decide for himself if he is up to take the next step or hang up the boots and both decisions are as hard as they come. A champion like him deserves a better way to call it a day than this sorry state of affairs. If he wants to go on he must first score some runs and then inspire the team to perform both of which currently look remote at best. CA are usually ruthless and rarely (if ever) have former captains playing under current captains as in Asia. I'm not sure if Aus can afford to drop Ponting at a stage either. Its the full circle of life for Aus which started in the 80's with Border and its back in a corner all countries have been in - what CA does next will define the future I guess.

  • UjasD on December 29, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    If you look at Ponting's career, it has been downward graph. At one time his tally of centuries were close to God of Cricket - Master Blaster - Sachin Tendulkar.. However he is down on form and mental state of mind to score big.. His starts his innings tentatively, poking at deliveries, whereas Sachin starts to hit the ball at the start of his innings very confidentally...

    If think Ponting should retire considering the amount of pressure off the field and on field... Clarke is the next man to lead Australia.... Era and fans of Ricky are on Decline..

  • croneyes on December 29, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    All I can say that it is not only the demise of Ponting, but that of Australian cricket. Terrible, terrible, horrible. CA, the selectors, coaching staff and senior members of the team must accept responsibility for this debacle. How a team can go from top of the world to 5th ranked, probably lower now in a few years is inexcusable. Not even the West Indies crumbled so quickly. Why haven't David Hussey (12000 runs, 40 100's, 50 x 50's) and Brad Hodge (17000 runs, 51 x 100's, 64 x 50's & a Test 100 and 2 x 50's) been given a look in before now? Instead we gamble with left field selections and soft out of form players living on reputation like Clarke. Now these fine players are approaching the end of their careers. Players must not only be picked on style and technique, but also their temperament and ability to perform under pressure and fight. Sadly the current Aust side have a very soft underbelly to go with their lack of ability. Shameful the selectors could not see this.

  • Vilander on December 31, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    Something tells me that a monstrous assault from Ponting is around the corner..but when?

  • on December 29, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    @vxttemp

    It's not a comparison between Sachin & Ponting where Sachin is miles ahead of Ponting. You have just supported my point. Yes, Sachin always gets the support of his team members to thrive , it could be sehwag, dravid, laxman ,dhoni whereas Lara hardly got any support. Lara played magical long knocks with minimum support. For instance his 230+ knock in Adelaide with the next highest score of 30+ runs by a teammate was a horrible team experience and Lara played majority of his knocks under those circumstances unlike Sachin. Yes you are correct, India wins and thrives as a team. Same case with Sachin, he relies and has relied hell of a lot on his team mates unlike Lara who battled all alone, but still managed to reach the pinnacle of success and hence he emerges as the best batsman of our era IMO.

  • on December 29, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is a legend and he is a fighter. He knows when to step down as the captain. He is trying really Hard and everyone goes through such a phase in their career. Now for those who are comparing Sachin, Lara and Ponting. Yes, Lara has brilliance but he lacked consistency. He compiled 400* but he could have rather declared and give his bowlers a chance to win the test match (Those who say Sachin plays for records). Ponting is brilliant but he has had a world class team to support him and now he is failing under pressure. Sachin has faced tremendous pressure of expectation for the past 21 years and will for the years to come.. Maybe you can say i amk biased but the stats and facts also indicate that Sachin is better than both. The True Ambassador of Cricket.

  • AlfZ on December 29, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    keep him then you kill your future But at the same time understand that the team's current form is not ONLY because of him....the youngsters failed poorly.

  • bubbsea on December 29, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    Hunting as a pack probably sums up Australian cricket- rather feral and mindless. We'll be better off without Ponting. At times the best fieldsman and batsman in the world though that some time ago and overall a role model we could do without.

  • on December 29, 2010, 6:47 GMT

    @Rajiv Nadukuru. Do no compare Sachin and Ponting. Both belong to different styles of Cricket. Tendulkar entered a team that was losing its Stalwarts to time and has been its batting mainstay for over a decade while Ponting entered a team that has stamped its dominance in world cricket owing to its batting and bowling greats. Once the greats have retired, Ponting couldn't carry the team on his own while Tendulkar did that with flair for a very long time. At an age of 37, he continues to make centuries and is still considered a danger to the opposition in every form of the game. I don't think the same can be said about Ponting. I am not saying Tendulkar is better but to compare, they should've started on level ground which isn't the case with Ponting and Tendulkar. I cannot imagine Ponting making this far if he has the same amount of pressure of expecations that is on Tendulkar.

  • KrashNBurn on December 29, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    Seriously wen was Sachin alone in the Indian batting lineup. This is a whole lotta nonsense sustained by the media. India has always had a decent batting order. Its not like nobody else scored any runs, it was more a case of Sachin getting the starring role. India struggled more due their bowling being not very good and the tendency to play an extra batsman. Too much is being made of Sachin conquering Warne in 1998. Its not like he did it on his own. It was a trend set by Sidhu as the opener and everyone in the line up took to Warne, hell even Mongia who opened in that series went after Warne. Getting the better of Warne maybe a big deal to SA or English teams. For India its no major achievement Even in India rarely has Sachin scored big runs when everyone above him has failed. There is no way you can compare with Lara's solo acts where Chanderpaul was the only other batsman who had a chance of making it into any other nation's test team

  • stormy16 on December 29, 2010, 5:16 GMT

    What a sad stage in Pontings career - lost the Ashes at home, cant make a run and cant get his team to do much other that get flogged by Eng. Regardless of what CA does Ponting needs to decide for himself if he is up to take the next step or hang up the boots and both decisions are as hard as they come. A champion like him deserves a better way to call it a day than this sorry state of affairs. If he wants to go on he must first score some runs and then inspire the team to perform both of which currently look remote at best. CA are usually ruthless and rarely (if ever) have former captains playing under current captains as in Asia. I'm not sure if Aus can afford to drop Ponting at a stage either. Its the full circle of life for Aus which started in the 80's with Border and its back in a corner all countries have been in - what CA does next will define the future I guess.

  • UjasD on December 29, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    If you look at Ponting's career, it has been downward graph. At one time his tally of centuries were close to God of Cricket - Master Blaster - Sachin Tendulkar.. However he is down on form and mental state of mind to score big.. His starts his innings tentatively, poking at deliveries, whereas Sachin starts to hit the ball at the start of his innings very confidentally...

    If think Ponting should retire considering the amount of pressure off the field and on field... Clarke is the next man to lead Australia.... Era and fans of Ricky are on Decline..

  • croneyes on December 29, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    All I can say that it is not only the demise of Ponting, but that of Australian cricket. Terrible, terrible, horrible. CA, the selectors, coaching staff and senior members of the team must accept responsibility for this debacle. How a team can go from top of the world to 5th ranked, probably lower now in a few years is inexcusable. Not even the West Indies crumbled so quickly. Why haven't David Hussey (12000 runs, 40 100's, 50 x 50's) and Brad Hodge (17000 runs, 51 x 100's, 64 x 50's & a Test 100 and 2 x 50's) been given a look in before now? Instead we gamble with left field selections and soft out of form players living on reputation like Clarke. Now these fine players are approaching the end of their careers. Players must not only be picked on style and technique, but also their temperament and ability to perform under pressure and fight. Sadly the current Aust side have a very soft underbelly to go with their lack of ability. Shameful the selectors could not see this.

  • vxttemp on December 29, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    I will never ever rate ponting above tendulkar or Lara. Some one saying tendulkar has dravid/sehwag/gagnuly is pretty funny. Do u know why india wins most of the time when dravid plays, just some one else also performed for india that day :-( Also What about india's bowling attack. Srinath-bowler never uses his brain. Kumble- who rarely turns outside india. prasad- batsman has to wait for ages to play his bowling. India is winning recently becoz many of the teammates are performing now a days. It is not just about tendulkar now. It is about team India. Even in the blowing department, late in his carrier kumble bowled well in Aus/Eng. Irfan/Balaji/Inshant/sree/zaheer/bhajji -- they are chipping in. This message is from a guy who watched tendulkar walk out to the crease 95% of time with scores 25/2 or 55/3. I think it is hundred% through out his career sparing the few matches india won abroad. How many times did pointing walked in such a situation and performed?

  • DINESHCC on December 29, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    The horror year of 2010 has gone for Ponting. He will begin his new innings in 2011 with a big 200 and Sydney is his luckiest grond. He is the second top scorer in tests and ODIs after Tendulkar. He cannot be dropped from the team just like that. On 3rd January 2011 he will score his 40th test century and Aus is going to level the series with a thumping innings win.

  • Vinay_VP on December 29, 2010, 4:55 GMT

    Ricky Ponting can play well when other members of his team are playing well. He never experienced the playing under pressure because of great players like Mcgrath, warne, Hayden, Gilchrist etc. Along with them he was playing well. Now that he has to lead from the front, his true ability is coming to the light. Compare this with Sachin Tendulkar. He is handling this pressure of 100 crore expectations from 21 years and still the leading scorer of the team.. Now anybody has any doubt about who is greater player between Ponting & Sachin?

  • on December 29, 2010, 4:48 GMT

    Ponting era was end now,gone are those days he use to enjoy great players next to him glen,shane,lee etc..his understanding of the game is also questionable he tend to be very aggresive in all the games, his still living in past glories not understanding the his team strength and conditions.

  • wiseshah on December 29, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    ponting is better than tendulkar. tendulkar was never been a match winner for india. all he played for his own record

  • on December 29, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    Ponting was obviously a good batsman, but he isn't anymore. Ponting, as a captain, could win with a great team at his disposal - McGrath and Warne could set their own fields and Ponting only had to take credit. But, without a great team Ponting's captaincy is a shocker!! He is not articulate enough to inspire his team, the pressure makes him crack and he has shown that he is not diplomatic or mature enough to even respect the umpires. Now the ashes are gone he should be dumped, really he should have been slapped a ban after his little hissy fit, and let Hussey have a reward for his level headed and gentlemanly behavior as an example to the next generation of Australian players. Cut away the rude, arrogant, graciousness of Australian cricket and hope that the next golden age of Australian cricket will have some character and charm.

  • on December 29, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    @ vijaya Lack of support theorem was applicable to LARA but not for sachin. Sachin always had (still having) the support of Ganguly, Sehwag, LAxman,Dravid.

    Sachin is a legend, no doubt about that but LARA was the lone fighter in Windies team with negligible support.Once he scored 230+ against Aussies in Adelaide and the next highest scorer scored just 30+ runs. That's the supreme definition of a lonely knock and Lara had many under his name. I can't recall any of Sachins Triumphs of that calibre and that's one of the reasons why I consider Lara>Sachin

  • AshwinShriram on December 29, 2010, 4:22 GMT

    Ponting is in the same situation Saurav Ganguly was in. I think he might need some time off to gather himself together. Australia should move on.

  • MiddleStump on December 29, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    Ponting is an average captain but as a batsman he has class. It is hasty to write him off as a middle order bat. Hilditch and company could ask Hussey to take over the captaincy but that would be a short term fix. Shane Watson may be the better choice considering he is the only other player whose place is certain in the side. Australia need a couple of young batsmen and bowlers to come good in order to have any chance of climbing back to the top in the coming years.

  • VJ13 on December 29, 2010, 4:14 GMT

    By the Time Normally Ponting comes to Bat both Hayden and his partner always done the job and hence Ponting was able to show best part of his while batting. And bowlers were always did their part so well that Ponting was never under pressure. But when he had to lead new guys and inspire them He failed totally ....

  • mravikiran on December 29, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    It is a long standing disease in cricket and cricket-related-media-and-public that when a team loses, one man will be singled out - typically the captain, and some times the leading batsman or the leading bowler.

    Ian Botham, Ritchie Richardson, Inzaman-Ul-Haq, Sanath Jayasuriya, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Chaminda Vaas and now Ricky Ponting - all have been singled out for failures and were subjected to stupid questions.

    Cricket is a team game and when a match is won, the captain calls "team effort" and says "we played as team", but when a match is lost, the captain (or anyone else for that matter) does not have enough guts to accept reality to say "we lost as a team". Lets come out of this hypocracy

    Even if Ricky ponting had scored 100 in each innings of this match, AUS would still have lost this game. Don't you agree?

  • prank.on.voyage on December 29, 2010, 3:56 GMT

    Great batsman, but (Ponting ) need to learn mannerism and behavioral education to rise once again. But its too late to get educated at the age of 36. So Australia have to invest in some young fellows.

  • tanstell87 on December 29, 2010, 3:51 GMT

    Indian fan here---Solution to Australia's worries....drop Clarke,Smith & Johnson....make Cameron White captain in all three formats...bring David Hussey, Ferguson, Paine & Khawaja in the test side...play Ponting at 5...make sure Shaun Tait & Dirk Nannes play test cricket...bring back Hauritz....bring back Stuart Clark....& above all Andrew Symonds !!!!

  • Mik70 on December 29, 2010, 3:50 GMT

    Sydney Test team: Cosgrove, Hughes, Watson, Ponting, Hussey, khwaja, Haddin, O'Keefe, Johnson, Siddle, Copeland

  • 5wombats on December 29, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    @Aspade Spade ;"This was the boy that signed up for the establishment and not for what is right." Well put - I agree with everything you say; "Ponting led a team of seasoned warriors not only to victories but also to taunt, bully, disrespect, ridicule and treat opposing teams and umpires with absolute disdain". Absolutely. The world knows this is not the way to play the game. But Pontings legacy is ruination to Australian cricket. As @Bob Young says; "what goes around come around" - and your time has come Ricky. Just switch off the lights as you leave.

  • Boundsy0868 on December 29, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    To add to muski's comments about Warne providing some service to Australia - it always baffled me the fact we had the best leg spinner of all time, yet he was not seemingly(?) put to good use to identify and assist in the development of our younger spinners? I am sure he has helped out somewhere along the line, but we are not seeing much evidence of this. Sure, this takes time, it does not happen over night, but Australian Cricket had the opportunity to take advantage of every young cricketer going out and wanting to be like Warnie, and there would have been some missed gems out there. Warney, time to put away your Eddie-esque dreams of being Numero Uno on Channel Nine in mediocre talk shows and help replenish our spinning stocks! That said, this is only one piece of the puzzle that is Australian Cricket which has so, so many missing pieces (or should I say incorrect pieces - whatever the case, the puzzle does not fit together).

  • on December 29, 2010, 3:36 GMT

    At Vijaya: I dont care how great a batsmen you are, it is hard when you are the last man standing from an unbelievable era of talent in Australian Cricket. Ponting is and always will be one of the best, something he has proven consistently throughout his career.

  • HOMEBREW on December 29, 2010, 3:30 GMT

    It could well be that Ponting could host the next series of "The Weakest Link" since he likes do more tv adds rather than concentrate on what he's paid for. As for most of the aussie side doing more and more adds, they should do what their paid to do and thats play cricket. Time for Cameron White to take over with Watson as vice captain. Clarke's no good as a captian as you don't know weather his backs going to be fine one minuite or he's to busy trying to get his photo taken for the socialite section of the paper. Being an aussie fan i'm fed up with all of these so called professional players telling us all the time" we'll do better next test" "we were totally outplayed". It seems like the days of old where it's harder to get in the side than get out of it. Simple, if your not doing what your paid to do, you get the sack and the next best bloke gets a go.

  • on December 29, 2010, 3:19 GMT

    Its sad that a great cricketer had to see this day. Being part of 3 WC winning squads, he has had more than what most cricketers can dream of. Guess you can't have everything. More than the retirement of the greats, the loss of Symonds, Brett Lee etc has hurt them more ....'cause retirements can be planned for, but disasters ....not so. Hope things turn around for the Aussies.

  • 5wombats on December 29, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    @Bob Young; perfectly put. Ponting's achieved effect since since 2006/7 has been the diametric opposite of what he intended. Why? Because his core values - the values that motivate him are flawed. This transmits as arguing with umpires, shouting and carrying on when run-out, etc. He has led his side DOWN as gracelessly as his character flaws suggest. Pontings "leadership" has done a lot of damage, because he doesn't have the vision; hubris causes him, and thus his team, to not learn from mistakes. His dumping of Hauritz for example - for whatever reason - is just mistaken, as many Aussies have commented here on cricinfo. Also - he has ruined Micheal Clarke as a batsman and potential captain. I honestly think that if you live by the sword you shouldn't be surprised if you end up dying by it.

  • Caino94 on December 29, 2010, 3:17 GMT

    Well Its sad to say but your only as good as your last performance...thats what people will remember you for but Ricky Ponting deserves to be one of the greatest batsmen ever to play the game with the likes of Lara, Tandulkar and Bradman....hes scored over 12,500 runs and has an average over 50..... he is not far from tandulkar really when you think about it.....tandulkar plays 80% of his matches on dead, flat wickets rather then ponting so I believe there is no splitting the two.... anyway I really hope Ponting gets a big hundred in Sydney and retires to go off n a good note and remind people on just how good he is :) with 40 test centuries he will be remembered well....

  • timmytimmytimmytimmy on December 29, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    have to sack ponting as captin after sydney, sad but long overdue. the selectors have to go, we´ve been destroyed. Iin adelaide, waca & melbourne we´ve had the worse starts ever witnessed.

  • Rohan0309 on December 29, 2010, 3:11 GMT

    Another mistake, in my opinion, has been the exclusion of Hauritz in the squad. He is, unarguably, Australia's best spinner..Doherty, Beer, Smith..Too much of experimenting for a series of this magnitude!

  • on December 29, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    Ponting is the only great player left in the team he should be allowed to continue as a batsmen. Australian selectors and Ponting pay the price for not trying to prolong the careers of the likes of stuart mcgill, stuart clarke , Andrew symonds and even gilchrist( he could have played as a batsment) and warne. They would have been better then this bunch.

  • Rohan0309 on December 29, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    Ponting's career as a batsman may still live on after the Ashes, but whether he's the man to still captain Australia is debatable. But Australia's biggest woe is: Who after Ponting? Surely not Clarke. He himself needs a lot of soul searching to do. Haddin? Hussey? Surely not men who are at the fag end of their careers and who are 35+. The only answer I can come up with is Shane Watson. Their man in all three formats. But I haven't seen him lead in any match, except when he captained Rajasthan Royals in IPL 1 when Warney had rested himself.

  • on December 29, 2010, 3:00 GMT

    High time for Cricket Australia to say good bye to Ponting since for last 2 years he has done horribly with the bat and his captaincy has gone down.

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on December 29, 2010, 2:55 GMT

    @ Rajiv Nadukuru - I wonder why Ponting does not feature in ESPN Legends of Cricket while Tendulkar does, specially since in your eyes the former is better than the latter.

  • on December 29, 2010, 2:49 GMT

    This is ponting's actual worth in handling pressure. Ever since the good players retired, his career path states this; He played well in a group that hunted as a pack. When he had to take the burden of being the batting mainstay he shattered and crumbled. This highlights the quality and class Lara and Tendulkar are made of - they were constantly in teams that lent little support. Now bring on the talk of being a match winner Mr. Ponting.

  • muski on December 29, 2010, 2:47 GMT

    I did say before the Ashes that if the POMS beat the Aussies, Ponting's captaincy must go. Now that he has not inspired with the bat either, its time for Hilditch and co to take a decision. Along with him, the man in waiting should also go. He is neither an inspirational player or a leader for that matter. Someone like Hussey should be put( in temporary charge- Hussey is not a young man).Guys like Marsh should be given the long handle. If they dont rebuild now. they will become the next West Indies in the years to come.Warne could do some service to Aussie cricket by training couple of good young spinners. God bless you mates.

  • on December 29, 2010, 2:43 GMT

    No matter the loss...he is a great cricketer better than Sachin.....Any doubts?????

  • Nerk on December 29, 2010, 2:41 GMT

    Ponting has served Australian cricket well, and deserves much praise. Always a great batsman, and when he focuses on it, a good captain as well. But time to call it a day I think. Australia have to invest in some young fellows, and there are plenty of those about. It is time to rebuild, and that process cant start with Ponting still about.

  • viper25 on December 29, 2010, 2:38 GMT

    Remember, the same was written of Tendulkar not long ago. But then Ponting isn't Tendulkar.

  • KAIRAVA on December 29, 2010, 2:23 GMT

    With the Ashes lost and now left with nothing to lose, Australia should look out for the future and should make wholesome changes for the next test. So my Aussie XI for the Sydney test should be: 1. Shane Watson, 2. Mark Cosgrove, 3. Shaun Marsh, 4. Usman Khwaja, 5. Mike Hussey (Capt'n), 6. AB McDonald, 7. Brad Haddin, 8. Nathan Hauritz, 9. Mitchell Johnson, 10. Peter Siddle, 11. Trent Copeland.

  • Benkl on December 29, 2010, 2:20 GMT

    Everyone wrote of Tendulkar as well till Greg forced some changes that got the team going again...

    Would be sad to see such a great player go.

  • CricDepot on December 29, 2010, 2:08 GMT

    It will be sad to see Punter go! He has been a real champion batsman for his country. Best number 3 and a great fielder as well. Not just in Australia, kids all over the world want to bat like him.

  • gjcj on December 29, 2010, 1:40 GMT

    Ponting will have to stay, but it is time to blood some youngsters. What better opportunity than a dead rubber at the SCG. Lose Hughes, and blood youngster Maddinson ( a huge talent with two centuries already), lose Clarke and replace with Chris Lynne from Queensland, another with huge potential and talent. These two young fellows could be players to build a team around in the future instead of bringing in old players like David Hussey. A spot for Khawaja must be found, replacing Smith (for the moment) then Hauritz also needs to be brought back. We would then have three batsmen in form to support Michael Hussey, Shane Watson and Ricky Ponting, a solid spin bowler, and a more rounded bowling attack with the demise of Harris due to injury. My batting order - Watson, Maddinson, Khawaja, Ponting, Hussey, Lynne, Haddin, Hauritz, Johnston, Siddle, Hilfenhaus. It might be scary to blood three youngsters, but we need to look to the future. And no I am not from New South Wales.

  • hyclass on December 29, 2010, 1:38 GMT

    It would be a short sighted person who suggested Phillip Hughes should be dropped. After 3 tests against the worlds best bowler, he averaged 68 and had become the youngest player in test history to make a hundred in each innings of a test match. He warmed up for the 2009 Ashes tour with 3 hundreds in a row for his county. He was roughed up in a tour game by Harmison-but so was every other australian. He still made 30 odd in that game and in the first test match where he again received the same treatment. Ordered to bat differently in the second test, he was out for 4 caught down the leg side in the first innings and given out caught for 17 in the second innings when the ball had clearly not carried and the umpires failed to ask for a replay-nothing was said. Instead he was sacked and told to learn to bat. His average was 58. Watson who has no stamina replaced him.Since then, the barely 22 year old has been treated like rubbish. Given support, he is the best offside player in the world.

  • shramiac1 on December 29, 2010, 0:36 GMT

    Since the best Australia can do is draw the series, a new start must take place in Sydney. And big changes! Hughes, Clarke, Ponting, Smith, Hilfenhouse, and Johnson must go! If Ponting is retained he must be forced to No.5! He just can't face the new ball. Clarke.......gone, can't captain! His T20 record proves this. Australia very lucky to get to the World T20 final. And haven't played well since. When the pressure is on, he cracks. Hilf can't get anyone out, Smith is not good enough, Johnson AGAIN showed he is a one test wonder in a series! Hussey should be made captain if Ponting is dropped. The main trouble with Australia is the attack at all costs, typified by the stupid run-out of Hughes. They need to learn how to leave the ball alone! Even Hussey was suckered by wide balls in this match! Trouble is who do you replace these players with? Does it matter who though? I mean, whom ever chosen should have no trouble scoring more than 98!!!!!

  • T20man on December 29, 2010, 0:17 GMT

    Agree with many of the comments on here about Ponting (especially by MasterClass). Great batsman...but a very mediocre captain. His captaincy skills and his behaviour have let him down on many occasions. It all began with him being largely responsible for losing the unlosable Ashes 1st time around (with all the legends still in the team!!)...and now it has deteriorated to this. Age is catching up with his batting and he certainly doesn't have great captaincy skills to fall back on. Time to give it up Ricky. Only problem for Australia is who to replace him with!? Cameron White in T20 + ODI's ....but who in Tests?

  • aarpee2 on December 29, 2010, 0:15 GMT

    Well it is clear that Ponting's form has deserted him just when his team needed it most. It is also evident that the current Aussie team with the exception of Hussey lacks match winners and most of them are unable to raise their game when needed.Even the bowlers are performing as individuals rather than in tandem.All things being equal let us give Strauss and his boys due credit for outplaying the Aussies in all departments of the game.Wonder where the bench strength of the Aussies is hiding,if there is one at all.It is a wake-up call for the Aussie selectors to search for solutions.

  • seaboy on December 29, 2010, 0:14 GMT

    Leave Ponting alone!! He will make an excellent comeback, I know it. He just needs to give up the captancy and concentrate on his batting.

  • landl47 on December 29, 2010, 0:13 GMT

    A lot of people here seem to feel that Ponting is a good captain with a bad team. The truth is actually the opposite of this; the real situation is that Ponting was always a bad captain, he just had a good team in the early years which masked his shortcomings. Back in 2005 it was obvious that when Australia weren't doing well Ponting was indecisive and unimaginative. He's fine when Australia is on top, but then most captains are good captains when they're winning. It's when things aren't going so well you need to be a positive influence by at least giving the appearance that you know what you're doing. Ponting never gave that kind of confidence to his side. He'll be remembered as a great bat, not a great captain.

  • Boundsy0868 on December 28, 2010, 23:56 GMT

    It will be sad to see Punter go a truly great batsmen, admittedly not the best of captains, but still a respected leader of men (just have to listen to the esteem in which his teammates hold him). As longdonkey wrote, Punter lost many great teammates. Yes he has had many moments best not reflected upon, & obviously reading some of the comments on this post, upset some of our fellow sports lovers from other countries. It would be nice if such people would keep their opinions to themselves & show some respect here, but then everyone can have an opinion. Hopefully he can resign on his own terms and captain & play one last time in Sydney, perhaps to steer the Aussies to a series leveling (albeit inconsequential) victory to save some face for Australia. A shame the media could not provide some more support for our embattled leader - the more I read the articles, the more it seems like our media has been infiltrated by members of the English press (heartless, unsympathetic and disrepectful.

  • dave89 on December 28, 2010, 23:56 GMT

    Don't write him off prematurely, as a batsman he has had a few poor tests, but just recently he had a great tour of India. Possibly he will call his career short now, but as a batsman he has much to offer

    Ponting is a great fighter, while that may rub on some here, he has lead from the front at number 3 against all comers, and made runs in the big matches when it counted. With the burden of captaincy to boot.

    For mine he matches Lara as the great batsman of the last 20 years. No meaningless hundreds down the order bolstering stats but not their team chances

  • dave89 on December 28, 2010, 23:43 GMT

    Don't write him off prematurely, as a batsman he has had a few poor tests, but just recently he had a great tour of India. Possibly he will call his career short now, but as a batsman he has much to offer

    Ponting is a great fighter, while that may rub on some here, he has lead from the front at number 3 against all comers, and made runs in the big matches when it counted. With the burden of captaincy to boot.

    For mine he matches Lara as the great batsman of the last 20 years. No meaningless hundreds down the order bolstering stats but not their team chances

  • on December 28, 2010, 23:41 GMT

    How soon we forget...

    Ricky Ponting has been the champion and legend of Australian batting for a decade now; and in my opinion, second only to Bradman in the halls of Australian cricket. His captaincy has not been that of Border, Taylor or Waugh, but he has done the job and been successful.

    Australians need to realise that every team will go through ebbs and flows. We've been lucky over the past fifteen years or so to have teams filled with legends. Those days are over, and we aren't going to be able to just demolish the opposition any more.

    We need to learn how to play cricket to the standard of the rest of the world. We've rested on our laurels too long, and suddenly the rest of the world has shown up and overtaken us. So now it's time to start rebuilding.

  • Anneeq on December 28, 2010, 23:25 GMT

    The Aussie selectors have handled the Ponting saga pretty well actually, he has been given a lot of time. Hes been given a good 3 years now to mould a side post McGrath, Warne etc with not a lot of success. Something has to be done about Ponting tho cos this is looking pretty grim for him now. Its been nearly 2 years now that hes been out of form, its kind of like the Michael Vaughan saga with England when he was also in poor form. Too much of it has been put on Ponting i think, yes hes been misfiring but so has most of the Aussie team, Watson has had a few starts but he hasnt been converting them to hundreds. Johnson has been aweful for years now, we hear about this amazing series in South Africa, but there's nothing else, surely he shouldnt be picked ever again for Australia after this series? Enough is enough. Ponting is just one piece of a huge puzzle of Aussie decline really......

  • vmurali62 on December 28, 2010, 23:20 GMT

    I believe that Punter as a captain has to go, while as a batsman he has the ability to bounce back and hang around for a couple of years. There is a saying Hindi "Jab McGrath, Warne ho meherban, tho gaddha pehelwan". Loosely translated, it means that with players of the caliber of McGrath/Warne, even a donkey can appear to be a good captain. If you look at a couple of stands he has taken - whether it be the insistence on not referring claimed catches (2007) and the current one where he challenged a referred decision, they have been bizarre. His boorishness has been on display for a long time - when times are tough, these acts do not get swept under the rug. Time to pay the piper, Punter.

  • cmw2175 on December 28, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    A truly great player. A mediocre captain (with little need to improve initially, given the team he was captaining). However, the 40% was lenient in the extreme.

  • braindead_rocker on December 28, 2010, 22:52 GMT

    When he had great team mates, he played well and now when surrounded by average players, the pressure is getting to him.

    Now he must be feeling what Sachin felt through out his career.

  • Paulk on December 28, 2010, 22:25 GMT

    it is sad to see a great champion fading. I'll be sorry to see him go when he does. he came across as a no frills no nonsense guy who always put his team first and always deflected attention away from himself despite being one of the great contemporary batsmen. On another note, like Michael Clarke will take over - he leads a charmed life doesnt he? he cannot play T20 but captains the team. While he is certainly a good test player I think he is overhyped and atleast currently is going through a horrible patch. Still he is the anointed one.

  • longdonkey on December 28, 2010, 22:23 GMT

    I think criticism of Ponting is totally unjustified. This is the team when Ponting first captained Australia against Sri Lanka in 2003. Langer Hayden Ponting Martyn Lehmann Symonds Gilchrist Warne Gillespie Kasporwicz MacGill incedently Symonds debut game. Of the current team only Hussey in for Martyn would get a game in the 2003 team. That is where the criticism lies, with the selectors and Australian cricket managing the transition of new players. The likes of Hughes and Smith are not up to the job.

  • on December 28, 2010, 22:17 GMT

    he should be given the sack... hes absolutely lost it... This ain't the English premier league son... your out of form and the behavior as an International Captain was disgraceful... absolutely disgraceful...

  • MasterClass on December 28, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    In my opinion Ponting's demise started with the SCG 2007 match against India where he was finally found-out by the rest of the world (except fanatic Aus supporters). His leadership qualities were deplorable and against a respected fighter and statesman like Kumble he cut a loathsome figure. Too bad Aus were too one-eyed to realize this then, being seduced by his record. However as we now know that record was built on the backs of others. He is a great batsman no doubt, but a lot of it was based on bravado and brashness that could only be sustained when he played with the other greats. Without them his bravado and brashness has failed him. The remnants are quite ugly, and as the author rightly states an aura of depression surrounds him. Time to go Punter before it gets worse for everyone. It's already pretty bad!

  • kamiccolo on December 28, 2010, 21:36 GMT

    Sachin is a legend, his stats speaks for itself, however India as a team has never achieved real success - they've lost series to South Africa and Australia in the last 10 years in India - they havent won a major trophy other than a T20 championship - they've had a number of renowned batsmen (Dravid, VVS, Sehwag etc) as well as bowlers (Kumble, Harba etc) - yet they have nothing to show for it accept an artificial number 1 - Ponting on the other hand - has been extremely successful as captain and batsmen - he has performed in World Cup finals - is 1 of only 1 or 2 batsmen to average above 40 against every country they've played against - granted he is about to lose 3 ashes - but he has been the batsmen of the decade - if Kallis performed more in the make or break games i would of rated him number one - other than in the most recent, ponting has always lead his team from the front being the destroyer in chief around which the other batsment built confidence - he is a legend,

  • Baysider on December 28, 2010, 21:33 GMT

    Ponting and Clarke have to go for the 5th test. Ponting is dreadfully out of touch and Clarke only managed runs in one innings, on a placid Adelaide track where England belted 5 for 620. Clarke has never in my memory rescued Australia in a crisis - he always exacerbates the crisis. Hughes probably did enough to earn a game on his home track - he was unlucky to be run out by Watson. Even Watson has to be shifted down the order. For all his good scores, he has never once looked like making 200, and every opener has to have that capability. Bowlers? Aaagh. The selectors need to grovel to Shaun Tait, the only strike bowler in the country.

  • on December 28, 2010, 21:13 GMT

    bye bye ricky...........today gonna b 6 th last day of ur career....... and u ll b rememberd as only 2 captain who lost 3 ashes............cool..........

  • on December 28, 2010, 20:59 GMT

    Its just harsh on Ponting. apparently hes not a good leader.come on he doesnt have the team to back him up. The last time when he had warney and mcgrath he did win 5-0 didnt he?

  • johngold on December 28, 2010, 20:50 GMT

    Ricky Ponting great batsman, one of the most consistent I have ever seen, that is his plus side,however, tactically inept captain, when he was made captain, the Aussies should have appointed Warne. With the side he inherited, I think it could have captained itself, when called on for thinking/changes in series in England in 2005 and 2009 he was out thought by Vaughan and then Strauss, then again this year by Strauss. Ricky please leave us with memories of your great batting not this sad caricature arguing with umpires,and scratching round to make a horrible score of 20 or so,and this is from proud Englishman.

  • wnwn on December 28, 2010, 20:37 GMT

    Undoubtedly one of the greats of test cricket. But the time has now come to retire and allow Australia to rebuild.

  • RohanMarkJay on December 28, 2010, 20:36 GMT

    Also Well Played England! They planned well for this campaign. knew exactly what their weaknesses are and strengnths and trained hard accordingly. Their selectors did an excellent job picked the right players. Graham Gooch did an good job in strengthening their generally weak batting to back up their excellent bowlers. They have learnt lessons well from all the previous defeats they had down under. Came to Australia knowing they had their best chance in a generation and more to defeat Australia. All their commentators and advisers from Ian Botham to Angus Fraser knew how good Australia were better than their counterparts at Cricket Australia. Well Played England finally a real genuine sporting achievement that British sport can be proud of. Australia need to stop living in the late 1990s and maybe try and learn what Border and Simpson did in the 1980s if they want to recover. Ricky Ponting such a great career shouldn't be the fall guy. Rather CA in my view should take the blame.

  • on December 28, 2010, 20:35 GMT

    Several captains in the past have relinquish their posts and continue to play good cricket and help their successor to take control. Sachin and Mahela are current examples. May be it's time for Ricky to follow the trend and contribute with his bat.

  • on December 28, 2010, 20:25 GMT

    Few believed that this moment will arrive!! At the height of Aussie success, Ponting led a team of seasoned warriors not only to victories but also to taunt, bully, disrespect, ridicule and treat opposing teams and umpires with absolute disdain! The smirky smile on his face when talking to media, opposition and umpires was present even yesterday when talking to Dhar. This was the boy that signed up for the establishment and not for what is right. I suspect that several players from that champion team are rejoicing today and can't wait to see ponting fall! I feel that Ponting was a pawn in a much larger strategy that CA tried in vain to wrest control of the global game and today it is going to be obvious that both failed spectacularly. It is only poetic justice that such failure is expressed as Ashes loss x 3!! I would like to see Ponting come out of this and show his steel and CA, who used him all along, support him in that endeavour!!

  • RohanMarkJay on December 28, 2010, 20:24 GMT

    Punter has been a great cricketer and generally history I think will look kindly on him because people remember how he performed as a cricketer rather than deeds as Captain. True he lost three ashes series, but I am afraid this was always on the cards. Since 2005 when the greats of Australia started retiring it was obvious that needed to start from scratch like Border and simpson did and build a team for the future. But no the ausse media, fans and especially Cricket Australia drunk by cricketing success home and away. Wanted to try and keep the good times going because a) It would ensure their sports success hungry fans were placated. b) CA wanted to profit from a successful side. Hence they believed they were far better than they actually were. Ponting and others said they gonna win 5-0 when such sporting hubris is unfounded. Hilditch led incompetent CA are to blame really for the fall of Aussie cricket not Ponting. I actually have sympathy for him.Not nice way for him to bow out.

  • on December 28, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    What goes around comes around...Ponting had years of success leading a superb side full of top ranked players who, apart from a couple of slip-ups, regularly trounced most of the other major test playing nations. Now the boot is on the other foot and he doesn't appear to be coming to terms with the fact that he is now leading a second rate team. The problem is added to because his own form has slumped so badly that he has slipped to number 27 in the world rankings. The cricket world has changed but unfortunately for them, the Aussies appear to have been left behind. But let's not shed too many tears for them no more than they shed for the teams they thrashed over the years when they reigned supreme. If they learn anything from this current situation it should be that if you fail to prepare for the future, prepare to fail in the future.

  • on December 28, 2010, 20:10 GMT

    Run of the mill article. Everyone is on the Ponting needs to go bandwagon and so is Peter English. What about Michael Clarke, the blue eyed boy of Aussie cricket. He has not lived upto any expectations throughout his career and now the only Aussie player with any class is being singled out for a below par team performance.

  • calcric on December 28, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    R Ponting is a sad man, and to be truthful i feel sorry for him...cause here is a man who has never really appreciated the game of cricket...his venom against the umpire aleem dar was the last straw in a cricketer who never gave the game its due,and i never thoughtthat i would say that after steve waugh..it must be an australian thing.... This man is 36 and cant bat all of a sudden...does that not say something..he is as fit as a fiddle..but the cauldron of pressure is now upon him..he is finally finding our making runs in a poor team is not easy ....this from the man who would criticise brian lara any chance he got...well look who's talking now...Let this be a lesson for you analyst our there.. you statisticians...the circumstances in which you score your runs is the most important element, not the amount of runs you score..ask ponting ..cricketer of the decade...

  • carporsche on December 28, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    @Abhijith Gautam: You are absolutely right, the great aussie team under which ponting flourished was passed on by steve waugh. He was always under the shadow of great players. Now in the time of need, he has failed. Just imagine that sachin has been in this situation all his career. Thats the reason i never considered ponting to be great. Just look at the way he lost it arguing with the umpire. And i seriously think that Aleem Dar wouldnt have gone to the third umpire on Priors decision had ponting not argued. Its poetic justice when you see that decision influenced the outcome of the match.

    Ponting is just one arrogant and average cricket player, who has basked in the glory of others and deserves the end he is coming to.

  • masterblaster1971 on December 28, 2010, 19:59 GMT

    Time to go fishing Ponting.

  • Champ2000 on December 28, 2010, 19:40 GMT

    @TheOnlyEmperor, I think Indians would like him to play longer. He anyway does not score gainst them. Ishant Shrma and harbhajan made bunny out of him...

    I guess you are pointing towords tendulkars records. They are safe Ponting looks mor elike spent force 10 more centuries a too mych to ask from him specially when tendulkar is still scoring bagfull of them.. His record one day will be broken by englishman "COOK" .

  • hatrick26 on December 28, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    Now we all know how difficult life as a batsman or captain can be if your team is mediocre, particularly in the bowling dept. This is what Lara/SRT went through in most of their matches when their team did not have high quality bowlers to take 20 wkts. Oz is just going through that phase. the message is an old one - you are only as good as your team.SA is lucky so far and hence their premier batsman over the years (kallis) always had Donald,Pollock,Steyn and others to complement his batting in his career. With rise of Amla, it makes his job even easier.

  • cric4world on December 28, 2010, 19:36 GMT

    @harsh karan and @abhijit gautam and other guys of same opinion.if u think ponting was successful only bcoz of his teammates then wat would u say about sachin? sachin is great no doubt but if he has 15000 runs in test he had support of batsmen who have 12000, 10000, 8000 all around him.for last so many years he has sehwag who crushes, demoralises and tires out a bowling attack long before sachin even steps in to bat.look at the gap between sachin n 2nd ,3rd best in same team, n then have a look at ponting n find the 2nd best and 3rd best who supported him.if we believe in ur theory then lara is the best of the lot bcoz he never had any support inside the team, then comes ponting n then comes sachin, ur choice where u wanna fit kallis n inzi in the list

  • on December 28, 2010, 19:22 GMT

    Several great captains in the past have relinquish captaincies and concentrated and contributed with the bat, this helped nurturing great successors. Tendulkar and Mahela are very good examples, who are still batting great. Ricky will be better off leaving the Captaincy to someone else and contribute with the bat.

  • prakashupad on December 28, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    nice article...everyone has a loss of form at one stage or the other in their career...Ponting is truly one of the modern greats and if he is shown the door after the ashes then it would be too harsh on him...but considering the fact that he has lost the past 3 ashes(if he loses this) then it would be appropriate to hand over the captaincy to someone else rather than dropping him... @Umamahesh_Srigiriraju: amazing comment...inconsequential innings....before labeling something as inconsequential we better check the definition of the term and then use it...no innings is inconsequential...these guys play their skins out and you term their innings as inconsequential....wow!!! way to go....

  • on December 28, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    Its end of pointing I think... If they loss in VB series I don't think he will captain in World Cup

  • 5wombats on December 28, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    @Chapelau; You are 100% right. IT'S TALL POPPY TIME. I admit it - I've always disliked Ponting. England followers had to admire his skill with the willow; on his day, eg Old Trafford 2005 - he was impressive & saved Aus - well done. But his manner.... graceless & loathsome. Ponting never knew where the line was between fiesty/combative and ignorant/base; the line he crossed yesterday. Ponting is chiefly responsible for his teams demise; he's put the wrong attitudes into his players heads, eg Siddle. Ponting always had bags of skill and self-belief; but with this went a bad attitude.; "I'm always right, I always back myself AND all I have to do is turn up in order to beat you". He's put this attitude into the heads of players who don't have the skills and self-belief to back it up. Big mistake. When they lose his hubris means they don't learn from the experience, and Ponting the captain has led them into losing positions. A bad leader who has led his once great country down the tubes.

  • KricketPhan on December 28, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    I am not very much interested in how Ponting is performing because he was never my favorite player. However, it is good to see that arrogant australian side is no more dominant. I remember West Indies when they were dominant and loved by everybody. Whereas ozies were never liked by anybody except ozies.

  • AsliRickyPointing on December 28, 2010, 18:59 GMT

    RICKY is a player of TALENT. He is a MAN with a MISSION. The MISSION is to retain the ASHES. So HE WILL NOT LET THE ASHES GO. HE will PERFORM and would COMEBACK with a BANG !!!!!

  • raghu86 on December 28, 2010, 18:51 GMT

    Ponting surely is one of the best batsman australia has had, but time stops for none. And his time is up, atleast as the captain. He should now step down gracefully. But then i believe being graceful is not his nature. My team for 5th test: hughes, watson, ponting (his final test as captain, his last chance as player, if he still fails, drop him for first 4 odis too), khawaja (the most talented young player in aus, suprised he has still not made his debut), white (as captain, i know he is not a proven test player, but aus has to go with what they have and he surely is their best odi and t20 player), hussey, haddin, o'keefe (the best spinner in aus. If not him, then obviously hauritz), johnson, siddle and bollinger (if fit, he is atleast better than hilfy).

  • pom_and_proud on December 28, 2010, 18:45 GMT

    Well done Punter on a great career, you are one of the true greats of the game. On a separate note does anyone know the reason why Steve Smith has to spit so much? It's such a nice attribute to have!!!

  • on December 28, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    An article of very high quality,I am of the same opinion that Ricky has left his best time with willow far behind.Well Punter time is fast running out of your hand.A very sad journey towards end of a very glorious and fantastic carrier.

  • VJ13 on December 28, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    Ponting is not a good Leader but he got a team that was almost perfect from Steve Waugh. But when bricks started moving out his true value is what that is right now...

  • Beertjie on December 28, 2010, 18:21 GMT

    Congrats England - that was a well=planned campaign, aided by some luck and a poor CA. Thanks for all the pleasure you've given us Punter - you'll always be fondly remembered, despite the Ashes failures. The dynamics of Australian cricket don't permit playing on under a new leader, so it's time to say good-bye. I agree with everything you write, Jarryd Hale, except for some selection differences. It'll take time to get up there again, so the support staff must make way asap and fans must be patient. No hankering after quick fixes - just proper selections and sensible man management (coaching). Stop molly-coddling the like of Mitch and Pup. When you're not performing you've got to make way till you get another shot - that should be sooner rather than later (when you've shown something to speak of). That shouldn't mean people afraid of being dropped but you can't have the cliques and passengers we've had when we were still cherishing dreams of false greatness and beating England.

  • on December 28, 2010, 18:20 GMT

    It was long back proved that punter was great captain bcoz of the team which we had. Now it seems that he was gud batsman because unlike sachin he never had a pressure to deliver alone. After retirement of Justin, Hadyen & Adam his ability to deliver in Pressure situation is exposed.

  • Bhatin on December 28, 2010, 18:19 GMT

    The Australian cricket team at the moment has become a boxing pillow for everyone and being the captain, Ponting is bound to be the center of the target. Add his horrid form in the current Ashes and you have a scapegoat ready, but never forget that this was the same man who once upon a time came close to challenge all the records for one Sachin Tendulkar when he had 43 centuries and Ponting had 39 and was in great form. Since then Tendulkar has reached 50 centuries but Ponting is still on 39. The pressure of captaincy, the lack of performance from himself and team as general had lead to his downfall. He had been a good batsman over the years and may bounce back for one more final burst, but looks tough for him now. Lucky to captain a team with players like McGrath, Warne, Hayden, Langer, Gilchrist but now he has proved to be failure as captain. An important job for the captain is to inspire his team and he is not able to do that to new comers. Time to look ahead mate.

  • Stevo_NZ on December 28, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    Australia should have made major changes after the last Ashes loss in England. This series loss should spell the demise of Katich, Ponting, North & Hilditch. Make Watson captain - drop Ponting, Clarke & Johnson for final test. Tell Hussey & Haddin they are finished before next years Australian home test season. I would rather see Australia lose 3-1 with young players (Paine, Ferguson, Khawaja, George etc.) than go through another year or two of watching 30+ year old players that have their best playing days behind them.

  • on December 28, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    @TheOnlyEmperor, why would India or any team want him not to be in the Aussie side? I'm sure the English would be hoping he leads Aus in 2013 Ashes!! Anyone else who captains can't do worse. LOL

  • on December 28, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    ponting,dravid,lara,sachin,sanga all of them are great players of the modern era but ponting stands out because he is a better fielder than others when it comes to retiring murali is the only player who retired from the test in his peak hours ponting should call it off now!!!! retiring is always better than being sacked!! sachin has some years on him left!!

  • on December 28, 2010, 18:04 GMT

    i feel like there is extravagant critisim on ponting, to some extent is right because he is under perfomring right now. but look at the bunch of other aussie team mates... i dont think they have the calibre of the likes mcgrath and shane warne etc... most of them are youngsters or mediocres and except hussey & ponting no one should have place in 5 years ago team of australia. the emphasis of criticisim should be on board or on selection team

  • triassicpark on December 28, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    @Umamahesh_Srigiriraju. Usually I am very moderate and refrain from pointing to particular posts. But to answer your post, the humor forum is elsewhere. Do you know/ have you ever seen a full test match? I am sure the answer would be '0'. Coming back to this topic, I also do not like Ponting that much. Its all been discussed re comparing Ponting to Tendulkar and we know what the answer is. SRT rocks. Nevertheless Ponting deserves a better exit. I wished this day would come when I was in SCG on that fateful day when India lost. But now when its actually happening, I feel a little bit for Ponting.

  • ravi_musti on December 28, 2010, 17:47 GMT

    @passionate: What?? He 'rode on' others success throughout the 2000s? Are we still talking Ponting ? Let me "point" out something to you. In cricinfo, under the Records section, there is a tab called "2000s records". I suggest you check that before commenting here because it will show you that Ponting is the top scorer in the decade both in ODIs and tests. Not only is he the top scorer, he is the only player to score over 9000 runs in either of them and he managed to do that in both. As if that wasn't sufficient he also scored the highest number of centuries, both in ODIs and tests in the decade. In fact his best calendar year was 2006 when his average was just under 60. And this was when he was captain. This is no mean player we're talking about here. He is a true champion, though definitely with an attitude which makes him the antagonist here in India. Not to forget that we're (rather were) scared that he would beat Sachin's test centuries record and hence we hate him on principle.

  • BigGeorgeMehemood on December 28, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    I really think Rishi Ponting gwen come back at Sydney and make a giant score like 300 not out- watch me and listen..him is a very great batman, best and better than Tendulcar any time. Austrailia gwen win the match and destroy England to dust in Sydney.

  • GopiJ on December 28, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    Punter is one of the greatest @#3 along with Dravid (they both have identical records) and I think both are fading fast. I think he still has a year or two left in him as a batsman. He should be relieved of his captainship and Shane Watson should be promoted to be the next Captain. Hussey is older and Clark is clearly not inform (honestly does not deserve a place in the side based on his current form). Watson is the only senior player sure of his place in the side. Hauritz should be brough back in as the main spinner which gives stability to their lower order with him batting at #7. Punter should be in as a senor specialist #3, scoring runs and guiding young team, helping out a young leader for future.

  • kamiccolo on December 28, 2010, 17:12 GMT

    Ponting's been one of the great batsmen over the last few years, he's been out of form for a while, I think he should play until the World Cup and then retire...maybe he's still playing to catch records which maybe a few years ago he still had the chance to catch up to......Great career, solid captain with big match temperament (which is gone now)....

  • landl47 on December 28, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    The good news is that Ponting's latest innings was his highest in the series in a position where it mattered. The bad news is he scored 20. He has been a great batsman, but this series he has failed every time it counted. This was the scratchiest 20 I have ever seen him put together- he would have been out earler had the umpire not given him the benefit of the doubt on an LBW decision and he scarcely found the middle of the bat the whole time he was out there. As a captain, he has lost to the stronger nations and had his record padded by wins over the weaker ones and by wins when he had one of the strongest teams of all time under his command. Even then, he lost the Ashes in England in 2005. It's time for him to go if Australia are to rebuild their team.

  • Something_Witty on December 28, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    Too much pressure on him at the moment. Still, I do not think that Sydney will be the end of his career. A couple of reasons, firstly, Clarke is horribly out of form, so to make him captain now would be silly. Secondly, One only has to look at Mike Hussey or Sachin Tendulkar to see how quickly a slump can be reversed. Best of luck Ricky.

  • STondulkar on December 28, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    No doubt Ricky is a great batsman but he is rattled because of the pressure of captaincy and a losing team which he is not used to. He needs to show a lot of determination and grit to get back in form with the bat which will eventually help his handicapped team.The most important thing for him now is to concentrate on his batting be it at the cost of captaincy. He has a good one year left in him as batsman.

  • SunilPotnis on December 28, 2010, 16:34 GMT

    Ponting and Clarke need to be replaced if Australia has to build the future. If Australia lose this test which I think they will, I dont see any point that these two should be included in the last test of this series. Agreed Ponting was good but not today

  • inswing on December 28, 2010, 16:15 GMT

    Ponting is not done as a batsman but he is done as a captain. I would put good money that he will be among runs in the next test series. As for captain, there are no good replacements but they have to find someone - anyone but Ponting.

  • Kumaranuj on December 28, 2010, 16:10 GMT

    Ponting is one of the best betsmen in the game. Now he have a bad phase of his career because of lack of performance from the Australlian side. That's why he is in some sort of depretion. He take the pressure to win the matches as a captain. He have to take off this pressure to give captancey to other younger player and have to conctrate as a batsman. He too can play as a batsman rather then a captain. Look at the Saurav Ganguly, his double ton in came as a batsman not as a skeeper. So Ponting be a batsman and give us back what you are 2 or 3 year ago. We are waiting for your century.

  • on December 28, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    Ponting is a great batsman, no doubt one of the greatest in our time. It is just too much pressure on him after the big-guns retired. I am sure he will bounce back strongly as a batsman if he lets go the burden of captaincy.

  • passionate_cricket_follower on December 28, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    Ponting should either be dropped or retire. He's become a non-playing captain like Sourav Ganguly in mid 2000. Ganguly then was riding on the team's success much because players like Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag. He himself seldom scored big when it really mattered. Its another story that people forgot that his last 3 ODI centuries were against Kenya (2), and Namibia in WC 2003, due to the team's success. I disagreed with coach Chappell in many spheres, but agreed in his decision to throw Ganguly out, so that he came back strongly, and more determined.

    In case of Ponting, something similar has to happen to revive his ailing career. he rode on the team's success throughout the 2000s due to players like Hayden, Langer, Martyn, Gilly, McGrath, Warne, Lee, Bevan, etc. Now that they are gone, he's been exposed. But unfortunately for Ponting, age is no longer in his side. Ganguly was 33 when he got thrown out. But Ponting is already 36. All the best Mr Punter!

  • Jonathan_E on December 28, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    I haven't rated Ponting's captaincy for years. He's the worst captain ever to record a 5-0 series victory, and that was almost entirely down to the fact that his opposing number was the even more tactically abysmal Flintoff.

  • johnsenden2011 on December 28, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    it would be nice to see everyone leave the boy guy alone. i have the upmost respect for ponting, not just for the thousands of runs he has scored, but also for hes competitive (never say never) attitude. in times like these, australia needs these types of characters. i think a shift to number 5 might help him in the final years of his caeer. and also i hope australia persist with hughes, and give him a good go, he is a good player. bringing back katich is not the solution.

  • Chapelau on December 28, 2010, 15:57 GMT

    I cant understand all this mis-placed sentiment for Punter. He has a bad attitude and is a sore loser - this will send negative feelings through the team that is already down from a losing streak. He needs replacing after Sydney and the new skipper (not Clarke) needs to be a positive role model and able to motivate the team. Rebuilding wont take long - there are some good foundations with Hussey and Haddin.

  • sri1ram on December 28, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    Hmmm, some here seem to be pretty sure that Punter will regain the magic with his willow, if he steps down.. Ohh, really? Most of his best performances have been as captain - anyway, too few people know when to retire, or to keep their mouth shut in front of umpires. But then playing foul has always worked for Ponting with a winning team, what did one expect with a mediocre one?

  • SnowSnake on December 28, 2010, 15:44 GMT

    Ponting should retire immeditely after the Ashes. He bats like it is the first time he is holding a bat. His problems are more than his lack of form. He looks scared, depressed and anxious when he comes to bat. Mentally he has resigned from the game. His approach towards the game is that of entitlement, i.e., he should be given a chance to succeed; he should be given a chance to win ashes. Sorry, punter cricket nation is not a nanny state where you can rally for state benefits and entitlements.

  • vijaysun1 on December 28, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    Australia's present selection committee should be sacked first before Ponting is removed as captain; in my opinion they are more responsible for the Ashes debacle. The rebuilding must start right away and the new selectors have to identify a core of (at least 5-6) really young players to rebuild around and stick with them for 3 years or so and let them develop. My choice going forward : Shane Watson or Phil Jaques (both in squad of 16) Phil Hughes or Nic Maddinson (both in the squad of 16) Usman Khawaja Mike Hussey (captain for 2 yrs) David Hussey or Callum Ferguson (both in the squad of 16) Brad Haddin or Tim Paine (both in squad of 16) Steve Smith (persist with him) Mitchell Johnson Peter Siddle Peter George or Josh Hazlewood (both in squad of 16) Nathan Hauritz or Steve O'Keefe (both in squad of 16) This injects some serious youth as well as keeping the squad reasonably balanced. Having another senior spinner bowl in tandem with Steve Smith could be the answer to Australia spin woes

  • ShanksTalk on December 28, 2010, 15:40 GMT

    @Ahmad Uetian with due respect to your opinion, please do not compare arrogant Ponting with gentle man Tendulkar. Its a disgrace in terms of skill and decency. Now coming to the double century of Sachin in the Sydney test, yes he did cut few shots it shows his determination. He was out of form during that series and preceeding that as well this when you read the score board you can tell. However. what the scoreboard won't tell us is that in that series atleast 4 blazingly outrazeous umpring errors costed Sachins wicket and mainly thanks to Mr.Bucknor. In most cases when Sachin was well set or past through the early notions. In the contrary Ponting is the most pampered of all players and almost all contraversial 50-50 decisions went in favor of him always. Infact most of the 10-90 decisions also went in favor of him. So his loss of form is real it is not engineered by opposition with the help of Buckner like umpires. So in my opinion he doesn't deserve any sympathy

  • on December 28, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    This is exactly the reason why India was earlier an avg team despite Tendulkar, Ganguly and Kamble because they had filled the remaining slots with mere average players but now they have filled almost all the slots with capable impact players - any one of whom can win a match on his day. Therefore AUS needs to bring back Bret Lee, Shaun Tait and Brad Hogg (Because he can bowl wrong ones) in bowling department and needs to find 2 great batsmen from domestic circuit which in AUS is very strong.

  • on December 28, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    As far as captaincy is concerned, Ponting without a doubt has been the world's finest captain because he has not lost even a single world cup game in 2 WC. Even WI in their prime time, despite having all the legends, did not have such a stunning WC record. In 99 WC Steve Waugh had the same team as Ponting had for 2003 WC if not better, yet AUS was about to be kicked out of WC 99. SA always had great team yet they have never been able to even reach WC finals. Having a great team is one thing but producing results in critical matches is another. Under Ponting's captaincy reign AUS has hardly lost any tournaments or series. But a mere good manager cannot achieve goals. He needs to have resources at his disposal to utilize them in efficient manner. Unfortunately current AUSSIE team has too many slots filled with useless players. The only worthwhile impact players in current setup are Ponting, Watson, White, Hadden, Johnson & Clarke. Other 5 slots have been filled by mere avg players.

  • InnocentGuy on December 28, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Poor Ricky, his team is completely outplayed. I must admit, it was exhilarating when Bresnan shattered the stumps. Yet another failure from the skipper and the Aussies. I'm sick of watching them win all the time. Now Ponting (most likely) is replaced but I want the selectors to stick with him so I can watch him fail a few times again. I want him to lead his side in WC2011 and get thrashed and exit after the first round.

  • on December 28, 2010, 15:24 GMT

    Let's narrow down this theory that the so called fans of Autraila have,like the fact that they're calling for Pontings head,so then replace him ,if you can ,but with who might i ask ,with Clarke ,Haddin ,are you Kidding me ??? wake up people !!! Australia's domestic cricket is suffering from the upsurge in 20 overs cricket ,so let CA deal with that first ,imagine ,a starting eleven ,being unable to get the right amount of match parctice and fitness training ,datng back to 2007 when they first lost it in england .Ponting might be a bit stubborn now to retire ,but is there another option ,if so do tell ? until a player comes along and grabs responsibility with both hands ,he has to be the man ,maybe he's no longer the batsman that once dominated tests ,but he's still one of austrailias best ,which is sad,but a FACT , and here's another Autralia peaked under his captaincy ,lets not forget that !

  • vijaysun1 on December 28, 2010, 15:24 GMT

    Ponting had technical issues that don't look like they could withstand scrutiny from a quality attack on a decent pitch anymore; his performances have been unconvincing since 2008 when first Ishant Sharma, and then Dale Steyn, Kemar Roach, James Anderson, Mohammed Aamer/Asif have all exploited the extremely shaky footwork and shot selection at the start of his innings. Ponting may yet score runs against a Kiwi or West Indian attack but those are not the top teams in the world and the selectors have to look at youth going forward. Ponting's biggest technical flaw is the big step he takes towards the offside and then this puts him off balance no matter what stroke (attacking or defensive) he intends to play.

    In my opinion, Ponting has way too many technical flaws to bracket him with past greats or Lara/Sachin; he got most of his runs/centuries on perfect batting pitches in Australia when (mid 2000s) the quality of opposition bowling was not as high as it is now.

  • adamgilly on December 28, 2010, 15:16 GMT

    @PSSINDHU: unfortunately i have to AGREE with u... SYDNEY 2008 was really disgraceful test in the history of game.... it shamed our OZ pride.... ponting's worst behavior....

  • Vikramaditya100 on December 28, 2010, 15:16 GMT

    The great batsman that Ponting is, he was never a great reader of the game like Sachin or Warney. In the past he had McGrath and Warney to clean up oppositions and hence got away without needing to be too involved in the game. But that is not the case now. Hence calling him a great captain is way off the mark. But having said that he gave his best shot to oversee a rebuilding phase of the Australian team and hence there is no disgrace in giving up captaincy now.

  • on December 28, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    While i can understand the emotion and the sympathy he's getting, if there's one chap who never deserved it its Ponting. All this "slide" would never have happened if people would'nt have elevated him to the status of a legend which he never was. He just made hay while the sun was shining, it aint shining any longer now is it Ricky?

  • dab1 on December 28, 2010, 15:07 GMT

    Ponting + points : Captain of a talented side. Held the team well to win lots of matches. Ponting played well because he followed world's best opening pair. Unfortunately, he will be called better than Dravid. Dravid held the team together when India had the worst openers in the game.

  • on December 28, 2010, 14:55 GMT

    Hope... Now atleast Ponting knows the Bitterness of Fruit "Defeat" throughly. It would be a Good lesson for Australians. Hope they will over come this Defeat. Just an suggestion to them, they were World Champs... when on Top, they should respect other Teams, then in Defeats, there will not be much issues. Australians are Worst favoriate World Champs.... Nobody except Australians want them to win.... They should learn from West Indies when they were world champs how they used to behave.... Best of Luck! Might be there is a New Dawn for them....

  • on December 28, 2010, 14:55 GMT

    As I had predicted way before the Ashes were to begin this will be Ponting's last series as captain. This is just NOT the best Australian side that can be fielded right now. For too long the Australian selectors have ignored genuine talent they have in their domestic competitions. Thank God, finally we just might see the likes of underperforming Ponting, Clarke, Johnson, Hilfenhaus shown the door. The selectors have to breed in the young players like Khawaja, Shaun Marsh etc and make Haddin an interim test captain for 2 years. And yes, Michael Hussey should retire next year as well.

  • rachits on December 28, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    @Umamahesh_Srigiriraju: dude...i fell down laughing reading ur comment! u really do represent the 2% of ignorant and biased cricket "fans" out there...inconsequential?? please tell me which innings or match or series is incosequential for you...and how does your royal highness decide to allocate consequence to matches...the remaining 98% of us sane ppl wud be very interested!! @theonlyemperor: wishful thinking by the indians?? huh?? wow, i didnt know peter english and ian chappel were indian!! refer my 2% stat!! :D

  • on December 28, 2010, 14:53 GMT

    One should never take decision based on public opinion..... First as far as batting is concerned, Ponting should look at Tendulkar's double hundered in 4th test in AUS where he didn't play a single shot on the off side….. In the 1st 3 tests & the whole year before that he had been facing even a more serious decline than ponting is today. Other good thing Tendulkar did was that he kept playing ODI's at the same time which kept him in good positive mindset and good performances in those ODI's kept critics at bay too. . Ponting's problem is that he has opted out of ODI's recently. U can see that having coped with decline Tendulkar had fairy tale run of form of his life. These declines shake u up, if u r a true great. Ponting's best year are still left in him. So Ponting should completely avoid off side play in the next few test innings and should also play ODI's regularly and keep all his shots for ODIs.

  • NonSecular on December 28, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    Ricky was a good batsmen and excellent fielder but at the same time he was a bad guy who was always presenting a bad example. When Ausis team has good player like Hayden, Gilly, Langer and 2 great bowlers like Shane Warne and Glen, Ricky never see this situation how to play under pressure like Sachin, Lara played in their whole carrier. As a captain he was never a great captain since he has a great team. Now once he has got some average players then it is showing that he is very average captain.

    That is why LARA and Sachin are greater player than Ricky. And top of that he is showing his bad behaviour also this time when he should show cool and patience.

  • sachin1088 on December 28, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    Ponting is awesome. He is just badly out of luck. What he needs is some encouragement, but because of so many articles about how he is going down and the media after his life, its difficult for him.Would be difficult for anyone.

  • mnh126 on December 28, 2010, 14:46 GMT

    I think people have short memories. I am an England fan nd remember not so long ago Jacques Kallis being given a torrid time by England, during SA's last visit to these shores, everyone said then he was finished - but look at him now (no hair jokes please). Even Sachin had people questioning his ability a couple ofyears ago and saying the same things and again look at hi now. These are all great players who have had or are going through (Ponting) a bad patch, I suppose the true sign of greatness is how they come through it and perform from then on. Kallis and Tendulkar have shown that class is permanent and form temporary only time will tell if Ponting does the same. In good old English style I now expect him to get a hundred at the SCG!

  • 2.14istherunrate on December 28, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    Ponting is looking like one of those tragic heroes. he holds all the cards and yet his weakness is all too obvious. The most talented as a player of the last 4 triumphant Australian leaders, he has had to grow from first among equals into pater familias, with a whole new group of young players, accompanied only by Clarke of the old guard. To be fair I have often thought he looked like he enjoyed aspects of being the older father figure more, generally at ease with his young side, but tactically he has seemed inept when difficult situations required innovative responses. In the end too his batting has faltered and his lack of imagination has been no more evident than in his hanging on to 4 seamers for Melbourne- a good idea in Perth but not here,if only to break up the rhythm. Hauritz,his original pick has become his fall guy, but no imagination is really needed to see who they should bring back. 4 seamers would really be mad at Sydney,and stultifyingly dull- a reflection of Ponting.

  • on December 28, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    some ppl have always considered him to be in the same league as sachin,lara n dravid which is in all probability BS...he is just a mediocre batsman who has had the luxury of having great players in his team, making him a successful captain...the only prospect in which he may be rated amongst the best is sledging,he is technically very sound in that field...now that aus is undergoing a transition phase,ppl realize the little potential the man has....he has to come to terms with the reality-its time to step down...instead of becoming too big for his boots,take a sabbatical with whatever little honour he still commands...and england will retain the ashes winning the series 3-1...

  • InnocentGuy on December 28, 2010, 14:42 GMT

    Poor Ricky, his team is outplayed completely. I must admit, it was exhilarating when Bresnan shattered the stumps. Yet another failure from the skipper and the Aussies. I was growing sick of watching them win all the time. Now Ricky (most likely) gets dropped, but I would want the selectors to stick with him so I can watch him fail again a few times. I want him to captain his side in WC2011 and get thrashed and exit after the 1st round.

  • intcamd on December 28, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    Ah, Ponting struggling?! Could n't happen to a nicer player. It is not good to take pleasure in the misery of others, but there are always exceptions and this is one.

  • diabolical on December 28, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    i'm enjoying every second of it.

  • on December 28, 2010, 14:37 GMT

    Every player will have one or two complete series as nightmare when they are out of form.Unfortunatley that nightmare is the Ashes series for Ponting.He is a top class player definetely.When the team has big names like Hayden,Langer,Gilly,Symo and Mcgrath..Australia used to dominate the wolrd cricket.But these days they hav good players but not high scoing players.Whatever happens ..All the best for Ponting

  • DrDamo on December 28, 2010, 14:35 GMT

    Ponting inherited what some would say was the best team in the world at that time. After the senior players retired of course Australia will have to go through a rebuilding phase. As for his form slump, if it were any other batsman they would be out of the team by now, he has consistently failed with the bat over the last few years so he should be dropped. Everyone's career has to come to an end, and maybe this is the best time for Ponting to hang up the baggy green. As for Clarke being the nice captain, I do not see how Clarke is still in the side. If he were a bowler they would have waved goodbye to him months ago, and as such Clarke should be put back into first class cricket to see what he can muster there, or he should just retire and save us all another few years of his selfish, useless, up himself behavior. I say have Haddin or Hussey as captain. Bring in David Hussey, Cameron White, Nathan Hauritz or some real fresh young batsman to be blood for the Sydney test.

  • on December 28, 2010, 14:28 GMT

    Mr. Punter!! Its time to say good bye to cricket. And just forget yourself to compete with Great Sachin Tendulkar.. Try to compete yourself with kallis and Dravid bcoz they are catching your runs very fast..

  • on December 28, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    One should never take decision based on public opinion..... First as far as batting is concerned, Ponting should look at Tendulkar's double hundered in 4th test in AUS where he didn't play a single shot on the off side….. In the 1st 3 tests & the whole year before that he had been facing even a more serious decline than ponting is today. Other good thing Tendulkar did was that he kept playing ODI's at the same time which kept him in good positive mindset and good performances in those ODI's kept critics at bay too. . Ponting's problem is that he has opted out of ODI's recently. U can see that having coped with decline Tendulkar had fairy tale run of form of his life. These declines shake u up, if u r a true great. Ponting's best year are still left in him. So Ponting should completely avoid off side play in the next few test innings and should also play ODI's regularly and play all his shots in ODIs only.

  • virajtolia on December 28, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Ponting was a great player when he was having Gilcrist, Haiden, Warn, Magrath, Hayden. As he was totally dependent on them. Now this the real Ponting thtat is being seen now. He was guided by his senior players. Bye Bye Australia and Ponting.

  • on December 28, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    Ricky needs to step away from Captaincy to regain the glory of the masterful, inspirational batsman that we all know. He is more valuable to the side as an individual contributor than as a skipper. He has been a great captain for Australia, and giving it up should not be a problem - that is what great leaders do. As a key batsman in the side, Ricky Ponting will give the world a great exhibition of batsman-ship like his peer Sachin. The key question is - is RP ready and capable to give up the captaincy, and still play for the glory of the game and not for his legacy…..? We will see.

  • aracer on December 28, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    @Pushkar - I hope he doesn't captain in 2013, as much as I dislike him in many ways, he doesn't deserve to lose the urn 4 times.

  • KAIRAVA on December 28, 2010, 14:20 GMT

    Ponting's career is up and Clarke should be given an extended rest. Steve Smith is not yet ready for the tests. Mark Cosgrove, Shaun Marsh, Usman Khwaja, AB McDonald and Nathan Hauritz all should be included in the next test.

  • keralite on December 28, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    One reason why Ponting is not liked by many is because of his on field behaviour. I have never seen an such an arrogant aussie player except may be Symonds. A captain should be a model for others. But i still think he will remain as the captain because there is no other choice. But he is a great batsman, nonetheless.

  • sgbhatcar on December 28, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    I don't understand as to how folks have already written Ponting off! The Aussies have not clicked as a team, for almost a year and obviously, his being out of form, has not helped. The Ashes generally brings the best out of England. Thankfully for England, they have a lot of players in form, while the Australians have been woefully out of form. Over the past couple of decades, one has seen the rise and fall of the mighty West Indies, then the rise of the Aussies. Now, India and South Africa are showing their mettle. The question for the Australians is, "Who will replace Ponting, both as Captain and a batsman?" Without doubt, Ponting has been their batsman and leader of the last decade.

  • on December 28, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    The photograph of ricky ponting walking away head bent after another failure is a fitting epitah of a dying breed...consistent batsman reaching the end of his career..not only hayden/langer but probably mcgrath and warne were the cause of much of australia's success an dthat of ponting...but ricky wont improve and will continuously fall below the averages required for a captain tobe confident...ricky should write his on ending and handover to a new capatin be it hussey or anyone else...cricket is just not about captains alone...and the other players are also mirroring his failure and probably the selection committee should step up and make the decision for ricky if he cant himself...drop him and if australia fail to improve bring him back after a series orytwo or for the worldcup as a batsman...

  • on December 28, 2010, 13:44 GMT

    I dont know what is Watson talking about... even a worst captain ever in cricket would have had same results with the team Ricky Ponting had i cant see him as a good captain... sack him as a captain... but sorry australiian cricket you guys dont have anyone to lead as Micheal Clarke himself is batting worst then ponting.. may be Katich can be a right choice

  • Vindaliew on December 28, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    @Pushkar, winning the urn back in 2013 doesn't change the fact that he would have lost it thrice (barring a miracle the next two days), and possibly even has him risk losing it four times.

  • on December 28, 2010, 13:29 GMT

    It is ridiculous that people are calling him over rated and abusing him, he averages above 50 in tests and he is among the best fielders and most successful captains. I SALUTE YOU SIR, PONTING.

  • on December 28, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    Ricky was great ! Loved his hooks and pulls - devastating stuff from him over the years.

    Arrogance will not help you come out of a bad patch , so Ricky it's time to leave

  • on December 28, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    Aussiefan i agree with ur team. ponting must drop down the order and at 33 yrs old D Hussey averages 55 in first class cricket which is higher then brad hodge and is in decent form this year, i also agree about the hype around ferguson, he has played more then 55 1st class games and averages mid 30's, not good enough. I wuld bring khawaja in at 3 and m hussey to open with watto. Ponting at 4 and i would also put haddin to 6 and smith to 7. In terms of bowling lineup i agree copeland should be thrown straight in there with hauritz or o'keefe. Maddinson is also for the future next 12 to 18 months, i also think chris lynn will be in contention in 12 to 18 months. He has made runs in tough conditions when his teammates have lost their wickets, he is also an outstanding fielder. I think hazlewood and j pattinson are future exciting quicks. Wont happen unless selectors are sacked 1st.

  • Shounak on December 28, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    Never discount THE RICKY POINTING. He will bounce back, and that too with a vengence.

  • k.mithilesh on December 28, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    Ponting is a great batsman and a conservative but very brave and gutsy captain. Period. Just remember how many players have acknowledged his role as captain. Brett Lee, Andrew Symonds, Shane Watson, etc. Let the guy be and give complete and unconditional support.

  • corpusninja on December 28, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    Always knew he was overrated. Could fill his boots when he had Hayden and Langer up top, and a strong middle order to come, but now he's showing his true colours. Bye bye Ponting!

  • aracer on December 28, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    The only obvious thing saving Punter as captain right now is the lack of an obvious replacement.

  • Ravidave on December 28, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    It's indeed sad Ricky, the way you struggle in this series, but it happens to every player and perhaps now is your turn to under perform in a series. You have been inspirational and always led from the front, the truth is, you set the bar really, really high by being the best #3 in the world so your failure is magnify 100 folds. I don't think you should lead anymore, perhaps continue as a player if you feel that you still have something to offer the game and the team. In my books, I would always say you are the greatest captain the game of cricket has seen and if anyone wants to challenge that, they should look at your statistics, yes you lost the ashes 2 (and perhaps 3)times, but in every other major tournament you have won them admirably. So go ahead and step down, there is nothing to feel shame about, you have played the game to the fullest and will be called a legend (if you haven't already been called that) of the game. Thank you Ricky for your contribution.

  • AdithVenky on December 28, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    All great players have a bad patch & nothing goes as per the plan. Ponting seems to be desperate to score and win and onfield show was due this. Stepping down is not the solution for Aus cricket. Aus cricket is going tru a torrid period same as under KIM HUGHES... thier resources are dried. Aus will be like west indies and will take years to rebuild. Aus was always proud telling the cricket world they have second XI which is as good as any test team. the reality is clear no replacement for bunch which has left and which is due going now. Clarke is at sea when he is facing bowlers... In "Boycott style" even my grandma can get his wicket. Lot to follow after ashes their will be a stiff competition between aus, Zim, bangladesh to retain the last position in the test ranking. AUS Selectors wake up... chopping ricky is not the solution get the best possible team for WC.

  • on December 28, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    Stop bashing one of the greatest batsman. At times he may have been arrogant on field, but that doesn't take any credibility of Ricky as the greatest batsman of all recent past along with Sachin, Lara, RD, Inzy. Australia might be failing at the moment, but its not only only because of Ricky.

  • on December 28, 2010, 12:14 GMT

    i thought ricky was suppose to replace john laws in the valvoline commercials. i guess his poor performance led to him being dropped, whilst laws managed to retain his position

  • Patrick-Maracas on December 28, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    Now Ponting can feel how Lara felt when batting under pressure, Ponting has only had to play in a bad or weak team now and then. But Lara had a bad team most of his career and still preformed well, even at aged 36

  • AussieFan on December 28, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    I think Ricky has a few good years left in him but he must lose the captaincy and move down the order. Australia need to now seriously think about rebuilding for the future and be prepared to lose a few series whilst blooding some new players - similar to what happened in the 80s.

    CLARKE: Needs to be dropped ASAP due to his poor form over the past twelve months. He needs to go back to Shield cricket and work on his game. Forget captaincy for now as he is not popular amongst his teammates or in the eyes of the public.

    Team for Sydney: Watson (needs to convert starts or else drop to middle order), M. Hussey, Khwaja, Ponting, D. Hussey, Haddin, Smith (needs work on technique), Johnson (needs more consistent performances), Hauritz, Siddle, Copeland

    Ferguson > can't understand the hype about him, only averages 35 in FC cricket. Hughes > has potential but needs a batting coach to work on his technique ASAP! Maddinson > great prospect, maybe in 12-18 months time when M. Hussey retires.

  • kabbalistic on December 28, 2010, 12:07 GMT

    He has been the best test batsman at no.3, he is still one of the worlds best fielders. He still looks full of energy.....TRUE INDEED. But I feel we are fogetting the real Ricky Ponting who has not only embarrassed Autralia but also the game of cricket, on a number of occasions. I heard people have renamed him as Mr. Shame, which I believe is best suits him.

    If Cricket Australia cares a fig for the tattered reputation of our national team in our national sport, it will not for a moment longer tolerate the sort of arrogant and abrasive conduct seen from the captain and his players...Australia itself has been embarrassed. He has not shown the slightest interest in the well-being of the game, not the slightest sign of diplomatic skills, not a single mark of respect for his accomplished and widely admired opponents.

  • on December 28, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    I wish he captains Aus in 2013 and win back the urn...It will be sad otherwise for such a gr8 player to be remembered as the only Aussie captain to lose the urn thrice

  • on December 28, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    Its sad to see the rapid fall of Ponting and the Oz...I am a huge fan of Ponting & the Oz... but The English team have been very impressive better than Nasser Hussain's side & almost as good as Vaughn's side in 05!!!

  • Flat_Pitch_Bully on December 28, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    While his record speaks for itself as a perhaps the second greatest # 3 batsman of our times (after Dravid - cos he didn't have to face the Australian bowling), am not sure about Ricky being a great captain! While there is a good record (win/loss) there too, however just remove Warne and Mcgrath from the equation and the record won't be as flattering! Besides the record, Ricky has looked meddlesome and impatient as a captain off late. He does not seem to have a plan and certainly doesn't seem inspiring (but I guess thats for his team to tell). Finally, while a lot of the commentrators and experts have exclaimed anguish at his conduct on the recent incident, what Chappel said is true that he has always been such a person and its the fault of the officials that they have not been able to rein him in. And I believe this reflects on his team as well!

  • Gooch07 on December 28, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    The only thing that may save Ricky Ponting is that our next supposed captain Michael Clarke is in poorer form, and yet Clarke is supposed to be in the prime orf his life but Clarke is struggling more so than Ponting because Clarke is as soft as a marshmallow! Unfortunately for you anti Ponting people, there is no ready made captain to replace Ponting. Ok he is 36 and he has had a poor ashes series but hopefully 2011 will be alot better for Ponting and tean sans the Ashes! But please tell me who is better qualified to captain Australia other than the silver spooned marshmallowed michelle clarke and who else would be capable of batting number 3 as well as Ponting??? Go punter you still have my vote i'm not gonna kick you down like everybody else!!

  • on December 28, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    I feel its just a phase. He shouldn't give up because of pressure from the outside. He should leave on his own terms. I feel he can do the 'Tendulkar' here and turn things around in his career and bring Australia back to the dizzy lofty heights it has been able to maintain for a decade now. The best player Australia have produced after Bradman. His class is permanent and I feel he should stick around a bit more. The tides will definitely change.

  • Bytheway on December 28, 2010, 11:55 GMT

    Great champions instinctively know when its time to say goodbye before their diminishing prowess blur the memory of their heyday. The SCG under the circumstances may not be be perfect setting, but the one where Ponting should make his last stand. Hard as it may seem Ricky the world will still turn without you. Make the decision and only good things await in the after life of cricket.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on December 28, 2010, 11:47 GMT

    All this is wishful thinking by the Indians. Cricket Australia is constrained to keep Ponting at the helm till such time they are in a position to identify a good captain for sure, for the future. Cricket Australia has definitely not been in favor of a make shift captain for a year or two. While Clarke was identified as one, his performance and captaincy has not provided any confidence. Hussey is too old for the job. White isn't even a Test match regular. So, given all the options on the table, Ponting will continue at least until 2012, till his contracted period. In any case, the public's memory and mood is fickle and a good solid show during the ODI WC by Aus is all it takes for Ponting to get a fresh new lease of life at the helm. At best, even if he gets dropped as captain and Clarke made instead, Ponting will still be retained as player given everybody's form, though an ex-captain playing in the team as a has-been will be too much even for the collective Aussie pride to handle.

  • Clyde on December 28, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    What a lot of melodrama, in the article and the comments. I don't see much cricket being described. Crickets and pundits all out for under 100.

  • Reggaecricket on December 28, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    The Aussies are brutally honest and swift to make changes when much is at stake. Sad on the latter, but that is just life! I am NOT an Aussie, I have been one to dislike the Aussies, but hey, how many susbcontinental fans would have booed their leader whe the leader went agaibst the spirit of the game and argued with the umpires? Let's tip our hats to the Aussie fans and Ian Chappell this time!

  • on December 28, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    "But no-one will ever question his ability to lead the group because of the things he's be able to do throughout his career and for everyone in the Australian cricket side." - This was obviously a joke wasnt it, his captaincy skills have been visible clearly every since the Australian greats retired. He has been impatient, not ready to wait for wickets, playing himself at number three, changing the field six times in an over...

    The writing is on the wall, you WERE a great batsman but never a good captain...

  • sonofchennai on December 28, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    @ Umamahesh: ur comments are naive and childish...no test series is inconsequential and there is no inconsequential innings....If the tail had wagged better @ Centurion, Sachin could have helped saved the test...Do you say Dravid's 191 agnst NZ as inconsequential...Admire and appreciate all the batsman who have played for years consistently...OFocurse, VVS is our crisis man but if SRT and RD performs there is no crisis at all...

  • Metman on December 28, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    Ponting was a great batsman,no doubt about it whatsoever !but what goes around comes around,he entered Aus. cricket with a bad reputation and leaves with a bad reputation !I think that the ICC though should investigate this Ashes series,something does't look right here !

  • PSSidhu on December 28, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    As an Indian fan, I dare say that the next test at Sydney, for Ponting, will be some sort of "the chickens have come home to roost." This is where 3 years ago (2008), with the most unsportsmanlike behaviour, he led his team to a most disgraceful victory. If anybody care to check the stats; his & his team's record since then has been on the downward trend. Good riddance, I say.

  • sonofchennai on December 28, 2010, 11:32 GMT

    Now the world should understand why Sachin, lara or Dravid for that matter are better players than Ponting...who has played in a winning team for most of his career unlike Sachin or Lara who had the burden of carrying the team being the team's best batsman for ages....And Punter need to be in a mental asylum...for he has lost his mind arguing TV umpires decision...what the heck

  • kazam_razaq on December 28, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    definitely he performs poorly in this series but AUSSIES still need PONTING bcoz of the back up talent.they persisted with NORTH far too long.PHILIP hHUGHES is'nt either a good player.bring in USMAN khawaja and bat him at no.3and PONTING 4 or FERGUSAN at 3 bcoz he is really a cool & calm looking cricketer but PONTING is still by far their best batsman & please relieve his captaincy burden on him so that he can enjoy his cricket like TENDULKAR

  • on December 28, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    Never liked him as a crabby flat track bully batsman, awful, disastrous appointment as Aussie captain, and a loudmouth & braggart to boot. No, this Aussie won't be shedding any tears over Ponting's demise. Hope he fades into the embarassed obscurity he deserves.

  • arvin on December 28, 2010, 11:28 GMT

    ponting should be praised for keeping aussie tradition of finishing tests in australia within 4 days alive...

  • on December 28, 2010, 11:16 GMT

    Ponting has to go. A captain who either has no say even in selection of Playing XI or is selecting a playing XI that is far from best doesn't deserve to stay on. David Hussey was an ideal choice and should have replaced Marcus North before series started. Australian bowling should have been sorted out before first ball was bowled. But they remained either arrogant or stupid to select miserable players and kept on backing them, when pressure was the most. Out of form Phil Hughes is not a valid selection midway through the series when they are struggling. Sad thing is there are plenty of talented players around, but are not selected for some bizarre reasons. Smith is a great talent but he should have been playing all Tests starting Indian series, if he was to play in Ashes.

  • ChinmayDash on December 28, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    I think Ricky is the only choice to be the captain in the current team.He is the highest run scorer in both test and ODI in the last decade.I think the Australia's problem is not the captain rather the form of all the players.So the selectors should concentrate on selection of 11 players.

  • beakyjonjo on December 28, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    England have played well. They have bowled well, batted well and generally everyone has contributed at some stage to the cause. Australia?? 3 batsmen, 2.5 bowlers ( Johnson =0.5) the rest?? Clarke, north, ponting, Doherty, smith, Hilfenhaus, Hughes, have contributed very little. Clarke should have been dropped after the second test. Doherty should never have played and Smith is not the best number 6 in Australia. In fact Australia have been at least a batsmen short for the last two tests and arguably at least a bowler short. The selectors are to blame!! Ponting has had to deal with his own poor form and the struggles of his players. This has had to effect his batting. Having said that he is not the player he was and probably should have retired after the last ashes series with his head held high!!

  • Percy_Fender on December 28, 2010, 10:57 GMT

    Let us not write the obituaries of Ricky Ponting yet. It is just that he is having the most unlucky phase in his life. I think he should step down from captaincy and continue as a player.I have no doubt that he will get back to his best. If not the best at least somewhere near it.

  • on December 28, 2010, 10:51 GMT

    Punter has been such a great batsman for Australia and among the best No. 3's in the world. I felt he has never been a great test captain. The fact that he had McGrath, Warne, lee and gillespie to go to when the things weren't going well, didn't test him tactically but then a captain is as good as his team and it is true in ponting's case.He sure would step down from captaincy after ashes. I feel, as a batsman he still has a couple of years in him. He needs to take a break , come back and enjoy his cricket as sachin is doing. though he could've done with a better on field conduct a few times, that doesn't take away the genius of his batting when he's at his best. I remember being in tears during the 2003 WC final when he was carting sixes of our bowlers. Let us remember him as a batsman who was at his dominant best when things were going good for him. Peace..

  • motiwalamoiz on December 28, 2010, 10:42 GMT

    It's a very sad article, but whatever the reasons, I still think Ponting can bounce back.. I would have loved the Australians to win the Ashes back, not because of Ponting but for the sheer reason that this team taught others how play cricket, to never give up, to stand tall when the odds are against you. Australia have been able to produce a quality leader everytime and it would have been difficult for Ponting to manage his team when he cannot sort out his own problems. He's been a champ, bringing 3 WC fr Aus. I am not a Ponting supporter by any means, but can't see a man, so determined to win everytime go without a fight. He earns my total respect. I hope he gives up his captaincy and plays like a batsman in the team for another year. He deserves a chance to walk with his head held high.

  • on December 28, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    Ponting and clarke should get the sack and install haddin or watson captain

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on December 28, 2010, 10:39 GMT

    The team is finished, the aura is lost, but Captain Cranky throwing tantrums will always be there. Sore loser, poor sportsman - would define Ponting's "legacy".

  • Rahul_78 on December 28, 2010, 10:38 GMT

    Border, taylor and waugh are the great leaders of the past for OZ but I really cant remember any of them being subjected to so much apathy by rival fans, media and sometimes there own public. It is sad to see a great cricketer going down in such a spectacular fashion by losing the coveted ashes in front of his home crowd. But apart from being a modern great he will always be remembered for the wrong reasons mostly. Some of it is unwarranted but ponting doest deserve some of the heat he is facing currently. Ian chapell has been scathing in his criticism of punter today and so has been Roebuck. Sadly being an Indian cricket fan my memories of punter will always be tarnished by the ugly skipper who turned out in those nasty moments at sydney few years back.Alas not all the success stories have happy endings..

  • Sulli001 on December 28, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    Cameron White for Captian...Ponting to No. 6 ! .....sack Clarke all together

  • Rameshn007 on December 28, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    Rest on your past laurels now ricky ....and gulp down the fact that arrogance doesnt pay anywhere ... :)

  • talktohari2002 on December 28, 2010, 10:32 GMT

    The 2011 will be without two greatest no:3's who are now nowhere near their prime... Good-by to Ponting & dravid...

  • Hodra99 on December 28, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    Ricky Ponting has been a fantastic player for Australia. He is the last of the near invincible Australian teams that reigned from the early 90's to late 00's. However I agree it is time for Ricky to retire after the Sydney test. It will go against his nature of never wanting to give up, but his batting form means he no longer warrants a place in the side. He should not consider this a failure, just time catching him out. I believe he deserves a tribute match in Sydney as the ashes are gone now, and I would leave the team as it is for that match (except for the injured Harris replaced by Beer). Australia don't play a test until late next year, then the selectors should pick a youthful team and build for the next great Australian team

  • on December 28, 2010, 10:28 GMT

    Feel sorry for the champion...

  • Mervo on December 28, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    A bit harsh and also hasty Peter. Ponting is the only 'great' player on either side playing this series. The others will be quickly forgotten. He deserves to take his time and maybe like Steve Waugh move to number 5 or 6.

    We pushed Matthew Hayden out too early because of comments from you and others for Phillip Hughes and now we can see the folly in that. Some appreciation please.

  • rkannancrown on December 28, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    Ponting's downfall can be traced to UDRS and his anxiety about it. for most of his career, Ponting has struggled against the incoming ball - against both off spinners & medium pacers. After all, the big controversies involving Australia (in Ponting's time) have had to do with two off spinners - Murali & Harbhajan. So long as Australia controlled ICC, it was easy to get them to appoint umpires who allowed Ponting the luxury of 1-2 LBWs being ruled in his favor. Such a situation does wonders to the batsman. A few months back, in England, Ponting struggled against Pakistani seamers who specialised in bringing the ball in. The only century he made was on the back of two plumb LBWs being in his favor. The introduction of UDRS has reduced his ability to get favorable decisions from umpires and this has undermined his confidence. You can argue about the thousands of runs but if Dravid or Jayawardane were given the same benefit, they would average over 75.

  • on December 28, 2010, 10:20 GMT

    A truly great player, by any standards.. Someone all of us love to hate. Sad to see his demise. I still feel he has another good year left in him, but this Ashes loss might push him over..

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on December 28, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    Well its indeed sad he is as lean at 36 he was at 26 physically he is as fit as AB DE Villers but reflexes do go down with the age it happens to everyone sachin,lara ponting no exception he is indeed a human being he is bound to go down in one series i dont think anyone should criticise him he is world best no 3 and its indeed sad that his going to be farewell is not gonna be astounding as he would have liked but LOSING ASHES IN AUSTRALIA IS A HANGING OFFENCE FOR A CAPTAIN

  • on December 28, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    Ponting has had his time and failed badly in this series. Too much time in the gym and not enough playing the game. He should front at Australia Cricket offices tomoorow and present his resignation to James Sutherland - Its all over Ricky, you are now the weakest link, goodbye.

  • on December 28, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    sometimes cricket can be so cruel towards best batsmen.. Ricky's case is one of the many stories unfolded ... He is one of the finest batsmen you can watch and think buying a ticket is worth its cost but he is in such a bad form that he himself is not confident of his form ..

    Ashes is a big war and you need 11 of the finest soldiers to fight and win back the Urn. But Austraila is not looking like a side that dominated the world for a decade or so..they look like they are ready to give up.. not the australian side you would like to watch,,

    They are one of the most talented sides in world in any language, Ranks of Watson, Ricky, Hussey, Siddle and Hilfenhaus make your life difficult but not in this series.. They have lot of things to put back in place when they face the next opposition in test cricket and now look to re-group and focus on that all important Sydney Test to avoid series win to England,, But Engand looks all set to claim it by looks of it ..atleast till today !!!!!!!

  • eomer17 on December 28, 2010, 10:01 GMT

    the thing that aussie cricket needs the most is a new captain now.the bigger problem lies in selecting the next captain when michael clarke looks far from being the one.

  • on December 28, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    I think Ricky should retire.

  • Umamahesh_Srigiriraju on December 28, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    Really sad to see Ricky Ponting struggle like this. I hope he retires. The problem with these champions is probably they don't know when to retire. Take the examples of Dravid, Sachin and VVS. Dravid contributed like a champ in an inconsequential series. Sachin's innings are very inconsequential and purely academic and VVS is contributing only in the most consequential matches and series. So, where is the consistency from these three champions of India? Time for all the four (3 from India and 1 from Australia) to retire. May be VVS is the one who can continue to play for an year or two. The other three can still contribute but they are doing injustice to themselves and to the team in the process.

  • on December 28, 2010, 9:44 GMT

    he should resign and cross the tasman and stay there if not he will be sacked

  • coeurlion on December 28, 2010, 9:44 GMT

    It's been a sad Ashes for us Australian fans. I now feel the hurt you English fans felt for all that time. I can't see us coming back from this, so it'll 2-1 at Sydney. The eternal optimist in me hopes that it'll be 2 all, but realistically, the Ashes are gone. England fans... that cup of victory must taste all the sweeter. Your team deserved it... totally outplayed us. As for you Ricky... you'll be captain in Sydney. But your days as captain are drawing to a close... especially after your antics and subsequent fine. Let it go, mate. A new look, more youthful team with new direction and focus should be blooded, IMO, rather than trying to find piecemeal replacements. The side needs to be rebuilt... ground up. As far as I see it, RT Ponting is not part of that equation...

  • suresh_sksj on December 28, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    MUST GO NOW.....GO HOME AND TAKE CARE OF KIDS....change napies and help wife...that's a better option rather show a poor performance on the filed...at least his family will be happy with his performance at home....it's got to end one day...let this be that day....Ricky u need to know when to stop....stop today and leave MCG happy....your days are gone....by by

  • Dheepak.cs on December 28, 2010, 9:32 GMT

    Well, Its an awesome feeling to see ENGLAND winning THE ASHES, which they deserve the most.. Aussies have a lot to repent n suffer with the sentences they gave before THE ASHES started.. Its all history now... Its a Superb performance from the ENGLISH men completely dominate Aussies... WELL DONE ENGLAND...

  • on December 28, 2010, 9:19 GMT

    Ponting is catching a lot of the blame, even though nearly EVERYONE has failed at key moments. Its a bit unfair on him now...

  • IanJF on December 28, 2010, 9:19 GMT

    Reminds me so much of the life & career of Sanath Jayasuriya.. Its actually upto us to remember these "Cricketing Greats" (Ponting, Sana, H. Cronje, etc..) for their better half than the other half..!

  • on December 28, 2010, 9:15 GMT

    bye bye ponting :). make next test ur farewell match. gud look with the retirement

  • Philsy on December 28, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    It is tragic that Ponting's legacy will be tainted by Ashes defeats, as well as losses to India on the Subcontinent. Even though, as a Kiwi, we love to rub it in on the Aussies, he has been a fantastic batsman for Australia over the course of his career, and been in a team that has won 3 World Cups in a row as well. It's not entirely his fault that the Aussie game has slipped downhill, but to be honest, the Aussie team at its peak was like the West Indies team of the 70s and 80s, and once an entire bunch of legends retires, particularly guys as great as McGrath and Warne, it's hard, even for a strong cricketing nation of millions, to replace them with bowlers up to that standard on a consistent basis, they were, statistically, some of the best players ever right throughout the 90s-early noughties team. Things go in cycles, but it is interesting from a non Aussie point of view that the top 5 teams are all capable of beating each other-look at the interest in SA vs India at present

  • albstp on December 28, 2010, 9:09 GMT

    A captain is as good as his team members. The current Asutralian side is not matching the talents of the team member which they replaced. No point in putting all the blame on Ponting.

  • indianzen on December 28, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    I would say Punter will have to learn something from his juniors like Smith, Dhoni or Vettori how to behave in the field... come on mate, millions are watching you and you set yourself as an example of a sportsman... Arguing with umpires, sledging players, showing irritating gestures ain't right for a man from Australia... And another one is Siddle, I wonder if god subtracted "Smile" and "Humble" from all his senses... these make the match telecasters even to think twice before telecasting the match accross countries...

  • on December 28, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    "But no-one will ever question his ability to lead the group because of the things he's be able to do throughout his career and for everyone in the Australian cricket side." The questions might not be coming from within".

    It is easier to captain a team of Warne,Mcgrath,Hayden,Langer and himself in prime form. Does that team needed a captain. But he was not a leader by any means. He was the best batsman during 2004-2006 but never a brilliant leader. When the team has shown cracks he was the first to succumb down pressure. Cricket Australia should have appointed Gilchrist when they chose him as their skipper.

  • Semoli on December 28, 2010, 9:01 GMT

    if Ponting needs to be compared favorably with Lara and Tendulkar, he needs to score when surrounded by mediocrity. If he was younger he might have done it, we would never know!!. He has failed when it mattered the most. He lost the ashes, but won 2 WC, this is a team game, maybe that is all that matters....

  • on December 28, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    complete revamp is needed 8 changes for sydney bring in white as an experienced short term captain til smith is ready, my team for sydney marsh khawaja watson ferguson white (c) paine smith o keefe johnson copeland siddle, thanks for your serice punter, huss, hads but time has come for the team to look to the 2013 ashes, please step aside as for pup, he needs first class from, i'm sick of there being a free pass with nielsen and hilditch both continuing to rape this proud aussie side into the ground, those would be the first 2 jobs i would find replacements for, no one seems to mention the coach in cricket however in football they are the first to be scrutinised. We had the chance 2 years ago to re-develop the team after losing to south africa, we made a few changes yet resorted to our old ways shortly after, THE TIME HAS COME, i want to start searching for the new healy, the new m.waugh the new slater, guys that were good and held us in good stead in the early 90s before domination.

  • indianzen on December 28, 2010, 8:56 GMT

    A good article, but here is what I think, while for India, 10 jokers play around Sachin, For Aussies, 10 Jokers play around Mitchel... Mr. Punter, nearly the same age as that of Sachin, its time for your kid to enter the team, better look for a another job...

  • QingdaoXI on December 28, 2010, 8:53 GMT

    Peter English please think twice before giving the title to the topic. Its not good to say sad demise of Ponting, i am not a fan of Ponting but still as a cricket follower, i object. I hope in future u will not comment in this fashion.

  • TheHooker on December 28, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    A sad demise indeed and if he has any dignity left he retires after this Test. No one will question his commitment if he does this, they will only acknowledge that he has finally realised he is mortal. He is in danger of tainting his legacy should he continue. Of course he has been a great player, but every good thing comes to an end and his pad-thrusting approach to batting is reminiscent of a man who has lost his ability to watch the ball on to the bat and play late. Whether Taylor or Waugh would have been able to captain this shower is doubtful, but they aren't captaining this team, Ponting is and he's doing it in an incredibly classless fashion. He's letting himself, his team-mates and his country down and should now choose to bow out gracefully and allow us all to remember the great batsman he was, not the petulant, bad loser he has become.

  • wix99 on December 28, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    Sydney could well be Ponting's last Test match. I hope he scores a hundred so he can retire with some dignity. Another failure and the selectors might just retire him whether he likes it or not.

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  • wix99 on December 28, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    Sydney could well be Ponting's last Test match. I hope he scores a hundred so he can retire with some dignity. Another failure and the selectors might just retire him whether he likes it or not.

  • TheHooker on December 28, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    A sad demise indeed and if he has any dignity left he retires after this Test. No one will question his commitment if he does this, they will only acknowledge that he has finally realised he is mortal. He is in danger of tainting his legacy should he continue. Of course he has been a great player, but every good thing comes to an end and his pad-thrusting approach to batting is reminiscent of a man who has lost his ability to watch the ball on to the bat and play late. Whether Taylor or Waugh would have been able to captain this shower is doubtful, but they aren't captaining this team, Ponting is and he's doing it in an incredibly classless fashion. He's letting himself, his team-mates and his country down and should now choose to bow out gracefully and allow us all to remember the great batsman he was, not the petulant, bad loser he has become.

  • QingdaoXI on December 28, 2010, 8:53 GMT

    Peter English please think twice before giving the title to the topic. Its not good to say sad demise of Ponting, i am not a fan of Ponting but still as a cricket follower, i object. I hope in future u will not comment in this fashion.

  • indianzen on December 28, 2010, 8:56 GMT

    A good article, but here is what I think, while for India, 10 jokers play around Sachin, For Aussies, 10 Jokers play around Mitchel... Mr. Punter, nearly the same age as that of Sachin, its time for your kid to enter the team, better look for a another job...

  • on December 28, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    complete revamp is needed 8 changes for sydney bring in white as an experienced short term captain til smith is ready, my team for sydney marsh khawaja watson ferguson white (c) paine smith o keefe johnson copeland siddle, thanks for your serice punter, huss, hads but time has come for the team to look to the 2013 ashes, please step aside as for pup, he needs first class from, i'm sick of there being a free pass with nielsen and hilditch both continuing to rape this proud aussie side into the ground, those would be the first 2 jobs i would find replacements for, no one seems to mention the coach in cricket however in football they are the first to be scrutinised. We had the chance 2 years ago to re-develop the team after losing to south africa, we made a few changes yet resorted to our old ways shortly after, THE TIME HAS COME, i want to start searching for the new healy, the new m.waugh the new slater, guys that were good and held us in good stead in the early 90s before domination.

  • Semoli on December 28, 2010, 9:01 GMT

    if Ponting needs to be compared favorably with Lara and Tendulkar, he needs to score when surrounded by mediocrity. If he was younger he might have done it, we would never know!!. He has failed when it mattered the most. He lost the ashes, but won 2 WC, this is a team game, maybe that is all that matters....

  • on December 28, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    "But no-one will ever question his ability to lead the group because of the things he's be able to do throughout his career and for everyone in the Australian cricket side." The questions might not be coming from within".

    It is easier to captain a team of Warne,Mcgrath,Hayden,Langer and himself in prime form. Does that team needed a captain. But he was not a leader by any means. He was the best batsman during 2004-2006 but never a brilliant leader. When the team has shown cracks he was the first to succumb down pressure. Cricket Australia should have appointed Gilchrist when they chose him as their skipper.

  • indianzen on December 28, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    I would say Punter will have to learn something from his juniors like Smith, Dhoni or Vettori how to behave in the field... come on mate, millions are watching you and you set yourself as an example of a sportsman... Arguing with umpires, sledging players, showing irritating gestures ain't right for a man from Australia... And another one is Siddle, I wonder if god subtracted "Smile" and "Humble" from all his senses... these make the match telecasters even to think twice before telecasting the match accross countries...

  • albstp on December 28, 2010, 9:09 GMT

    A captain is as good as his team members. The current Asutralian side is not matching the talents of the team member which they replaced. No point in putting all the blame on Ponting.

  • Philsy on December 28, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    It is tragic that Ponting's legacy will be tainted by Ashes defeats, as well as losses to India on the Subcontinent. Even though, as a Kiwi, we love to rub it in on the Aussies, he has been a fantastic batsman for Australia over the course of his career, and been in a team that has won 3 World Cups in a row as well. It's not entirely his fault that the Aussie game has slipped downhill, but to be honest, the Aussie team at its peak was like the West Indies team of the 70s and 80s, and once an entire bunch of legends retires, particularly guys as great as McGrath and Warne, it's hard, even for a strong cricketing nation of millions, to replace them with bowlers up to that standard on a consistent basis, they were, statistically, some of the best players ever right throughout the 90s-early noughties team. Things go in cycles, but it is interesting from a non Aussie point of view that the top 5 teams are all capable of beating each other-look at the interest in SA vs India at present