Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, 4th day December 29, 2010

Ponting considers a move down the order

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Ricky Ponting was asked before the Ashes series started to consider moving from No.3, but only in the past fortnight has he considered shifting from his home of nine years. Greg Chappell, the new Australia selector, raised the possibility of Ponting dropping to No.4 for the opening Test and after rejecting the idea he has managed just 113 runs in eight innings.

His failures were a key factor in England retaining the urn, with the tourists' innings-and-157-run victory at the MCG earning a 2-1 lead. Ponting, 36, has now loosened his strict stance on staying at first-drop.

"I guess there's been a few doubts creep into my mind the last couple of weeks," Ponting said. "I'm not going to hide that. I think I definitely have to re-evaluate where I'm at as far as a Test batsman is concerned."

The idea was first discussed after Ponting returned from India and New South Wales' Usman Khawaja was in impressive form, but since then the country's next generation of top-order batsmen have struggled to gain consistency. When asked by ESPNcricinfo about Chappell's suggestion Ponting said: "[Chappell] mentioned something briefly about the possibility of me batting No.4 for the Brisbane Test match, with someone else coming into the squad to bat at three. That's about as far as the conversation went, we had probably two minutes talking."

Ponting's stubbornness is both a strength and a weakness and in hindsight a move to safer ground was just what he needed. England have targeted him successfully, taking Australia's only world-class player out of the contest with a mixture of perfect planning, excellent catching and some luck.

Australia will name their squad for the Sydney Test on Thursday and if Ponting is open to an immediate shift Khawaja is the most likely contender for his spot. Ponting said if the selectors wanted to make a change the new man had to be ready for the extra responsibility.

"It's not an easy place to bat, we all know that," he said. "It's something I think [the selectors will] be talking long and hard about this afternoon and for any selections going forward."

Ponting has been impressed by Khawaja, who was on standby for him in this match and was part of the squad in Brisbane. "I've been very impressed with what he's been able to do," he said. "His first-class record is very, very good. Technically, he looks as good as any of the young blokes we've got around Australia, probably better. You need to have that really solid technique if you want to stand up at No.3 at Test level."

A broken left pinky suffered in the field in Perth has also hampered Ponting, who had more x-rays in Melbourne this morning before returning to watch the final stages of the defeat. He was planning to see a specialist in the afternoon and thinks he will be able to play in Sydney.

"[The doctor] has to go through the x-rays with me and he needs to look at the finger and see what movement and mobility I've got around the joint," he said. "The next part of the plan will be to consult our medical staff overnight and find out what I'm going to be like for Sydney."

Ponting was promoted full-time to No.3 in 2001 and it was from that position that he became one of the game's true batting greats. He has 9719 runs at 58.19 in 108 Tests at first-drop, but his powers have waned noticeably in this series with his increasingly fidgety and jumpy movements. He fell for 10 and 20 at the MCG and his only significant contribution of the series came with an unbeaten half-century when the opening Test was winding down.

He isn't sure why he is having so many problems after getting himself into his best physical shape for almost a decade. "I wish I knew," he said. "I feel like I have been well prepared for every game. I have trained the same for every game.

"I am more disappointed that I came off what I thought was a pretty good series in India [in October]. I actually thought that after a few leaner months before that series in India I was starting to get things on track again, feeling good about my game."

He is now hoping, rather than expecting, that his fortune will change.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    When Greg Chapppel was the coach of India he created all the troubles.India was becoming the no 1 team after 2003 and without any reason he pushed Ganguly, who was instrumental in shaping a great Indian team,out.Chappel's comment after India's debacle in 2007 World cup was that many of Indian players including Tendulkar were not committed.Thank God that Tendulkar broke his silence and made a public announcement and Indian Cricket was saved.Ponting and Company should do the same .

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    we all know ricky ponting is a class player ...its undoubtful and the truth..due to mental pressures he might not performing well.greg chapell the fucking person who created problems in our indian team selection...so lets wish ricky and blast chapell

  • POSTED BY Aristocratt on | December 30, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    If one were to read the comments that have appeared on this article, one thing is amply clear-----that it is Greg Chappell, not Ricky Ponting, who should be shown the door. Ponting cannot be brought down just after one poor series, he has been one of the game's greats for a very long time. The comment writers have hit the nail on the head--------Chappell creates insecurity among players, he is so good at it. And the world knows it, and yet he gets these assignments, amazing. The second thing which is not yet amply clear is Ian Chappell's growing list of mistakes as an analyst. He said India as a team are not capable of 20 wickets on more than one occasion---wonder how then a team can reach No. 1 without taking 20 wickets? He is now tipping England to be number 1, but England, frankly have a long way to go. He has erred in several other areas in his assessment, and it is time to realize that the elder Chappell is getting away with some very poor analysis. Where is Trevor?

  • POSTED BY MahinMA on | December 30, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    Good Luck Usman Khwaja.......

    Everyone is expecting u to perform lot..... All the best.... Keep rock, place more records as u did for NSW....

  • POSTED BY cimrsimg on | December 30, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    Now that Chappal is there for Australia, and more aptly after Ricky, we will not have to worry about Australia in World cup. Chappal has a history to unsettle the team. And he starts in style, by sacking the captain first. I love punter, but feel sorry for him.

  • POSTED BY prashant1 on | December 30, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    Here's Pontings record ….From debut to 2003 : 99 inn. 4195 @ 49.4 ,.… From 2003-07: 80 inn.4993@74.5….. From 2007 -date : 77 inn. 3040 @ 41.1 ……. Ponting was a great batsman for 5 out of his 16 years . Period. His overall record makes him appear better than he really was.

  • POSTED BY suresh_sksj on | December 30, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    Chappell(Greg) your under-arm stinks....it's been 29 yrs...still it stinks...leave Ausies cricket....it will smell good without you....you made it stink in India while you showed your "Middle" finger to the press from the bus.....it still STINKS....

  • POSTED BY batbard on | December 30, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    Time Australian selectors got back to being ruthless. If I was running the show I'd make clean sweep of the side. This is the side I'd have for Sydney test, Mark Cosgrove, Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja, Michael Hussey, (vc)Cameron White, Andrew McDonald( if fit), (C)Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, 12th Steven Smith. What do think?

  • POSTED BY swervin on | December 30, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    it doesn't matter much if he bats at 3 or 4, he's still going to be under a lot of pressure if the other batsman aren't pulling their weight

  • POSTED BY Arun14 on | December 30, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    It's funny how a lot of comments here are from Indian fans showing support for the Aussie captain. That's how bad Chappell kicked Indian cricket in the gut. Is it a coincidence that Chappell's always around bad situations?. He messed up big as the coach of India and now as selector his suggestion that Ponting should move down the order seems knee-jerk.CA should kick Chappell out for he'll run their cricket to the ground.

    Sachin, Dravid and Lara have all gone through lean trots and it seemed as if their careers would end but they all had second or third winds and carried on. Sure, Ponting is going thru a horrible phase right now but it's magnified due to his team's failure in the Ashes. Let's face it, you wont set the worl alight with a bowling lineup that reads Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris. This is a good reminder to spoilt Aussies that winning is not a birthright. You need the right ingredients to make it happen.

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    When Greg Chapppel was the coach of India he created all the troubles.India was becoming the no 1 team after 2003 and without any reason he pushed Ganguly, who was instrumental in shaping a great Indian team,out.Chappel's comment after India's debacle in 2007 World cup was that many of Indian players including Tendulkar were not committed.Thank God that Tendulkar broke his silence and made a public announcement and Indian Cricket was saved.Ponting and Company should do the same .

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    we all know ricky ponting is a class player ...its undoubtful and the truth..due to mental pressures he might not performing well.greg chapell the fucking person who created problems in our indian team selection...so lets wish ricky and blast chapell

  • POSTED BY Aristocratt on | December 30, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    If one were to read the comments that have appeared on this article, one thing is amply clear-----that it is Greg Chappell, not Ricky Ponting, who should be shown the door. Ponting cannot be brought down just after one poor series, he has been one of the game's greats for a very long time. The comment writers have hit the nail on the head--------Chappell creates insecurity among players, he is so good at it. And the world knows it, and yet he gets these assignments, amazing. The second thing which is not yet amply clear is Ian Chappell's growing list of mistakes as an analyst. He said India as a team are not capable of 20 wickets on more than one occasion---wonder how then a team can reach No. 1 without taking 20 wickets? He is now tipping England to be number 1, but England, frankly have a long way to go. He has erred in several other areas in his assessment, and it is time to realize that the elder Chappell is getting away with some very poor analysis. Where is Trevor?

  • POSTED BY MahinMA on | December 30, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    Good Luck Usman Khwaja.......

    Everyone is expecting u to perform lot..... All the best.... Keep rock, place more records as u did for NSW....

  • POSTED BY cimrsimg on | December 30, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    Now that Chappal is there for Australia, and more aptly after Ricky, we will not have to worry about Australia in World cup. Chappal has a history to unsettle the team. And he starts in style, by sacking the captain first. I love punter, but feel sorry for him.

  • POSTED BY prashant1 on | December 30, 2010, 6:23 GMT

    Here's Pontings record ….From debut to 2003 : 99 inn. 4195 @ 49.4 ,.… From 2003-07: 80 inn.4993@74.5….. From 2007 -date : 77 inn. 3040 @ 41.1 ……. Ponting was a great batsman for 5 out of his 16 years . Period. His overall record makes him appear better than he really was.

  • POSTED BY suresh_sksj on | December 30, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    Chappell(Greg) your under-arm stinks....it's been 29 yrs...still it stinks...leave Ausies cricket....it will smell good without you....you made it stink in India while you showed your "Middle" finger to the press from the bus.....it still STINKS....

  • POSTED BY batbard on | December 30, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    Time Australian selectors got back to being ruthless. If I was running the show I'd make clean sweep of the side. This is the side I'd have for Sydney test, Mark Cosgrove, Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja, Michael Hussey, (vc)Cameron White, Andrew McDonald( if fit), (C)Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, 12th Steven Smith. What do think?

  • POSTED BY swervin on | December 30, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    it doesn't matter much if he bats at 3 or 4, he's still going to be under a lot of pressure if the other batsman aren't pulling their weight

  • POSTED BY Arun14 on | December 30, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    It's funny how a lot of comments here are from Indian fans showing support for the Aussie captain. That's how bad Chappell kicked Indian cricket in the gut. Is it a coincidence that Chappell's always around bad situations?. He messed up big as the coach of India and now as selector his suggestion that Ponting should move down the order seems knee-jerk.CA should kick Chappell out for he'll run their cricket to the ground.

    Sachin, Dravid and Lara have all gone through lean trots and it seemed as if their careers would end but they all had second or third winds and carried on. Sure, Ponting is going thru a horrible phase right now but it's magnified due to his team's failure in the Ashes. Let's face it, you wont set the worl alight with a bowling lineup that reads Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris. This is a good reminder to spoilt Aussies that winning is not a birthright. You need the right ingredients to make it happen.

  • POSTED BY suresh_sksj on | December 30, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    so the obvious has come, i expected this some days ago....he could have left of his own by anouncing his retirement some months ago....but some things take it's won turn over a period of time.....and Ricky will be remembered for his onfiled pranks with Alim Dhar.....as people's memories are struck to the last few days of a person, i still rememeber Steve Waugh being carried thru the stadium on his last day of test cricket, same memories of Glen, Gilly, Tubby, Test cricket a great leveler, some years ago the Same Ricky was considered the best, but look at Sachin....he was so sober and humble, he just went about his job clean and quietly.....Ricky should pickup a phone and call Sachin and take some tips....there is no harm in being humble, just leave the arrogance and ego....

  • POSTED BY D.V.C. on | December 30, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    "[Ponting] Australia's only world class player." Hussey has a batting average of 50+, is currently ranked 10th best Test batsman in the World, and was once ranked number 1. According to this author that's not World Class - I'm bemused.

  • POSTED BY himanshu.team on | December 30, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    Strange Tactics this! When a guy is down, he needs support, and a security. GC is one of those guys who would like to kick everyone who has had a bad game or series. Unfortunately that way no one would ever be good. CA must get rid of GC, he ruined Indian team. A team which should have become world no.1 during his time itself. Now he is doing it perfectly for Australia. Agreed, they have lost all the great players almost at the same time, but Australia have been good at finding right replacements: Clarke, Hussey, Jhonson, Bollinger have all got potential to be the best in the world. Plus they have players like Shuan Marsh, Warner etc. only thing they do not have right now is a world class spinner.

    Ponting is still one of the best batsman in the game. All he neds is a break, but it should be told to him to go back to first class cricket, get the confidence back and come back strong. It should not be like a sacking and raising doubts if he would ever return back?

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2010, 4:01 GMT

    Although Ponting is one of the game's greats, like Dravid's, his time has come. Stats don't lie and last 4 years avg. around 40 is way off the mark. Dravid, against the quality teams, has been averaging below 30 in the last 3 years. Both should be given respectful departures!

  • POSTED BY powerash5000 on | December 30, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    I hope Ponting stays another year as a batsman, give captaincy to Haddin. Also give Hughes a decent chance he hasn't had much batting after dislocating his shoulder. Hughes and Khawaja would be good in middle order.

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2010, 3:11 GMT

    Ponting should actually try speaking to Sachin and find out what needs to be corrected in his technique. He is going through a tough phase and losing the ASHES is adding insult to injury. I personally hope he gets to defend the World Cup as a Captain. Australia might be able to defend the WC without Ponting. Else it could just be the end of a career.

  • POSTED BY CricketFreud on | December 30, 2010, 3:06 GMT

    greg chappell is doing to australia what he did to india when he was coach... seriously dropping hauritz because of a poor series in india was highly immature and persisting with the decision and bringing beer and smith ahead of him for the next tests only proves his reckless attitude of playing around with the team selection...

  • POSTED BY vinuthan on | December 30, 2010, 2:03 GMT

    Greg is confused himself...If pointing did not go at No 3 he would have told "Captain should lead from the front"...if he goes at 3 he will tell go down the order...then he will tell get out of the team....

  • POSTED BY Street_Hawk on | December 30, 2010, 1:50 GMT

    I would like to disagree a little bit with the comments posted below. First, I would like to make a point here that Greg Chappell is probably the worst coach and selector you can have. He is really good with his batting tips and stuff..but as a coach no where near that.

    About Ponting: He is going through a lean patch..happens to every one..but he has showed his class..all he needs is mental support and not threats..

    However, I do think it's time for Ponting to let go off captaincy. It helped Ganguly in the hindsight..he came back as a much stronger batsman. Ponting can do the same. He is not very imaginative or inspiring as a captain, otherwise Nathan Hauritz will be in the team right now.

    Summary: Ponting needs to quit as a captain for his own good...stay in the team as a batsman and play with absolute free mind :)

  • POSTED BY on | December 30, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    Here's the sad statistic. If you ignore the Gabba second innings knock of 51, where there was no mental pressure whatever - a practice session - then Ponting's average in the "real" innings of the series is 8.85. Siddle's is nearly 16!! I'm sure Ricky still has an eye for a ball, but has literally crumbled under pressure.

  • POSTED BY featurewriter on | December 30, 2010, 0:42 GMT

    Love to read all the Indian fans complaining about Greg Chappell. Any foreigner stepping into the role of Test cricket coach of the Indian team is doomed. They are the most politically, racially and socially divided nation on the planet. There are more agendas in Indian cricket than there are Hindu gods. Chappell is a no BS guy, and he was always going to bump heads with a team full of enormous egos (seriously, Ganguly was always going to be challenged by someone like Chappell). India has one of the finest teams in the history of world cricket, unfortunately that also makes them one of the worst performing teams, given the level of talent that includes Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag, Singh (hate him, but he's a great cricketer), Dhoni and others like Jaffer and Ghambir. It'll be a sad day for world cricket when India lose Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman. It'll be a sadder day for Indian cricket though.

  • POSTED BY Cam71 on | December 30, 2010, 0:41 GMT

    I am a fan of Ponting as a batsmen. in my opinion the best batsmen Australia has had over the last 30 years. As a captain he has not been quite so effective. I strongly suspect that if Ponting could be persuaded to step down from the captaincy and move to number 4 in the batting order we may see a ranaisance from him similiar to that which Tendulkar has enjoyed over the past two years. he could certainly retain a role as a senior member of the team and may make a great vice captain to a new leader. My team for the Sydney test would be; Watson, Hughes (last chance though, Kawajia, Ponting, M Hussey, D Hussey, Haddin, Smith or Hauritz, Johnson, Siddle, Hilfenhaus (although there is an argument for giving a younger bowler such as Hazlewood a run).

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | December 29, 2010, 23:19 GMT

    @Nadeem1976; "Australian team knew that england is strong so they did what Pakistani team did. Give away the series easily to difficult opponent and make money. I am so disappointed that even australian team can under perform delibirtly to make money"...... ! ! ! ! ! ! ! What absolute TOSH. Australians would never NEVER do anything like that. @Nadeem1976 - if you have evidence of this, come forward to the authorities with it. Otherwise shut up. By the way - delibarately is spelled delibarately.

  • POSTED BY SnowSnake on | December 29, 2010, 23:03 GMT

    Ponting does not get it. Asking him to bat at no. 4 was a hint given to him by Chappell that he should consider retirement. I think Aussi selection board has given him enough hints, but Ponting keeps giving excuses. There are two things that make a great batsman-- reflexes and great mind/anticipation. Ponting always was a reflexes batsman. Now, these reflexes are gone, he cannot make a come back. He can count on playing for Australia till the world cup. After that, he will be either asked to retire or be fired (if he still does not get it). If Australia loses the 5th test, I don't think he deserves any more chances. Enough is enough, national interests should come first than personal accomplishments.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 22:31 GMT

    After the 2007 world cup Chappell left India and returned to Australia.During his tenure in India he created havoc with the selection of the Indian team. He and his buddy Dravid got rid of Ganguly (payback for winning the Kolkata test). Chappell then returned to Australia and its no surprise to anyone who follows the game that he is creating havoc with the Aussie selection. The Aussies have been slipping up since 2008.

  • POSTED BY PradeepR on | December 29, 2010, 21:36 GMT

    Greg Chappell needs to be get rid of. The one thing he will do for sure for Team Australia is take it down and down. He is good at creating insecurity in the players. The first thing he will do now after this Ashes series is ask for Ricky Ponting's head.

  • POSTED BY OutCast on | December 29, 2010, 21:35 GMT

    Chappel is the Ravi Shasthri of Australian cricket... you can't cook dinner with both...

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 21:33 GMT

    Ricky is an execellent captain & best batsman for aus. No one in current aus team has the capability to replace ponting.The aus defeat u cant blame captain 100% responsible is CA & team selectors if CA retain Greg Chappell as a coach only god can save aus team dont forgot what happen to team India in 2007WC Ricky is greatest one down batsman if CG fool tries to change his role in team then definite batting order collepse will happen to aus

  • POSTED BY wysiwyg10 on | December 29, 2010, 21:28 GMT

    Time to get rid of both Chappals - Greg from selection committee and Ian from commentary.

  • POSTED BY RVPersay on | December 29, 2010, 19:16 GMT

    Ponting has been in declined for a while now. This series is not a statistical aberration. He barely averages 41 in last 4 years.

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/7133.html?class=1;spanmin1=01+Jan+2007;spanval1=span;template=results;type=batting

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    As long as Greg Chappell is there, Australia will ruin all its reputation it has gained and players will loose their natural talent. One could easily remember how Indian teams performance was totally ruined by him in WC 2007.

  • POSTED BY sonjjay on | December 29, 2010, 19:00 GMT

    Ponting is a class act and still one australia's best batsman right now.I think it might be worth relieving him of his captaincy duties and dropping him down the batting order.

  • POSTED BY Knightriders_suck on | December 29, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    Guy has made 12000+ runs. He will know when it's time to call it a day. He needs some support and a bit of pressure off his mind. He looked amazing till the point he got out in fourth test. There is nothing wrong with his reflexes. But he needs more support from other end. Before there would be a Hayden, Symonds, Gilchrist on the other end monstering the bowling while Ponting was going at a steady pace. But I guess the biggest problem has been a total lack of support. Get a couple of enforcers in and see him flourish. No watsons and katichs. Australia need a few bullies like Hayden and Symonds. Why not throw in David Warner in the mix with Phil hughes and tell them to try and shred the bowling to pieces. If they click it will be similar to a sehwag blitzkrieg. Otherwise it will be same as what is happening right now. As of now most of Aussie test batting is too one dimensional, a bunch of nurdlers.

    GIVE THE GUY SOME SUPPORT FROM OTHER END......

  • POSTED BY Skool on | December 29, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    This is very similar to what Sachin was going through a few years back. He (and some of us) knew that he was batting well, but either a very good ball, a stunning catch, luck or a bad decision was coming in the way. We know where he is right now. So,even though I don't like Ponting, one simple and important advice to Ponting fans from a 'crazy Indian fan': Trust him. For great players just don't lose their form and get retired. They always come back, and Ponting IS a great player.

  • POSTED BY Bhatin on | December 29, 2010, 16:34 GMT

    I hope everyone knows the case of Hope Diamond. Whoever owned it, was affected by its curse. So has been the case with the Greg Chappell curse that has struck Australia this time. Get this guy Greg Chappell out of the system. He can only mess up the team composition and whatever the little confidence players have. India were struck earlier by this curse and he had messed career of Irfan Pathan. India were quick enough to dump him and move on and today they have thrashed South Africa neck and crop in Durban. Give Ponting and Clarke a break. Now that Ashes are gone, field a new look team and see how they perform. Play David Warner up at the top with Watson. If he can pull it off, he can do a Sehwag and get Australia to a rocking start. Does not matter if Australia loose, but try new things. No point to play for leveling the series with Ashes retained by England. The team can be - Watson, Warner, Khwaja, Hussey , Ferguson, Marsh, Haddin (Capt), Hauritz, Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Bollinger

  • POSTED BY SagirParkar on | December 29, 2010, 16:13 GMT

    @ Johann3 i completely agree with you over here.. The Selectors have let the Australian team and their campaign down. They did a similar thing in England last year and i thought that they'd learn from their mistakes but sadly i was misguided in my expectations. the key to losing both the past Ashes campaigns has been poor selection - not of batsmen but bowlers. in England, Australia failed to win 2 crucial tests because couldnt get the last pair out despite having about 10-12 overs at them. and this time round, they couldnt even get to the last English pair apart from that 'aberration' at Perth. Johnson needs to left out for a short while for his own good so he can return a better and consistent bowler. Hilfenhaus needs to improve slightly and they need Hauritz back in the side. the selectors chose to go with out of form players and the team, the country and the fans are now paying the price for it.

  • POSTED BY kneeraj on | December 29, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    How about having a rotating captain like they thought might work for KKR?

  • POSTED BY The_Professor on | December 29, 2010, 15:57 GMT

    Ponting's success will NOT increase simply by moving down the order to no.4. Indeed, batting at no.4 has its own challenges. In fact, Ponting's style of play is more suited to batting at 3 because he prefers the ball coming onto the bat a bit more. Ponting's experience can be of great help to the younger generation coming into the team. Perhaps Ponting should give up the captaincy after this Ashes series and spend the remainder of his career mentoring the young batsmen coming into the tream?

  • POSTED BY Rehan497 on | December 29, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    Age isn't really the factor with Ponting, he is in great shape, still very quick in the field, quicker than Indian fielders i can assure you and stil has the reflexes. You will be out of form and if your out of form in the ashes its hard to come out due to all the media pressure.

    He needs to drop down, and i'm sure one century and he'll be in top form. I really don't know why Khawaja didn't come in, in the 4th Test, Smith didn't look impressive but Khawaja has scored so many runs this season, he looks a class batsmen from videos i've seen of him.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    @ anand jakhotia why would you pity an arrogant boorish and no good fellow, he deserves whatever he is getting, that cheat, remember sydney test, no one should pity him, he fully deserves to be sacked!!

  • POSTED BY Cricket.Nellore on | December 29, 2010, 15:34 GMT

    I think chappel says double meaning here to move to # 12 in order. But expected ponting to fire back soon.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    PONTING HAS STRETCHED HIMSELF BEYOND HIS TIME - THIS HAPPENS - I AGREE, HE NEEDS TO GO DOWN TO A BATTING POSITION TO RESTORE HIS CONFIDANCE AND PLAY ONE GOOD INNING IN NEXT TEST BEFORE BOWING OUT WITH SOME RESPECT - HE WILL AND SHOULD AS ONE OF THE ALL TIMES BEST BATTERS. HE IS BROKEN- THERE AGAIN ENGLAND HAS DONE WELL- BUT IS IS NOT THE END NEVER MIND THE ASHES - THERE IS ONE LAST TEST AND I WOULD MAKE IT THE LITMUS TEST FOR THE SERIES.

  • POSTED BY satanswish on | December 29, 2010, 15:17 GMT

    If Cricket Australia start dancing to this Greg Chappell's tunes, Australian team will surely start competing with Bangladesh & WI for the bottom spot.

    Lowering down will not make any difference, Ricky should retire immediately before he is dumped out.

  • POSTED BY Balamuarli on | December 29, 2010, 15:04 GMT

    Grey chappell distroyed india in 2007 as coach , now its austrila's turn as selector.

  • POSTED BY kalppride on | December 29, 2010, 14:39 GMT

    Ponting has been one of the great batsman of his era if not the greatest. Its sad to see him struggle like this. But I am sure he will bounce back. May be its time for him to step down as Captain but he is still the best No 3 Aussie. I do not see much into Chappel's advice ad the same man had asked Sachin to retire and look how he is playing now..Ponting would do the same..Let him play one good solid innings and see how he turn around. However, I think 5th test as SCG is his final chance..given the way Aussie Selectors history with senior cricketers..Remember what they did to Waugh Twins..

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    Ii was suggesting this (no.4 position) for ponting after the second ashes test where he dosen't scored...............finally it came in the mind of the selectors..........bring him at no.4 and see the result you will cheer me for sure

  • POSTED BY george204 on | December 29, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    I think Ponting should drop down the order, there's no shame in it - nobody denigrates Tendulkar for batting at 4 or 5 (as he has for almost his entire test career!).

    Much as the Australians are desparately disappointed to not regain the Ashes, I wouldn't go for wholesale changes at Sydney: drop Clarke, bring in Khawaja @3, move Ponting to 4, White @ 6 then depending on whether the SCG pitch merits a second spinner play Smith @7 + 3 pacemen, or recall Bollinger to replace the injured Harris as 4th paceman: Watson, Hughes, Khawaja, Ponting, Hussey, White, Haddin, Smith (or Bollinger), Johnson, Siddle, Hilfenhaus

  • POSTED BY Herbet on | December 29, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    When you say Ponting is/was "the best ever test number 3", did Donald Bradman not bat at 3? Not to mention Graeme Pollock, George Hadley & Brian Lara. Ponting has been a great player, by any standard, and his average of 58 at 3 is unbelievable, but the best ever, not quite. Plus, it does degarde a fraction his achievements that he never had to bat against McGrath and Warne, as they have been the ultimate test of his generation. Thats not his fault I suppose, but we'll never know how he would have handled coming in at 3 on a damp morning at Lords with the score 0/1 and McGrath trotting in with his tail up. I'm guessing he'd have done what everyoe else did, get out. Australia in 05 had 3 great batsmen; Hayden, Ponting and Gilchrist and they all looked pretty fallible against the swinging ball. If everyone, Tendulkar included, played 75% of their cricket in England, then I'm sure some averages would be pretty reduced. Anyway, I digress.

  • POSTED BY RameshSubramaniam on | December 29, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    @popcorn: "Clarke is the best batsmen at 5". Did you ever watch International cricket? Inzi, Laksman, Now De-villiers,Andy Flower, Chandrapaul, etc, etc. he may come last in the long list. Ponting is a too good batsmen to ask him to move down after one bad series. Question is Is there a better player than ponting to replace him at 3? I am great fan of Ponting adn not Australian. But the way he argued with Aleem Dar, he let both himself and his fans down. Truth is Australia do not have enough talent as other countries have at the moment. Let Aus accept this and work towards improving the team.

  • POSTED BY mspaloda on | December 29, 2010, 13:42 GMT

    Australia must continue with their Mr. Greg Chappel!! Good for other cricket playing countries and good for country like Bangladesh as they will soon in very near future boast of being ahead of aussies in cricket ratings an scoring runs.

  • POSTED BY Herbet on | December 29, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    At one point sooner or later it goes, if it wasnt't the case Greg Chappel himself would still be Australia's number 3. And, unfortunately for Ponting, it appears that he is "shot", he has ran his course. He will either have to retire, or adapt and become a shotless nurdler like Border or Dravid became. Australia need wholesale changes. They need openers, replacements for Ponting and Clarke (who appears to need a rest) and a spinner. They need to pick a spinner and leave him to develop and do his thing, even if he's not the most gifted, like what England did with Giles and SA did with Harris. They cant all be young though, they need experience too. Maybe something like: Jaques, Katich, Kawaja, M Hussey (c), Ferguson, Watson, Haddin (wk), Johnson, Doherty, Harris, Siddle. Thats just a rough idea, there maybe a younger opening alternative to Jaques and maybe an allrounder could bat at 7 and Haddin at 6, he's easily good enough to bat anywhere 4-6.

  • POSTED BY Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow on | December 29, 2010, 13:32 GMT

    Once you get Greg Chappell in, your team is going to go down the drain. Just ask these 2 ex-captains of India - Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 13:32 GMT

    It's simple. Ponting's reflexes are not as good any more. His jumpiness against fast bowlers has increased over the years. Example was last year against Kemar Roach. His stubbornness is a problem. Either he bats lower or his career will be shortened. A man must know his limitations or suffer the consequences.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    Don't write him off just yet. If he's allowed to stay-he'll want to come back stronger. And it's only been 4 matches of bad form. If it was 14, I could understand.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    It is sad that Ponting is going through every possible crisiis. But who will replace him? Clarke just does not fit the bill. Australia"s only hope is for Ponting to bat lower down the order and hope that some of the others like Khwaja and Ferguson get to make runs. Surely Ponting is under stress and it has affected his batting and it has showed in his performance. Now that the ashes are safely in Rngland, maybe he will just score runs. Australia has a number of problems and nothing more intense than the loss of form of Ponting. Australia do not have a succession plani in place, thanks to Clarke"s poor form. Australia has to wait with Ponting for some more time, hope he makes runs and leaves on a high. He deserves that, not this. He is arrogant, stubborn but a streetfighter to the core and I do hope he goes out on his own terms. He deserves that. sridhar

  • POSTED BY Chathal on | December 29, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    Poor Ponting. With a bad charm in Greg Chappell he will only get useless suggestions. Get rid of Greg and Ponting's performance will be back to his old self. Good luck Punter. You are amongst the greatest and am sure you will bounce back with vengeance.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    Ian Chappell should not decide Ricky Pointing future whether to move down the order,this man is serving his country for the last decade at # 3 slot,the whole team must be blamed for losing the ashes not one individual so Ian just shut up & let the players correct their mistake .

  • POSTED BY AvidCricFan on | December 29, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    I think what Punter needs is give up the burden of captainship and just concentrate on enjoying batting, just like what Sachin did. He may do well for the next couple of years for Aussies.

  • POSTED BY vparisa on | December 29, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    Greg Chappell always wants to move people down the order, he did the same with Sachin during 2007 WC. Ponting played all his life at number 3, He played well in India scoring couple of seventies. He just had a bad series and i am sure he will score in the next test.

  • POSTED BY shreeeks on | December 29, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    Get Ponting down to No 12. Will serve Australia better.

  • POSTED BY johann3 on | December 29, 2010, 11:46 GMT

    The Aussies should start by seeking new blood amongst the selectors. They have been the primary culprits here. They had their chance after the Perth test and blew it. instead of doing their job they gambled and lost.

    By all means bat Ponting down the order but for heaven sake recognise that Clarke and Hughes are not up to it.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 11:32 GMT

    I really pity ponting for he is still a class player. But having said that he is a bit arrogant & stubborn which has been his nemesis in past & recent times. As for the ashes it was a collective lack of form from most of the key players. But accolades to england for being superb & majestic. It would be good for ponting to back himself & drop down the order. They are still a very good oneday side[with wc approaching]. As for chappel, with due respect to him he might have been a class player but very bad a nurturing/identifying talent. He always thinks out of the box but sadly for worse.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | December 29, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    @Marcio; as usual - you describing a reality which nobody else subscribes to - "Eng are no better man for man".... knowing your postings here on cricinfo - I know that you still actually believe this. Well - you can believe what you like, inhabit any fantasy you like; it's blindingly obvious that England are better in every department than Australia. But you are right about one thing; as Forrest Gump says - "Stupid is as stupid does", and boy have Australia been stupid since 2005.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 11:04 GMT

    Ponting did say "It would be nice if Sachin retires for some time".. Now look, it is who's turn to retire... Ponting has dug his own grave.. Bye Bye Punter! Your reign is over.... :)

  • POSTED BY ranga_s on | December 29, 2010, 10:20 GMT

    haven't australia suffered enough because they try to foresee things rather than making tactical moves....@popcorn: ponting nvr was the best No:3 in the world...so wasn't clarke...there were far better players than them produced in the likes of Sangakkara, Dravid, Kallis, Youhana (Mind you No:3's only here) ponting never had to face the mcgrath, gillespie, lee, warne combined attack while others i mentioned eearlier did...ponting was good wasn't the best as you try ridiculously overhype the falling so called greatest...no need to talk about clarke...he's shabby even by aussie standards....i sincerely hope aussie selectors are not idiots like you and hope miracles from a fairly ordinary team...the empire's lost...live with it...may be aussies still play the attacking cricket they used to play...then leave some space in ur tiny brain to realise that other teams have caught up and most of them have exceeded....

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 10:20 GMT

    Ricky Ponting will score a 100 in the next test. He needs to sign off his great career with 40 test centuries. I hope he manages to do this-he deserves some further accolades after most people are critisizing him for his lack of recent form. Of course at 36 he has to retire soon though - so at some stage he should retire voluntarily and I hope that a 40th century in the 5th test will be a fitting send off for him. I am from South Africa.

  • POSTED BY Dheepak.cs on | December 29, 2010, 10:13 GMT

    What i feel is ponting should retire himself before the australian cricket board kicks him out of the squad,So its better to say BYE BYE of cricket MR.RICKY

  • POSTED BY h4hamid on | December 29, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    Its about time for Ponting to say good bye to cricket by himself with honor rather than left out of side and than announce his retirement afterwards with disgrace. The way he behaved with umpires in Melbourne test shows how much pressure he is feeling but that was not at all a followable example cricket is gentleman's game and it should be played like that.

  • POSTED BY Considered on | December 29, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    @Popcorn - thank you, finally something speaking sense and basing their conclusions on sound logic rather than knee jerk reactions and in the case of Clarke irrelevant off field issues.

    Clarke was fantastic at 5, let him bat there again. Hussey deserves the no 4 spot. I can understand the selector's reservations doing this previously lest it impacted poorly on Hussey's form. However there is no real danger of experimentation now.

    If Ponting is injured allow Khwaja a chance on his home ground.

  • POSTED BY Agus2010 on | December 29, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    There is a only one way he should retire alongwith Clark from the national game, this is really shame on him and his team

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    Ponting's batting is taking a downfall and he was really under pressure because the opening pair didn't click. A back-up for Simon Katich is needed and Hughes doesn't look to be a good choice

  • POSTED BY Samar_Singh on | December 29, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    Ponting is a class player and he has played and performed enough to prove him self..no more fuss, a century is just round the corner ...Are there any captain round how has better win % than Ponting ???

  • POSTED BY Benkl on | December 29, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    Smith and Huighes are some of the better state guys and look how well they have done going to be a tough few years when we loose Ponting , Hussey and Kattich.

    Its worth remembering everyone who is calling for Pontings head now was calling for Hussey. Much more worried about Clarke he has the same disease North had of only scoring when the going is good - that is not what Australia need. Would drop Clarke and Ponting and let them relax and focus on Shield for a while then bring them back in 3 months.

  • POSTED BY KAIRAVA on | December 29, 2010, 8:08 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.

  • POSTED BY HawK89 on | December 29, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    Ponting captains with good field placements and loses, Vettori has poor field placements, loses as well and hes still going to be captain. Even Strauss has defensive field placements when hes bowling out the opposition with a lead over 300, another innings to bat and 3 days remaining. Ponting should be dropped for his batting not his Captaincy. Should of dropped down to no.4, with hussey at 5 and clarke at 6, where he belongs.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 8:02 GMT

    No, please, no more band-aids. Just get the older players out of the team and start again. Sorry Ponting, Katich and Hussey, tiime to move on. We need a clean break now.

  • POSTED BY Vindaliew on | December 29, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    Like many non-Australians, I don't like Ponting, but can't help feeling quite sorry for him. He has had a horrible series, but then again, his teammates haven't really shone either. Watson, Hussey and Haddin have done really well, but the rest haven't exactly proven that Ponting should go before they do. Clarke's probably the weakest link in the line-up right now, but Smith is the more likely to make way for Khawaja. Hughes, I believe, should be given more time, at least until Katich comes back.

    I don't understand why Cameron White doesn't play. Much more than Steven Smith, he's the sort of person who might not score big hundreds, but give him a couple of hours at the crease and he can take Australia away with a quick 50, and create that much-coveted momentum during an innings (Look at the positive vibes Hughes created in the second innings.. England certainly wanted him out badly). He certainly can't do worse than what Ponting, Clarke and Smith are doing now.

  • POSTED BY Hammer48 on | December 29, 2010, 7:46 GMT

    Please stop focussing so much on one cricketer. By far the most woeful under performer in this series is Michael Clarke. One of the statisticians please post his average since his move up the order to 4, and then show me one test batsmen of any country in the last 10 years who has been kept in the side (let alone been considered a future captain) of any world team after these kinds of figures.

  • POSTED BY kkarthik on | December 29, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    looks like greg chappell brings bad luck wherever he goes. 1st it was with the Indian team when he was the coach and now with the aussie team as a selector!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    He didn't lead from the front at the time when it was most needed. He didn't play like a team captain should . He didn't set examples for the young blood in the team .What for he is in the team? Just because he is Ricky Ponting . He was escaping all the competitive cricket just to perform well in 'The Ashes'. Nowadays 100 and Ponting seems two Pole of cricket, which can't meet. This great batsman needs some good match practice. He must play in upcoming ODI's to get his confidence back .Best wishes to a great to watch batsman.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    Greg chapell..haha..whatever he touches turns into dust..he should be named anti-midas or something like that. :)

  • POSTED BY pvwadekar on | December 29, 2010, 7:07 GMT

    what is with Guru Greg and the captain ? He tried to do something similar with Ganguly when he was captain of India. Australian cricket needs a desperate reboot of their middle order. Get rid of Hussy, Pontying and Katich and Greg Chappell. Bring in fresh blood -- S.Marsh, U. Khawaja , C.White and C.Ferguson and give them some time(12-15 tests) to establish themselves in the test arena .. for the bowling it seems ok .. not threatening but still better and developing .. .. but please change the spinner ..

  • POSTED BY Statsmatter on | December 29, 2010, 6:54 GMT

    Finally my thoughts after a year or two are being realised. Ponting move down the order - should have been replaced by Clarke but his selection and VC has got to be in doubt. Best alternative is Katich fit back in at 3, Kawaja at 4 Ponting 5 and Hussey 6

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    Its back to the days when Australia was not the Australia before their decade long domination.

    But whatever happens I think Ponting deserves the respect for leading a team with two consecutive World Cup title . Had there been any experienced old mate of Ponting in this Ashes one or two guy like Hayden or Langer apart from Hussey, I think the result would not been that much miserable .

    It will be a long awakening I think waiting for Australia , and Australians have to live with that for some time .

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    If Australia looses in Sydney too, Ponting should step down as captain.

  • POSTED BY suresh_sksj on | December 29, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    all these discussions and debate about where Ricky needs to bat is fine, but 1st should he still be there ?.... is it not time for him to groom someone who can take up his position, it's clear that when Glen, Shane, Hydo, Gilly, Lee etc were there, the ACB did not have any proper bench strength plan..all that they had was these small time guys who were either part of the local Shield games and / or were in IPL / 20-20 games trying to earn some $$$ ASAP...so all the exp and trg they got were in the shorter version of the game...never in the 5 day version...so all these issues now comming up....i guess many countries will face this issue soon.....as most of the guys currently are using the time to play the shorter version rather play the full version....all for just Quick money...and ASAP

  • POSTED BY cricinme on | December 29, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    Ponting should go right now. He has been a disgrace for the team with his on field tactics. His arguing with the Umpire was in bad taste and is not tolerable. He should be punished.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    Ponting is the King...yeah right....hehe

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    i think should drop pointing and bring usman khadwaja in fifth test

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    Hang on, Australia thought that the tour to India prior to Ashes was a bad preparation for the team. If that isnt the case Ponting would not have scored runs at all at international level, let alone for Tasmania. The biggest problem with Ponting is his ego and thinks he is invincible. I have to agree that he has been great for Australia for many years but in the last 2 yrs he hasnt done anything. Best thing for Ponting is to take break from cricket, miss the ODI against England, spend time at nets and get ready to defend the World cup.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    Ponting greatness could not overcome poor selections. The most obvious of which is Watson as opener, who instead should be at 6 to strong-arm a tiring attack.

    Watto is a bat who bowls. He can't bowl 15-20 overs and then be asked to bat for hours.

    And after Katich's injury, the crookedness of the batting line-up has been clear for all but the selectors to see. Though Shane has made a few runs, he is not an opener and has not capitalized on good starts as all good openers do.

    Hughes might have a great eye and if he gets away who knows, but the selectors exacerbated the problem with his selection, as his recklessness has exposed a crippled top order in Ponting (finger) and Clarke (back).

    I'm not blaming Watson. He's done a commendable job but you just can't expose your middle order all the time like that.

    If not for Hussey (who edged his first ball at the Gabba just short of third slip) and Haddin this series could well have been a lot worse.

  • POSTED BY PlayingItStraight on | December 29, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    While he was once an absolute champion batsman, Ricky Ponting needs to accept that he is not the player he once was. We loved watching him take on anything that any bowler in the world could throw at him, and totally dominate opposition attacks, but that seems so long ago now. Australia should drop Michael Clarke, bring Usman Khawaja in at number 3, then promote Michael Hussey to number 4, and Ponting can drop down to number 5. Not sure if Steve Smith is the answer at number 6 (he has a one-day batting technique rather than a test one), but if he is going to be the long-term answer as a batting allrounder then he deserves an extended run.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | December 29, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    A big 100 for Ricky Ponting is just around the corner.He has been the best ever no.3 batsman in the world, just as Michael Clarke has been the best No.5 batsman.For the Sydney Test, Ricky should continue to bat at No.3, and Michael Clarke should bat at No.5. Hussey back to No.5,Haddin should be promoted to no.6.Steve Smith at 7,Mitch at 8,Siddle at 9,Hilfy at 10 and michael Beer at 11. When Usman khwaja gets his Baggy Green, he should bat at No.3.

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | December 29, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    I am not amazed that england won the ashes becuase they deserve it. Australian team knew that england is strong so they did what Pakistani team did. Give away the series easily to difficult opponent and make money. I am so disappointed that even australian team can under perform delibirtly to make money. Ponting and Clarke did score nothing in this series. I dont know why ICC is wasting people money while providing us these worthless test match series where Australians are under performing delibritly. First it was Pakistan now its Australia. What is going on. Its a waste of time to watch these match fixers and under performers. If its all about money then why dont you guys play IPL and let international cricket clean. These australians dont play IPL but underperform to earn money from betting (which is legal in australia). What the heck. Where is australizm. Even bangladesh can bat better than australia at this moment. ICC should see why austrlians are underperforming.

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | December 29, 2010, 6:02 GMT

    It'd be an interesting move, putting Khawaja in at 3 and Ponting to 4. Khawaja's a talented batsman, you would hope he has the technique and temperament to handle first drop. Raises the question, though - if Khawaja is in, who is out? If Ponting is fit to play Sydney, then you've got to look at Clarke, Hussey, Watson, or Hughes. Hughes was doing well in the second dig before his unfortunate run-out, but as the new boy he'll probably go - although on form alone I think Clarke is the one who should make way. Unlikely. The more interesting question to me is: now that Australia have lost the series, will they use Sydney as a chance to test some new players? Or will they keep going with the same squad and aim for a consolation win? I think most of us would prefer the more forward thinking option of testing some new bloody, but we're probably going to see the same guys, the same low confidence, and another 200+ run belting. Time for the selectors to get their house in order, I say...

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    Australia will have to plan betterly for the next ashes.ponting will be 38 , hussey will be 38,haddin will be 36 ,katich will be 38 by the next ashes. Warner should be provided an oppurtunity in test team.

  • POSTED BY streetblader on | December 29, 2010, 6:00 GMT

    ""I am more disappointed that I came off what I thought was a pretty good series in India"

    Come on now... Really? How many games did he win for the Ozzies in that "pretty good" form of his? For someone considered to be an all time great, his definition of a "pretty good series" sounds like a joke. Its foolish to consider Ponting as an all time great. While Australia was the No. 1 side, he rode on the shoulders of some true greats like Warnie, Haydos, Pidg, Gilly etc.. Once they were gone, we have seen where Ponting has taken Australia to. Very soon we will see Bnagladesh whitewash them if he continues for some more time.

    The only thing Ponting has left behind is a legacy of bad behavior and a foul mouth. I remember incidents of him driving a stump through the umpire's door, lieing in the face of all camera evidence of having taken catches (remember a couple) when actually he picked them on bounce. And in this series arguing with umpires & batsmen when the world saw what it was.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    Form is temporary but class is permanent. Ponting is a class act and will bounce back sooner rather than later. Moving down the order is not a bad idea as this player is in his maturity stage of his career and a new position would up lift his career going forward with different responsibilities. This move will also bring a different outlook to the Aussie unit which is needed at this time.

  • POSTED BY UltimateCricExpert on | December 29, 2010, 5:57 GMT

    People talk greatly about Australian Domestic Cricket, now no one is there to support Ponting & Hussey in batting. No genuine swing bowler now in the entire country. Even a team like India which pre-dominantly depend on batting & Spin bowling has a world class swing bowler in form of Zaheer. How can you expect this Aussie team to beat England. For me ENGLAND IS THE MOST COMPLETE TEAM IN THE WORLD AT PRESENT CONSIDERING ALL FORMATS IN THE GAME

  • POSTED BY Dhanno on | December 29, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    So does that mean Steven Smith gets axe and aussies get in a batsman, ehh?? Thats sure strategy to try and draw game ..By no means Smith was gonna take wickets, but you sacrifice a bowler for a #3 batsman, cause I dont see who else gets the axe if ponting simply moves down to 4. Is it Vice captain, the prince charming ? And that would be funny, since clarkey went to number 4 in batting order only cause he was doing so good at 5 and aussie selectors wanted to give him more opportunities !

    And if you do drop smith and bring khawaja at #3, the domino effect will take clarkey at 5 and Mr. cricket at 6!! OMG-SASM...so the one guy who has 500+runs in series comes in at #6 to bat with tailenders ?

    Somebody put some logic into chappell and company. Drop Punter altogether, then get in khawaja and a spinner in place of smith. This juggling of places aint gonna work. aint aussies wanna win at sydney and atleast draw the series and save face ?

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    Whatever may be the results,no one can deny hat he is the best captain and one of the batting greats of his decade...waiting for his 100th test win as captain...bad patch for australian cricket,but will regain their numero uno position very soon...luv u ricky..

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    No.3 to No.4 to..5..6...7...10....ahaan finally found the right one for him its 12th man. thats it. thats where he belong now!! bye bye Mr.Grumpy. Bye bye Australia. Its only England, SA, India who play the real cricket now!!

  • POSTED BY lkbaal on | December 29, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    Time for Ricky to get on the phone and have a chat with someone who went through the same slump a couple of years ago and had half a billion people saying his time was up - and then has scored hundreds in literally every other match to reach 50 test match hundreds....Greg Chappell will only mess his head further so Punter will do well to stay as far away from him as possible...

  • POSTED BY Match_Referee on | December 29, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    This move will not work. I don't think Ponting failed because he is batting at No.3. He failed because he is feeling huge pressure since he is the only star batsman in the team and England bowlers never allowed him from coming out of that.

  • POSTED BY Sarunach on | December 29, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    This is one area where; Sachin has scored above his contemporaries. He understands his game some much that, he was able to find his faults (post 2004-05 slump) and start a second innings in his career, where he still dominates the opposition bowling (but without the flair of his youth). For all his arrogance i will rather not see Ponting in Sachin2.0 mode. Punter is meant to be a dominator and, should be remembered as a dominator.

  • POSTED BY Dockaman on | December 29, 2010, 5:42 GMT

    Ponting has been a great player for Australia. He should move down to No.4 and let Khawaja bat at No.3. It's time for the Aussies to re-build and they now need a mix of youth and experience in the top 6. Ponting shoudl also relingquish the captaincy and concentrate on his batting and just enjoy playing the game for a while.

  • POSTED BY Shafaaqat on | December 29, 2010, 5:42 GMT

    A true legend and its painful to see him helpless. I wish him a wonderful Sydney game!

  • POSTED BY captainbarebum on | December 29, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    "[Ponting] isn't sure why he is having so many problems after getting himself into his best physical shape for almost a decade. 'I wish I knew,' he said."

    Um, it's called *age* and it comes to us all, eventually.

    Watching Punter bat over the last year & a half, in particular, has shown me that his degree of confidence & comfort at the crease have diminished measurably. After getting out time & time again with pop-flies to the leg side off short quick balls & nicks to slips/keeper it all is evidence his reflexes are slowing. It's more than a slump. He is now a liability at no.3, often not reaching two-figure scores, let alone three-figures. His former toughness has turned into stubbornness. It's a fine line & he's crossed it. Sure, try him at 4, or 5, see what happens. I don't see the point of that, though. Not when it's a perfect time to blood some worthy young 'uns.

    Go off gracefully, mate. Into the sunset, bat in hand. Please.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    Such a cruel game test cricket is, hard to believe a legend, highly talented,an exceptional player who has been batting for most of his life is now struggling to make runs.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 5:38 GMT

    So if Khawaja comes in... does that mean he replaces Harris and everyone drops down a spot ?? Cause I don't want to see Steve Smith get dropped as he showed he should be a regular in the Test squad so he can gain some experience against the other elite.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 5:38 GMT

    yeah . also aggred with chappel. we can ask khawaja No3.ponting No4.Cleark No 5 and hussy no 6. smith in not corrct person for no 6.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    As a first step, Ricky should step down from the captaincy.

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | December 29, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    The problems are not so much ability or technique, but overall management & leadership. Eng are no better man for man, with the exception of Swann. There's a real lack of self-belief. Take the 2nd AUS innings yesterday. Conditions were batter friendly, and AUS was coasting along at 5 runs an over, basically in control & dominating. Then Hughes/Watson have a brain explosion, & the former is run out. Then Watson leaves a delivery on the stumps, yet again self-sabotaging after 50. Suddenly Eng's bowlers, who looked pedestrian, are all over AUS, and the run rate drops to less than 2. And all self-inflicted by AUS. This is why I have to say this is the dumbest AUS team I have ever seen. They play dumb. So many games & series have been lost through stupidity, both on-field, & via selections & management decisions. Why was Hauritz left out of the last Oval test on a spinner's paradise? No why, only dumbness. AUS will win in Sydney, but I hope the 2-2 result still brings many changes.

  • POSTED BY bingobob on | December 29, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    Should all be irrelevant. Ponting should be dropped from the captaincy and from the team all together. Yes he may be able to come back and score more runs (against teams like Bangladesh) but really his spot should go to Khawajah in order to develop a younger player. My suggestion would be to keep the same team for the last test (so as to not expose any new players in this series) and then to change the team almost in its entirety so as to develop younger players against the lesser teams.

  • POSTED BY MrJames on | December 29, 2010, 5:30 GMT

    Unfortunately, our next generation of batsmen have all failed in this season as well. Hughes Khawaja Ferguson has not been breaking any records this season unlike the one before

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | December 29, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    CA need to make it clear; Ponting not only drops down the order but also relinquishes the captaincy. That's now six successive test and one-day series that Australia have gone without winning. As they say in American sports, he's lost the room- the players aren't responding to him. If Australia is to get back on top, the first move must be someone new leading the side.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    greg chappell one of the selector is the iron leg for australia.he spoiled irfan patan and india team in 2007wc now he is one of the selector for australia and the demolishion of australia started

  • POSTED BY jkaussie on | December 29, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    He's been a fantastic player and despite some misgivings about his captaincy I think Australia needs him as we go through a rebuilding phase. Dropping to no.5 in the order would be a great move - Allan Border did it successfully, Sachin Tendulkar did it and recharged the batteries (look at him now, best in the world by far!) and I also think Viv Richards moved down the order too at the later stages of his career. It doesn't diminish the player but makes them an experienced rock right in the middle order, capable of steadying the ship, taking advantage of the good start and batting with the tail if need be. My side in batting order would be Katich, Hughes, Watson, M.Hussey, Ponting, White, Paine, Smith, Johnson, Siddle then a combination of either Hauritz (been in great Shield form), Bollinger, Hilfenhaus or a young tyro learning the ropes. Sorry, no Michael Clarke - cannot be our next test captain, too selfish and me oriented. Andrew McDonald to replace Hussey when he's finished.

  • POSTED BY mumbaiguy79 on | December 29, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    So it takes a loss to realize that Usman Khawaja should bat at # 3? I still believe Ponting is the best #3 we have ever seen (Dravid after that). But Chappell needs to explain why Usman was not drafted in for the 4th test considering Steven Smith looked more like a T20 #6 than a Test #6 in the 3rd test. Do Australian selectors even watch their team play?

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    Greg Chappell is doing it to Australian side what he did to Inidan side in 2006 - 07 as Indian coach. He made Ganguly and Shewag go, and also suggested tendulkar retire and slowly made the team a bunch of losers. So the history is repeating itself in Australia as selector.

  • POSTED BY Indianbeast on | December 29, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    well if mr Chappel is the coach , what can you expect from any team! previously India now his home team

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 5:14 GMT

    This is not the first time. A few years back when India beat Australia in the VB ODI series, thre was a strong case for him to play down the order. Australia lost to India only because of top three didn't click.

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  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 5:14 GMT

    This is not the first time. A few years back when India beat Australia in the VB ODI series, thre was a strong case for him to play down the order. Australia lost to India only because of top three didn't click.

  • POSTED BY Indianbeast on | December 29, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    well if mr Chappel is the coach , what can you expect from any team! previously India now his home team

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    Greg Chappell is doing it to Australian side what he did to Inidan side in 2006 - 07 as Indian coach. He made Ganguly and Shewag go, and also suggested tendulkar retire and slowly made the team a bunch of losers. So the history is repeating itself in Australia as selector.

  • POSTED BY mumbaiguy79 on | December 29, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    So it takes a loss to realize that Usman Khawaja should bat at # 3? I still believe Ponting is the best #3 we have ever seen (Dravid after that). But Chappell needs to explain why Usman was not drafted in for the 4th test considering Steven Smith looked more like a T20 #6 than a Test #6 in the 3rd test. Do Australian selectors even watch their team play?

  • POSTED BY jkaussie on | December 29, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    He's been a fantastic player and despite some misgivings about his captaincy I think Australia needs him as we go through a rebuilding phase. Dropping to no.5 in the order would be a great move - Allan Border did it successfully, Sachin Tendulkar did it and recharged the batteries (look at him now, best in the world by far!) and I also think Viv Richards moved down the order too at the later stages of his career. It doesn't diminish the player but makes them an experienced rock right in the middle order, capable of steadying the ship, taking advantage of the good start and batting with the tail if need be. My side in batting order would be Katich, Hughes, Watson, M.Hussey, Ponting, White, Paine, Smith, Johnson, Siddle then a combination of either Hauritz (been in great Shield form), Bollinger, Hilfenhaus or a young tyro learning the ropes. Sorry, no Michael Clarke - cannot be our next test captain, too selfish and me oriented. Andrew McDonald to replace Hussey when he's finished.

  • POSTED BY on | December 29, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    greg chappell one of the selector is the iron leg for australia.he spoiled irfan patan and india team in 2007wc now he is one of the selector for australia and the demolishion of australia started

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | December 29, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    CA need to make it clear; Ponting not only drops down the order but also relinquishes the captaincy. That's now six successive test and one-day series that Australia have gone without winning. As they say in American sports, he's lost the room- the players aren't responding to him. If Australia is to get back on top, the first move must be someone new leading the side.

  • POSTED BY MrJames on | December 29, 2010, 5:30 GMT

    Unfortunately, our next generation of batsmen have all failed in this season as well. Hughes Khawaja Ferguson has not been breaking any records this season unlike the one before

  • POSTED BY bingobob on | December 29, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    Should all be irrelevant. Ponting should be dropped from the captaincy and from the team all together. Yes he may be able to come back and score more runs (against teams like Bangladesh) but really his spot should go to Khawajah in order to develop a younger player. My suggestion would be to keep the same team for the last test (so as to not expose any new players in this series) and then to change the team almost in its entirety so as to develop younger players against the lesser teams.

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | December 29, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    The problems are not so much ability or technique, but overall management & leadership. Eng are no better man for man, with the exception of Swann. There's a real lack of self-belief. Take the 2nd AUS innings yesterday. Conditions were batter friendly, and AUS was coasting along at 5 runs an over, basically in control & dominating. Then Hughes/Watson have a brain explosion, & the former is run out. Then Watson leaves a delivery on the stumps, yet again self-sabotaging after 50. Suddenly Eng's bowlers, who looked pedestrian, are all over AUS, and the run rate drops to less than 2. And all self-inflicted by AUS. This is why I have to say this is the dumbest AUS team I have ever seen. They play dumb. So many games & series have been lost through stupidity, both on-field, & via selections & management decisions. Why was Hauritz left out of the last Oval test on a spinner's paradise? No why, only dumbness. AUS will win in Sydney, but I hope the 2-2 result still brings many changes.