Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne December 30, 2010

Jump before you are pushed, Chappell tells Ponting

ESPNcricinfo staff

The former Australia captain Ian Chappell has called on Ricky Ponting to resign from the Test captaincy in the wake of England's Ashes-sealing victory in the fourth Test at Melbourne, and has warned that if he does not take the decision himself, he could run the risk of being pushed out of the door by the selectors. Australia's next Test campaign after the Ashes is the tour of Sri Lanka in August.

Ponting admitted in the wake of England's innings-and-157-run victory at the MCG that he "does not have much of a case" to present to the selectors, having presided over his third unsuccessful Ashes campaign, the most by any Australian captain since Billy Murdoch in the late-1800s. In the course of the series his batting form has collapsed, with a tally of 113 runs in eight innings, leading Chappell to suggest that he has passed his "use-by date".

"I've said all along that this should be the end of his Test captaincy reign," Chappell told ESPNcricinfo. "I think he should be given the opportunity to defend the World Cup as a captain, but I just hope he makes the decision himself. I'd hate to see Ricky Ponting get pushed, I'd rather see him jump than be pushed. So, I hope he makes the decision and preferably he makes it himself, but if he doesn't I hope that Cricket Australia suggest to him that it might be better if you went of your own volition, rather than us having to push you."

Ponting remains the most successful Australian captain of all time, with 48 victories in 77 Tests since 2004, while as a player he has taken part in 99 victories, the most by anyone in history. However, since the lost of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne at the end of the 2006-07 Ashes, closely followed by other key team-mates such as Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist, his record has faltered, with the Melbourne defeat being Australia's fifth in their last seven Tests.

"I think he has been terrific, and he has probably delayed this day," said Chappell. "This day was almost inevitable when you lose the standard of player that they lost three and four years ago. If you're being realistic, there was going to be a lot of doom and gloom around the corner.

"I think that has been delayed because of the form of Ricky Ponting, and the strength of Ricky Ponting as a captain," Chappell added. "But there comes a time for all captains, there's a use-by date, and when it's time to move on, it's about new players and a new captain. Sadly it's come on the end of a loss, but that's the way things work in sport."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mufaddal on January 1, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    The CHAPPALS need a break from Cricket and so does Ponting. Chappals should retire from commenting and Mr. Ponting from cricket and take the job of chappals.

  • Dummy4 on January 1, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    I would love to see Ponting as a Commentator in an India-Aus Test Match talking about Tendulkar while he approaches his Century :) It's my BIG dream and it may come true sooner than later...

  • Martin on January 1, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    - First of all - can I say that I can't for the life of see what this ASHES series has got to do with tendulkar!!!!! Why oh why are there so many mentions of this INDIAN player? The ASHES is AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND. The name tendulakar isn't even mentioned in this article about PONTING. @Vroomfondel; On the face of it what you say seems to be right, however, Ponting is NOT Mr Nice-Guy - ask Hauritz, Doherty, White, and a few others. There is obviously some sort of chasm in the selector group, or else why did Merv Mughes jump? Ponting is a key part of Cricket Australia strategy - he's the guy who has input to it and has to implement it. But Ponting didn't have the skills or vision to develop the crop of rising talent and HE as captain did not bring players in soon enough. Ponting must be held accountable for the fall of Australia from No 1. in the world to No 5. The Border-Taylor-Waugh-Ponting dynasty has foundered on the rock of Rickys stubborness.

  • Dummy4 on January 1, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    I am right behind the South Africans in the present series but I am an great admirer of Sachin Tendulkar and recognise the quality of the Indian tolp order. I think that the top 5 in Test cricket are not far apart and the coming decade will see some interesting and exciting test cricket- and I am sure that we will see a resurgence in the Aussies. Long live test cricket!

  • Anthony on January 1, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    Happy New Year. One year closer to the time when India's team will be decimated by retirements. Sick of the gloating on these pages about Australia's decline. It comes around. I'm sure there will be daily calls to Tendulker to "un-retire" also. I can't wait.

  • Alistair on January 1, 2011, 2:11 GMT

    "Ludicrously overhyped Tendulkar"? I never had the opportunity to see Bradman bat but in Tendulkar I reckon we have the closest to him - how can that be overhyped? He scored more runs than any other Test batsman in 2010, and adapted his style to meet his advancing age - as Bradman also did. Ricky Ponting has been a wonderful batsman but needs to learn the same lessons, the first of which is that he must drop down the batting order to at least No 5 and that he needs to bat with more patience. There's no disgrace in batting down the order, Steve Waugh basically spent his while career there and was very effective.

  • Mohan on January 1, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    Rickey Ponting is actually a spent force now. He used to be a good batsman but never a good sports person. He is crickets George W Bush. Arrogant, boorish and devoid of any decency. His antics over the years are quite evident. He is disgrace to the test cricket.

  • Bala on January 1, 2011, 1:38 GMT

    @ Saikrishnan Baskaran Actually, if you check the stats, you will find both of your statements are not true. As recently as 2008, he played four Tests (7 innings) where he only scored 95 runs with a top of 31. There are also several series throughout his career where he has averaged less than 40.

  • Dummy4 on January 1, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    @Willmot and other Tendulkar bashers, real problem is that bar for Tendulkar is so high that anything he does eventually become as expected event and so noone remembers it. But with Laxman and others, any small innings become exceptional performance. Tendulkar is God, so stop comparing him with mortals.

  • Karen on December 31, 2010, 22:24 GMT

    @Saikrishnan Baskaran. If people contributing to this blog can't see the relative value of Laxman's innings in this test compared to Tendulkars hyped up innings of the 1st test then there's really no hope. Put simply, Laxman (and Sehwag) score runs that win matches. Tendulkar's runs very rarely (if at all) result in victories.

    Hence cricketing captains round the world fear many batsmen far more than they ever feared Tendulkar whose 'fame' and records are based primarily on longevity.

  • No featured comments at the moment.