Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney

Clarke replaces Ponting as Test captain

Peter English

December 30, 2010

Comments: 257 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting leaves the field after being bowled by Tim Bresnan, Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, 3rd day, December 28, 2010
Ricky Ponting: Out of form and out of the team with a broken finger © Getty Images

Michael Clarke is Australia's 43rd Test captain after succeeding the injured Ricky Ponting for Monday's fifth Ashes Test in Sydney. Clarke, who has been the deputy since 2008, takes the coveted job at a time when the team is at its nadir and the 29-year-old is in a severe batting rut.

Ponting's broken left pinky not only means he may never add to his 152 Tests, but it accelerates the transition to Clarke during a summer in which his performances have indicated he is not ready for the role. He now has no choice after his appointment - and the elevation of Brad Haddin to vice-captain - was approved in a unanimous decision by Cricket Australia's board on Thursday afternoon.

"Obviously I'm honoured, it's for this Test match and hopefully we can get Punter right as soon as possible and get him back into whichever team," Clarke said at the SCG. "The sooner we can get him back into the one dayers, the better for us."

Clarke is in charge of a 12-man squad as it attempts to draw the series with England, who retained the Ashes with their innings victory in Melbourne on Wednesday. Usman Khawaja has been included to make his debut at No. 3 while Doug Bollinger was recalled to replace Ryan Harris, who suffered a stress fracture in his left ankle at the MCG.

But the major focus is on how Clarke will deal with his switch from energetic lieutenant to the man who has to juggle his own game with all the extra commitments required to run a team. He has led Australia in 18 ODIs and another 18 Twenty20s and has usually enjoyed giving the captaincy back to Ponting.

In his dream Clarke would have taken the job in peak form, but he has experienced a poor campaign against England with 148 runs at 21.14 and only one half-century. Even that came with criticism after he tweeted an apology for not walking when he was dismissed late on the penultimate day in Adelaide.

"I make no bones about it, my form has not been good enough throughout this series," he said. "I've had a couple of innings where I've felt really good but I need to get out here and make sure I get some runs on the board, and that's my focus right now. I've had the chance to captain Australia in the Twenty20 form and a handful of one-dayers as well, and I don't think it's hurt my performance. Hopefully that's the same this week."

Clarke is a modern cricketer and his metrosexual tendencies and A-list activities have created lingering questions over his suitability for the leadership. His on-field moves will now be analysed intently as he hopes for a way out of such a dire period for Australia.

Ponting's fractured finger deteriorated during the fourth Test that finished with him failing to win the Ashes for a record third time. If the urn was still up for grabs he would have pushed to play but gave into medical advice.

"I'm devastated to tell you the truth, it was the news I was dreading," Ponting said after landing in Sydney. "During the game I didn't think I'd done too much more to it." When asked if he was considering retirement he said: "I'm not thinking about it at all."

Ponting, who scored only 113 runs in the first four games, could face surgery on his finger, but is expected to be fit to guide Australia in their push to win a fourth consecutive World Cup. He had an x-ray on the final day of the Melbourne defeat and it showed the fracture had moved during the match.

"What I need right at the moment is just as much time as I possibly can to let it heal and make sure that I'm 100% right for the start of the World Cup," he said. "That's really how the decision was made, so I've just got to do everything in my power over the next little bit to look after it as well as I can."

He will see a specialist again over the next day to decide on the best way forward. "Hopefully he will commence training in the later part of the Australian summer," Alex Kountouris, the team's physiotherapist, said. "He is expected to be fully fit for the World Cup."

Ponting's Test future is less clear as Australia's next five-day engagement is currently scheduled for Sri Lanka in August, although there is a talk of a series against Bangladesh after the World Cup. He is already 36 and Australia have realised during their poor Ashes performance that they have to start rebuilding through young players.

Australia squad Shane Watson, Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke (capt), Michael Hussey, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Doug Bollinger, Michael Beer.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by rockdworldxi on (January 6, 2011, 19:20 GMT)

clarke has not got the leadership qualities like mark taylor or steve waugh and idealy australia should do what south africa did with graeme smith and india did with ms dhoni, make some one like cameron white the odi and t20 captain and mike hussey the test captain..

Posted by TheLoneStranger on (January 4, 2011, 11:28 GMT)

If Ponting isn't fit for Sydney, how was he fit for Melbourne??? He put his own interests ahead of the team and STILL batted at three. What is it about this selection panel? Poor old Nathan Hauritz must be wondering exactly what he has done to be continually insulted by the selectors, DESPITE taking wickets and making runs aplenty for NSW. Clarke should never have been picked, let alone made captain, and Hughes and Beer are laughable selections; Hughes because of his technical problems and poor Shield form, and Beer because he's not within a bull's roar of Hauritz's ability with ball OR bat. This is the team that SHOULD have taken the field in Sydney: Watson, Cosgrove, Khawaja, M.Hussey, D.Hussey, Smith (until Ponting returns at SIX!), Haddin (C), Hauritz, Johnson, Siddle, Bollinger, Hilfenhaus (12th). When Katich is fit again, he is owed the courtesy of restoration to the side, with Cosgrove or D. Hussey to miss out, depending on their productivity while in the side.

Posted by mattyboy95 on (January 2, 2011, 6:46 GMT)

seriously, what is wrong with some of the people commenting on here? They clearly have no knowledge of Australian cricketers. 1)White has an average batting record and doesn't bowl much at all any more 2)Brad Hodge has RETIRED FROM F/C CRICKET 3)Shaun Marsh has an ordinary f/c record 4)Symonds does't play f/c anymore 5)The only reason Vic has done so well the past 5 years is that all the NSW players were playing for Australia 6)THERE ARE NO SELECTORS FROM NSW!

Posted by what.if on (January 1, 2011, 21:31 GMT)

Aussie selectors Have got it wrong. Hussey to open batting with Watson. He opened for WA before being selected down the order for Australia. He is inform, solid as rock. He will show his maturity here. Kuwaja at 3 for Ponting, untill his return. Hughes to move to 4, wait for the shine to go from the ball. He can score runs freely here and take the game away from the opposition by lifting the run rate. Clarke to move down the order to bat with tail and show his leaderships skills. Steven Waugh made this his own for over a decade. Haddin has shown new maturity with his batting this summer he has earned the right to move to 6. We need to persevere with Smith and let him cut his teeth,yes, he can bat , but my God he is a clone of Warne. Lets hope not, off the field. We desperately need a Leggie. Just hope he can get the turn a of McGill and skill Warne. If not Smith it Must be Hauritz, who must be now considered a batting all-rounder with 2 centuries for NSW this season.No other spin opti

Posted by   on (December 31, 2010, 23:42 GMT)

I really wish Australia will get back their strength. Everyone knows about Australia -- they can fight back ...

Posted by Goviro on (December 31, 2010, 21:08 GMT)

Down_Under- I think that winning is most important, and the Aussies should do anything to win at this stage. Nothing is better than good ol' Aussie sledging when they are at there best. The Waugh/Ponting era has been one of the most successful, and known as the golden age. Dont worry guys, the men in yellow will be back at the top, and once again a feared side in no time.

Posted by Lahori_Munde on (December 31, 2010, 13:43 GMT)

Neither Clarke nor Haddin deserve to lead this team to the new era. They both are very much like Ponting as far as sportsmanship and the on-field behaviour are concerened. While grooming the young team, we need to ensure we lead them away from Waugh/Ponting era. The amount of disgraced they have brught to Australian cricket is simply unacceptable. Winning at all cost is not what Aussie cricket should be all about. Bring back some descipline, work on their attitude and get the spirit of sportsmenship back in this Aussie cricket.. Where the likes of Mark Taylor have gone?

Posted by Australia17594 on (December 31, 2010, 11:47 GMT)

So, by the changes, If harris and ponting weren't injured it would be an unchanged team... Nice.

Posted by amit.80s on (December 31, 2010, 11:34 GMT)

R these selectors sleeping during this series or what? Why not these players get any cosideration from ACB AndrewSymonds(who's not retire and possibly the best No.6), Cameron White, Callum Ferguson & Shaun Marsh they have enough experience now and should get a call sooner than later.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2010, 11:15 GMT)

ricky ponting out of from the tea because of his bad perfonmance not fpr any enjury. it's a druma for replacing captaincy band.......................

Posted by   on (December 31, 2010, 9:48 GMT)

At longdonkey, You just misinterpretted the whole point of my comment. I'm just pointing out a player (in my opinion) who deserves to be in the test side based on his bowling figures. I don't care whether they are from NSW or not. I'm from Vic and I'm very disappointed that there's only Peter Siddle is in the test side at the moment. If anything, I would prefer players such as J.Pattinson, Lynn, P.George and even S.Marsh . Players like u mentioned.. Butterworth, Faulkner and Swan..I think they could come into test calculation sooner rather than later. But the MAIN point of my comment was to blood some new talent and players who are in form. Copeland might be one of those players along with the players that I mentioned.Oh, by the way, it hasn't just been this season but last season that Copeland have been successful ...it is insignificant that he is plays for N.S.W.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2010, 8:57 GMT)

At longdonkey, don't be ignorant I'm not from the "NSW cricket mafia". I'm just pointing out a player (in my opinion) who deserves to be in the test side based on his bowling figures. I don't care whether they are from NSW or not. I'm from Vic and I'm very disappointed that there's only Peter Siddle is in the test side at the moment. If anything, I would prefer players such as J.Pattinson, Lynn, P.George and T.Beaton . Players like u mentioned..Butterworth, Faulkner and Swan..I think they could come into test calculation sooner rather than later. O, btw, it hasn't just been this season but last season that Copeland have been successful ...it just seems insignificant that he just by chance is statistically good and is from N.S.W.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2010, 8:17 GMT)

Ponting saying gud bye, could be a very big blow not only to this Australian side which is striving to get quality players, but also to the game of cricket. Cricket is on the decline, big time, and top players like Tendulkar, Dravid, Sangarkara, Kallis might not be there long enough to keep the game in good condition. Teams like Pakistan, New Zealand and West Indies have already stopped producing quality cricket for some time now, and following them is Australia. So what what would be best for Australia and the game of cricket is that Ponting plays for at least another year, hangs his boots after the Indian teams tours Australia in December 2011 (Ironically Steve Waugh, captain during the 2002-2003 Ashes Series in Australia, went through the same batting slump and everyone wrote him off after the last Ashes Test in SCG, just like Ponting is after MCG). Ponting should do what Waugh did at his time, only this time to heal his team and help save the game of cricket during a major crises.

Posted by Okakaboka on (December 31, 2010, 7:55 GMT)

WE NEED TO START A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO GET RID OF SUNDERLAND, THE SELECTORS AND CLARKE IN THAT ORDER! Geez, does Sunderland really believe his own spin. Why are there so many Victorian and SA cricketers scratching their heads? Yeah, the selectors (NSW Cricket mafia) have destroyed OUR national team. What possible thrill is there in watching NSW (and a couple of others) getting flogged by other countries. What have they gained??? THE SELECTION OF CLARKE AS CAPTAIN IS A NATIONAL SCANDAL. Come Bill Lawry.....Come out and say something.....time for other states to rise up and stop accepting this 'Hilditch' crap.

Posted by MisterE84 on (December 31, 2010, 7:23 GMT)

Although I'm born and passionate NSW supporter - I have to agree with longdonkey on a few of the comments made here. Not sure why Bollinger can hop straight back into the side instead of a few of the other young players - I like the look of Swan. How old roughly are Copeland, Faulkner and Butterworth (all under 30? all under 25?) In addition, agreed that I don't think Phil Hughes is the 2nd best opener in this country at the moment. Big Cosgrove has been making a ton of runs for Tassie.. so bring him in.

I feel the inclusion of Khawaja is warranted --> 70+ average in state cricket you can't ask for more than that plus he is young with talent to burn. Still can't believe that when the Ashes have been on we had our best spinner (N. Hauritz) playing ODI state cricket..

People here seem harsh on Smith I rekon - OK I may have bias towards NSW but he showed something with the bat and at 21 believe he is a work-in-progress we should keep our eyes on.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2010, 5:34 GMT)

Selecting an unchanged side apart from punter and Bollinger from Melbourne (both forced changes) shows just what fine form our beloved selectors are enjoying right now. How is Hiflenhaus still in the team, when he's taken 4 wickets for the series at 73? Surely Chris swan should replace him. D. Hussey with an average of 55+ or whatever it is should replace Clarke, and O'Keefe in 4 Smith. My team-1.Watson 2.Cosgrove 3. Khawaja 4.D. Hussey 5.M. Hussey. 6.Haddin 7.O'Keefe 8.Hauritz 9.Siddle 10.Swan 11.Bollinger.

Posted by KP_CRICKET on (December 31, 2010, 4:32 GMT)

So a failing captain(though currently injured) is replaced with a non performing batsman?? Why not appoint Shane Watson as captain? He could be the Dhoni for Australia..

Posted by prashant_sirsi on (December 31, 2010, 4:18 GMT)

Selectors are mad...Why they have given captaincy to person like clerk..its a pure politics...No one can serve captaincy better than ponting..he is all time great...

Posted by damrox on (December 31, 2010, 4:16 GMT)

Are the selectors blind...? Why isnt Simon Katich and Nathan Hauritz in the playing elevan. They have selected Phillip Hughes and Doug Bollinger, to start the 5th test at Sydney who has been in terrible form during this Ashes series. The best starting elevan according to my choice would be, Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke (capt), Michael Hussey, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nathan Hauritz. The sydney pitch should asist the spinners alittle bit.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2010, 4:07 GMT)

i never liked ponting. but now i feel sorry 4 him

Posted by kazam_razaq on (December 31, 2010, 3:59 GMT)

Ponting needs to be relaxed. he should play as a senior player for a year or 2 like Tendulkar but Aussies will have to bring White sooner or later as test captain bcoz he seems to be a TAYLOR & STEVE WAUGH like character cool & calm and unfazed by situatioin and also Callum Fergusan at no4.bcoz its time now for AUSSIES to change their style a bit whatever their bowling resources are at the moment they will have to score 400+ unless they find some WARNE-McGRATH or even GILLESPIE-LEE type of bowlers bcoz already they have shown the door to STUART CLARK far too early

Posted by Goviro on (December 31, 2010, 3:49 GMT)

I think it is important for Australia to draw the series. They may not get to handle the urn, but they can write it off as a tough series where they won 2 test matches. They should field there best lineup, not try new faces, with the exception of Michael Beer who has been in the squad without luck for two tests now. Admittedly, I have not seen Usman Khawaja before, but he sounds like a good young talent and sounds like he is ready to be thrown in the deep end. My Lineup for the fifth and final test would be Watson, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Hussey, Smith, Haddin, Johnson, Siddle, Bollinger, Beer. Hilfenhaus is a good line and length bowler, but his lack of wicket-taking ability would see Bollinger back in the side over him. It wasn't to long ago that Dougie Bollinger was bowling with passion, steaming in hard and putting it in good areas, getting good results. It is also important for Clarke to give Beer long spells, to tie the English batsmen down, and nab a few middle order wickets.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2010, 3:48 GMT)

hahahha... sure Australia !!!!

Posted by longdonkey on (December 31, 2010, 3:45 GMT)

David Ly says I don't understand why for instance they wont give Copeland a chance..after all, he's stats (first-class wise) is fantastic" YES David they're good but why should Copeland be given a game 25 wickets at 21.40 but not Faulkner 19 wickets at 11.94 or Swan 28 wickets at 15.21 or Butterworth 26 wickets at 16.23. WHY ALWAYS PUT NSW PLAYERS FORWARD. That to me makes you one of the NSW cricket mafia.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2010, 2:47 GMT)

In my opinion, I think the young bowlers/batsmen should be fast-tracked to the test side or possibly the 20/20 and ODIs coming up. Get some fresh new faces to the side ...this unit hasn't succeeded much (with the exception of S.A tour) but that seemed like a while ago... I don't understand why for instance they wont give Copeland a chance..after all, he's stats (first-class wise) is fantastic. I think that's the problem nowadays..there seems to a sense of uncertainty and lack of confidence from the selection throughout this series. I think blooding new, young, exciting players are the way to go..not stick with a failed side. P.S - what is Beer doing in the test side?...sigh...hopefully O'keefe or even Hauritz could come back.

Posted by rayl on (December 31, 2010, 2:26 GMT)

i think putting Clarke as captain is a risky move but i think he may even score runs as the captain. if u look back to November 7 when it was Australia V Sri Lanka he was captain and he scored an unbeaten 50 off 51 balls in tht small chase of 116 and if u look back to october 20 it was India V Australia. He was also captain and he scored an unbeaten 111 off 137 balls Michael Clarke probably needs to attack the pace attack a bit more to lift his confindence Meanwhile Watto needs yo improve his running between wickets and calling If Hughes,Khawaja and Clarke get big scores Ponting will have to play very well in state to get back in i still tink Punter will do well in the world cup

Posted by   on (December 31, 2010, 2:11 GMT)

Still unsure why S.Smith is in the team!!!

Posted by Goviro on (December 31, 2010, 1:34 GMT)

Ricky has been a great of the game for over a decade, the second best batsmen of the modern era following Tendulkar, an inspirational captain, and a quality fieldsman. He is in a bit of a slump and questions are being asked, rightfully so. When your team is underperforming, the out of form players get singled out. Ricky has the mental strength and ability to bounce back and perform. You cannot drop him, it will turn out to be one of the worst decisions in the history of the game. As for Michael Clarke, he has had experience as captain and been second in line to Ricky for years, and it is his time for an oppurtunity. He is tough, and the captaincy may be just the thing he needs to hit a rich vein of form just months away from the world cup. Roshan Govind

Posted by   on (December 31, 2010, 1:21 GMT)

This is so funny! not cuz ponting is not playing just the fact that most people knew the selectors were gonna say that his finger is in poor conditions. Wonderful Mr. Greg Chapell. But MC as the new captian is a mistake, hes in a poor form, and hussey shoulda been named captain or 1 match. I am not a big fan of ponting but hell hes a great player. no one score 12k runs and 39 hundreds outta no where. CA should talk to ponting, tell him that he should play in SL and retire during that series as captian and give him the respect. now or ENGLAND, great job but they beat a team that was not even close to India and South Africa. I personally feel England cant win in India, unless Graeme Swann does something magical, but going by Warnie and Murli's performances in India, i highly doubt it. But lets c. As far as Aussie line up goes Watson deserves to be the opener along with katich, followed by kawaja, clarke, hussey, i think carmeon white, 7 haddin, now the bowlers Hauritz, bollinger, siddle

Posted by aracer on (December 31, 2010, 1:18 GMT)

You have to assume that Beer will make his debut at a ground where spin normally plays a part. How strange given comments that he was selected for the squad at least partly due to him being familiar with the WACA (and the even stranger one that he was familiar with the MCG since he came from Melbourne), yet he'll get to make his debut at a ground he's never played at!

Posted by   on (December 31, 2010, 0:57 GMT)

No Hauritz ... incredible; selectors are blind, mad or simply bad...

Posted by badnaam_munni on (December 31, 2010, 0:41 GMT)

Hah! Clarke as a captain. Good news that Oz have started accepting average player as a Captain.

Posted by rayl on (December 31, 2010, 0:28 GMT)

I think Ricky Ponting will be back for sure He should stay until he is 40 years old However if he fails to do good in the world cup i think he should move down the order I think this is the best team for Sydney: 1.Watson 2.Hughes 3.Khawaja 4.Hussey 5.Clarke 6.Haddin 7.Smith 8.Johnson 9.Siddle 10.Hauritz 11.Beer/Hilfenhaus/Bollinger There is pretty much no replacement for Hughes but i think the selectors should think about Ferguson, S Marsh, D Hussey and young fast bowlers This i think should be the permanent team 1.Watson 2.Katich/Hughes/D Hussey/Khawaja 3. M Hussey 4. Clarke 5.Ponting 6.Smith/Ferguson 7.Haddin 8.Johnson/Harris 9.Siddle 10.Hauritz 11.Beer or another specialist spinner

Posted by IndianaJones79 on (December 31, 2010, 0:02 GMT)

These are last 4 years for pointing. And people without knowledge says he was running in bad form only at start of Ashes series. He is not been gr8 for 4 years now.

2007 - 38.40 2008 - 47.28 2009 - 38.77 2010 - 36.95

I am not suggesting by any means that he was not gr8 batsman. He was. But then he was disgrace as person and way to arrogant and cheater. Thats why he didnt get respect he deserved.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2010, 0:02 GMT)

farewell, Ricky. You did yourself and your country proud. Immensely so. But it's all over now.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2010, 0:00 GMT)

but is anyone wondering what would happen is england with the 5th test match meens that we would win 3-1 and without broad ( he still gonna do well in cricket) and is the test debutant does not do that well its only going to make it harder to come back and now in my opinion the best contest in terms of abilty now should be india and south africa vs england

Posted by chad_reid on (December 30, 2010, 23:59 GMT)

Ricky ponting is a great and will always be a great he will make a comeback after his injury and he will lead aus to the world cup victory.

Posted by Luk1eZ_97 on (December 30, 2010, 23:50 GMT)

@Stephen Maluk--Ponting can't play at the SCG because the fracture in his finger moved whilst playing at the MCG.Australia loses an Ashes series in Australia for the first time in about 400 years and all people want to do is drop Ponting as if this is all his fault.England bowled well!! That is the difference.

It is called a form slump.I remember Hussey having one of these and everyone wanted him dropped as well.Now some are saying he should be the captain.C'mon Australia Ponting is the best and most experienced batsmen in the team with an average over 50.I think everyone should get off his back for a bit.

Posted by 5wombats on (December 30, 2010, 23:26 GMT)

There seems to be a lot of rather confused Australian followers on this conversation, to put it mildly. This squad/team bears all the hallmarks of confused thinking by Aus selectors too. "This" (by "This" - I mean the whole troubled series for Aus, the problems with Ponting, selection, form, England being a bit good - the whole disarray...) must be very hard for the players to deal with. Somehow this reminds me of 1988 and the Windies induced meltdown of England (not that the current England are anywhere near as good as WI in1988!). The ones I felt sorry for were Chris Cowdrey and John Emburey - who had no chance... and then the England team - who got crushed. Politics! Aus followers; examples from history show what happen when a team is in the middle of a mess. And Australia ARE in a mess! Where are the aces that are going to win Australia this Sydney Test? Johnson? He might turn up. No Harris! Khawaja? On debut? Big ask! Clarke? Mmmm... Ladbrokes have England 11/8 for good reason.

Posted by longdonkey on (December 30, 2010, 23:21 GMT)

I don't have an issue with Khawaja making the team at least he has technique and looks as though he is likely to succeed in Test cricket. Chances are he won't set the world on fire from Number 3 in his first Test but I would be prepared to let him fail for a while without any criticism. As opposed to Hughes and Smith who both have no technique and fail to score. Guys like this cannot afford to fail. Just another example of NSW players being given a free run into the Test team. Its long been suspected that when you receive a blue cap you get a baggy green in a paper bag out the back. Back in the 70's David Hookes had to get 5 centuries in 6 innings to get selected in the Test team at Number 6 when he was 21. Smith has made 4 centuries in his first class career. Don't be surprised if Hauritz gets a late call up now that Ponting isn't playing. There is no greater example of someone who should be greatful to have played one Test than Hauritz.

Posted by Douggy on (December 30, 2010, 22:50 GMT)

Brave move by the Aussies to put Clarke not sure he is the right man then again who else? Ponting may be back i still feel he has a couple of good years in him once he finds his form

Posted by _Australian_ on (December 30, 2010, 22:49 GMT)

Ponting will be back I am sure. I still believe the problem is not with the selected side but rather the batting positions. Asking Ponting to captain, be the senior batting figure and bat at 3 is too much to ask with the current inexperienced side. I would prefer to see an order shuffle. If all fit. 1. Katich, 2. Kawaja, 3. Watson, 4. Hussey, 5. Ponting, 6. Clarke, 7. Haddin, 8. Hauritz, 9. Johnson, 10. Siddle, 11. Harris/Bollinger/Hilfenhaus. 12. Smith. I would play Smith in place of a quick on a turning track and bat him at 8.

Posted by m_baker on (December 30, 2010, 22:25 GMT)

The empty rhetoric from the Australian cricket establishment never ends. Ponting says he "has a point to point to prove." Nielson says "we'll see a different Michael Clarke as captain." We shouldn't be making "hasty changes" he says. We heard all this before Adelaide and we heard it before Melbourne. Now we are hearing before Sydney. They are living in the past. Ponting was a great batsman - once. So was Bradman, and he's dead. The changes cannot just end with the team but with the selection panel (how did GC weasel his way in after his track record in India?) and the coaching staff. People in Australia are losing interest in cricket and being driven away because the team is no longer belongs to them.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 22:21 GMT)

Usman Khawja should replace Ponting as batsmen & captain and Haddin should be vice captain.

Posted by hyclass on (December 30, 2010, 22:14 GMT)

I would make three changes to the team selected for sydney. Watson has to remain as an opener given the lack of alternatives. He has shown a lack of mental and physical stamina when batting, resulting in moderate scores and an inability to play match winning or saving innings. His run out of Phillip Hughes was ridiculous and one wonders what the coaching staff actually do. I believe that Steve O,Keefe should come into the side for Mitchell Johnson for this test. His bowling and batting are top class and his left arm spin is a genuine weapon. I think David Hussey should come in at number six in place of Steve Smith. His record is the best in the country. He scores centuries often and quickly against every level of attack in all conditions and wins games on his own. Australia need a counter attacker with credentials. I would like to see Copeland replace Hilfenhaus. If ever there was a new McGrath, his record says hes it. Bollinger must play. Hauritz and Swan to be 12th and 13th men.

Posted by alsim on (December 30, 2010, 22:07 GMT)

Once again,I'm a die heart west indian and it hurt my guts when Ricky abused us.It pains me though to see him go like that.I really think that it's wrong for australia to bring him back as a captain,perhaps as a player yes.And that's if they are seriously thinking about building for the future. I really can't say he was a good captain,no one can do much wrong with a team that includes warne,mcgrath,hayden and the others,especially when u have a smooth momentum coming from Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh. His Captaincy was tested when they left,didn't do much did he? Rick,you were all that one could ask of as a batsman,if u return i encourage u to focus on that and exit the game with honour,u deserve it.My fullest regard to u sir!

Posted by hyclass on (December 30, 2010, 21:58 GMT)

Im always amused when someone suggests Callum Ferguson or Shaun Marsh for international duties. Both have 6 first class hundreds in around 60 first class matches each at an average of around 35. They score their hundreds at one every 16-19 innings. With those numbers, they are lucky to still be in their state sides and strongly indicate how weak the batting in both those states are. Marsh scores his first class runs at a rate of aroun 45 runs per hundred balls-very slow. Fergusons one day average is only at 46 because he bats down the order and has 9 not outs in 22 innings. It must be a bitter disappointment to be a top professional like David Hussey and be overlooked for test duties. His record of 12000 runs and 40 centuries at almost 56 would see him in any test side in history. Its even more amazing when its realised that those runs have come at 71 runs per hundred balls and at a century every six innings. Hilditch must really hate his country. Like his brother, Hussey is a star.

Posted by hyclass on (December 30, 2010, 21:38 GMT)

There is a lot of sympathy for Ponting given his top class record but it must be obvious to everyone that for at least the last two years, his judgement has been badly impaired. His finger was so badly broken that he could barely pull his suitcase at the airport. The only reason he chose to play was his awareness that his record from the 2009 ashes onwards meant he may not get back into the side. Its hard to imagine a more selfish approach. While the world loves fairytales, there are very few stories like Tendulkars. Even Bradman is remembered for his last test innings duck rather than the three consecutive centuries that followed it on that tour, including 140 in two hours against a full strength england side masquerading as Levensons eleven. There is understandably, a certain amount of pathos attached to sportsmen who achieve high standards over long periods. They allow us to escape our mundane lives and once more swear allegiance on the field of battle. Ponting has now fallen.Ave

Posted by RAVI_BOPARA on (December 30, 2010, 21:35 GMT)


Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 21:13 GMT)

The finger is convenient. But make no mistake, if Ponting could play at the MCG he could play in Sydney. He'd being dropped as captain, and his batting at the moment isn't good enough for a place in the team. Teary retirement speech forthcoming.

Posted by alf_tupper on (December 30, 2010, 20:49 GMT)

What a shambles. England will be sleeping soundly with this lineup to face in Sydney. The selectors should fall on their collective swords. Instead Ponting, one of the best batsmen of all time cops the flak. When Mark Taylor and Greg Chappell had bad trots, it's forgotten they had great team players around to carry the weight. Ponting is surrounded by lightweights. What are Hughes and Smith still doing in the team? Are there no other players from other states? Where is Ferguson? Where is Cameron White, the best captain in the country? Where's David Hussey? This NSW preference is incomprehensible. Hilditch has to go!

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 20:36 GMT)

End of the road for Punter!

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 20:22 GMT)

ricky is the best and if he leaves then the australian team is finished.......

Posted by sweetspot on (December 30, 2010, 19:50 GMT)

A lot of people so happy to see Ponting go! Wow! I'd not weep if I don't see him back in the Aussie side, but Clarkey? Come on! What do the Australians see in him more than in Mr. Cricket? Make Mike Hussey captain till he wants to retire. He is incredibly consistent, has a great cricket brain, and would be respected by one and all.

Posted by amitava0112 on (December 30, 2010, 19:26 GMT)

England deservingly are leading 2-1 now..Even after Perth win I was not entirely convinced that this Australian team can win the Ashes unless Michel Johnson replicates his form at Perth in the remaining two tests..He was average in MCG..others who played well At WACA & in previous tests-Hussey,Haddin-also failed & Aussies capitulated as the rest of the team is consistently failing..Now more surprises..no Nathan Hariutz for SCG !!! a spinners wkt..& Aussies best spinner now is Hariutz..still not selected..at SCG the bowling attack shd be Johnson,Siddle,Bollinger & Haruitz..sad that Punter will miss out due to injury but I am confident that he will bounce back strong but now he needs to bat at 4 in tests..good chance now fr Usman at 3 & Clarke as capt-right choice..Hughes shd be immediately dropped for Hodge or Jaques or Warner(all 3 technically better than him)..Smith not yet test class as bowler or bat-shd b dropped in fav of SYMONDS-YES,PLS BRING SYMONDS BACK-AUS NEEDS HIM V BADLY NOW

Posted by Crazy_Cricket_Fan on (December 30, 2010, 19:01 GMT)

more i see punter's picture above..more i feel for him...what an exceptional batsmen he was...and what a mess he is in now...if he comes back and performs well, that would be the greatest come back ever happened in cricket history...i'm not oz..

Posted by OP_Tony on (December 30, 2010, 18:55 GMT)

Ha Ha HA; Australian depth.

Posted by T20-champions-2009 on (December 30, 2010, 18:53 GMT)

No Need for Phill .Aus has better players bring them on...

Posted by phoenixsteve on (December 30, 2010, 18:33 GMT)

Good luck to Ricky Ponting and let's hope he returns hungry and in form. Such a great player should go out with a BANG not with a WHIMPER! Michael Clark will have his work cut out to get a resut here and Khawaja has got it all to do! England won't have anything to worry about and now the classiest player in Australia is sidelined! I disagree that they'll field an unchaged side and hope they'll rotate the bowlers and play Tremlett, Bresnan, Finn, Swann plus Panesar. Colly and Jimmy should enjoy a well earned rest and give Morgan a crack at the Aussies. Let's hope for a few team changes - just to keep the Aussies guessing! COME ON ENGLAND!!!

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 18:21 GMT)

Hello my dear Aussie friends, just for your information i want to share something which is interesting. And it is about GREG, he might be one the greats from Australia but where ever he goes there starts the downfall of that team. It happened with India and now its happening with you.

Hope we get to see a nail biting final Ashes Test at Sydney !!!! Congrats England :)

Posted by Ganes.V on (December 30, 2010, 18:15 GMT)

PONTING will come back for sure.. I dont think Australia would want to give him a send off like this. He is one of their TOP batsmen after the greatest! So Australia would want to see him off which is much better than this. He has an injury to his finger which has forced him to sit out. Why do people write him off? He was very close to threatening Tendulkar in scoring most number of hundreds until last year and all on a sudden when he had a bad year why do we forget what he has done till date for himself, Australia and cricket?? Please leave him alone for some time until he recovers and you will soon see him back I am sure. Best Wishes Ricky! Get well soon and be back please

Posted by OutCast on (December 30, 2010, 18:07 GMT)

If you CAN'T find the DOOR, someone has to FIND it for you.... Here you are Mr.Ponting......

Posted by VEEJ18 on (December 30, 2010, 18:06 GMT)

Clarke lacks the lethal skills and strategic thinking to initiate quick moves on the field to tackle the opposition. I wonder what the Australian selectors are upto! Looks like this is a stop gap arrangement.All the best for the next match and hope Clarke can avoid another innings defeat!!!

Posted by Point4 on (December 30, 2010, 18:00 GMT)

After the Sydney test there will be huge roar over clarke's position itself in the side and Watto,Haddin and Hussey will emerge as captaincy candidates.If the same selection panel continues they will select Watto 'with an eye on the future'.with their eyes on future they have destroyed present and future Aus cricket and brought shame to the past greats.Stuart clarke was removed with that one eyed vision,Brad Hodge or even Brett Lee for that matter were martyrs of that blind vision.Hope sense prevails and Hussey is appointed as skipper for the next 2 seasons.Clarke may find back his groove by that time or some one else could emerge..but for Gods' sake please dont plan too much ahead when present is chaos.(MAIN REASON FOR PRESENT AUS STATE)

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 17:58 GMT)

let's sleep !..............................................

Posted by sportz247 on (December 30, 2010, 17:57 GMT)

Ricky pointing already played in 99 test match victories could have got the 100 test win first player in test history even before SRT(who have played for 20 odd year,176 test matches. )(which is very good record than more no. of centuries, runs, etc). but i think pointing test career might got finished. so SRT would be itching to make this record too of his own.

Posted by FasleAly on (December 30, 2010, 17:54 GMT)

All what was needed was Ricky Ponting to take a break for the 3rd Test and now its questionable when he may an International Test again let alone Captaining one.

Posted by ashes61 on (December 30, 2010, 17:32 GMT)

None of my business, but when did that ever stop me? Aus selection: even if it means swallowing their pride, surely Hauritz is ahead of Beer on the SCG pitch where the spinner should be vital? He's barely Test class but is the best Aus have in that dept. If gutsy Katich is fit, he should certainly play. Leave Watson where he is - if he never passes 50 he is still doing his job, as he's got 50 most times. Why doesn't Hughes, with his idiosyncratic style, bat at 6? Ponting could well enjoy a prolific "Indian summer" in his batting career at No 5 for a couple of years under a different skipper after a break. The Aus bowling "attack" (I use that word advisedly) looks the weakest since 1968 - certainly since the Packer defection. WHICHEVER side Aus puts out, given Eng's determination not to relax, it's hard to see anything but another huge innings defeat looming. Oz fans: you all blame selectors, but ANY combination (including a team of 12, or even 13, would have lost to this Eng team.

Posted by landl47 on (December 30, 2010, 17:15 GMT)

What this test comes down to, now that Harris is out, is which Mitch Johnson turns up. If he can bowl as he did at Perth, then Australia is in with a shout. If he bowls as he did at Brisbane and Melbourne, then Australia is really going to struggle to take 20 wickets. The selectors have done Beer no favors by picking him in the squad for the last two games and then leaving him out. He'll come to Sydney hopelessly undercooked and is likely to go for plenty. Siddle works hard, but his 6 wickets at Melbourne were largely because no-one else could take a wicket. Bollinger and Hilfenhaus haven't looked penetrative, Watson is a 4th seamer and Smith doesn't turn the ball enough, though he bowls tidily. For England, the combination of Anderson, Tremlett and Bresnan looks good for any conditions and Swann bowled a wonderful spell in unhelpful conditions in Australia's second innings at Melbourne. If the Sydney pitch offers him any help, he'll be a handful. England to win.

Posted by shadymse on (December 30, 2010, 17:04 GMT)

The King is dead, long live the King!!! Ponting is still the best bet the Aussies have, Clarke will never match up to Ponting's abilities in any form. They should have gone with Hussey as Captain and played David Hussey in Pontings place, Come on England!!!!

Posted by shri619 on (December 30, 2010, 16:50 GMT)

now PONTING IS OUT OF THE TEAM i personally belive and hope aus should win this will set up nicely for throwing ponting out of the side. if clarke scores ton and the new guy khawja scores 50 or 60 then it will be send off time for ponting.as 100% chance selectors will call clarke as odi captain so it's big chance for clarke to prove that he can take aus to next level...........SO WATCH OUT THIS COULD BE AND SHOULD BE THE NEXT SPARKLING ERA OF AUS CRICKET. I HOPE SO. GUD LUCK TO CLARKE.........TURNING POINT OF AUS CRICKET...??

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 16:44 GMT)

it's better ponting retires soon, better than he be kicked outta the team.

Posted by TywinLannister on (December 30, 2010, 16:36 GMT)


Posted by REVERSESWINGER1982 on (December 30, 2010, 16:21 GMT)


Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 16:04 GMT)

finally Usman Khawaja in the squad .......Austrailia's 1st Pakistani Player :)

Posted by K-amps on (December 30, 2010, 15:59 GMT)

Punter should not have played the 4th test. It was a bit selfish of him to do so. Why is he so desperate? He is an all-time great, it's a pity to see him struggle now. He might come back after a rest, then again it may get worse, Tendulkar's example is an isolated one. Agree on not sending Khawaja at #3... it could ruin the young lad before he can offer the goods for us... regardless, I feel the emotion some of us have tied to Punter's ouster and the young lad's trial by fire will not make us forgive Khawaja if he fails...

Posted by Nampally on (December 30, 2010, 15:55 GMT)

The ponting's injury is blessing in disguise for the Aussies. He should never have played in the last test or this one after a broken finger and his hopeless form.Ponting is no longer the #3 bat. The Australian selectors must acknowledge this and groom a new #3 bat in say Khwaja or Hughes or Katich.Ponting should drop down to #5 or 6. Clarke is also out of form. Does he deserve to play at #4? Now is the time to decide these issues instead of procasternating.I would like to see Khwaja #3,Hussey at #4, Clarke #5. If Ponting returns in future he can bat #6. Haddin#7, Johnson #8, Hauritz#9, Siddle & Hillfinhouse completing the 11.Watson & Hughes will open. Beer in the squad is a waste of time. Hauritz needs to come in and be in the XI if the Aussies want to square the series. Australia's future bowling centre round Johnson & Hauritz& the future batting around Watson, Hussey, Clarke. Hughes & Khwaja. Go with a planned approach and build a team which can compete.The future is NOW.

Posted by tmartis on (December 30, 2010, 15:55 GMT)

This is really sad. With the Ashes lost I would have thought cricket Australia would have let Ricky the chance of a final Ashes win. A sad Ashes exit for a great cricketer and person.

Posted by Deenesh on (December 30, 2010, 15:45 GMT)

not a fitting end for one of the greats of the game. hope he comes back and retires on his own terms.

Posted by kzia on (December 30, 2010, 15:44 GMT)


I am a Pakistani by origin and always liked the attacking cricket australia play. Obviously I support Pakistani team but I am a fan of every Great Player including Ponting, Tendulkar, Richard etc. I do think that Ponting should leave captaincy and even cricket after world cup but if i look at the condition of Australian team and especially backup guys which are very average kind of players, I think he should stay there for a couple of years and build a strong team and then leave. But I think Australia's biggest problem is lack of good spinner at any level, I have seen all their spinners and they look pretty average to me. I know its not a good idea but if possible then bring Shane warne back for only two years, train and find some spinners, settle down and the retire. But overall, Australia need to realise that need to rebuild the team as they are not outstanding any more but still very competetive in any form of cricket.

Good Luck Australia, good luck Ponting.

Posted by adamgilly on (December 30, 2010, 15:42 GMT)

where is copeland and hauritz?????? 3-1 to poms :( :( :( :(

Posted by nani_cool21 on (December 30, 2010, 15:40 GMT)

Very disappointing to see one of the greats in this mode.I am really worried about indian test future.Aus is no 1 team in tests when they had hayden warne mcgrath martin symmos .But they last the path because they last a unit which was been playing for long time.Even india is going to feel the same pinch once they lose sachin,rahul and vvs.For god sake young indians except pujara never has a technique to survive yuvi is far better than rains rohits.Even i dont know how kohli fares though he is technically better than others

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 15:14 GMT)

Ricky Ponting - Ausssie captain................ history!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by balaji313b on (December 30, 2010, 15:08 GMT)

you just never know! ian chappell advised sachin to retire 2 years ago. now sachin has reached all summits! - if aussies win world cup. they will play bangladesh in tests, ponting will score a double hundred and will be captain again for 2 years!!

Posted by Roger_Allott on (December 30, 2010, 14:43 GMT)

I'm amazed that they'll put Khawaja in at number 3. I would have promoted Hussey or Haddin to that crucial role. We need to avoid defeat in Sydney at all costs. We need to play only 4 bowlers, which means we need Colly for emergency bowling cover, although maybe KP could take some of that role if the wicket is a bunsen as is traditional. Same XI as at MCG please.

Posted by Divinetouch on (December 30, 2010, 14:31 GMT)

My brothers and I are avid cricket fans having grown up in Guyana during the era of the greats - Rohan Kanhai and Gary Sobers.

We all agreed even before the 4th test at Melbourne was over that Ponting will not play in the 5th test and the excuse will be that he is not medically fit to do so - fractured finger. So we expected the facade.

We agree with Ian Chappell on this one that Ponting has gone past his use by date.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 14:20 GMT)

I'm sure Ricky will come back strong...and I still want to see him leading the Australian team for the WC and the test matches...Ricky is a great captain, and he is still capable of doing.

Posted by offcutter on (December 30, 2010, 14:17 GMT)

Nice to see Bollinger selected. He will create a nice piece of rough for Swann to bowl into, and probably take few wickets and feed the England team a lot of easy runs. Nice to see Australia pick a player of Asian extraction to reflect the multi-national character of the country. When I left Australia for England in 1968 as a four year old, the last words my father heard before reaching the airport were a racist remark about aboriginals made by a taxi driver. Of course, there is racism everywhere, but it will be good to see Australian selecting stars of Asian extraction, just as England and South Africa have done. Good luck to both sides in what should be a fascinating decider. Let us hope it is a close and exciting team. May the best team win. (And I rather suspect that will be England, but let's see some more dog in the Aussie side proving me wrong.)

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 14:08 GMT)

Clarke - cannot bat and does not command the respect of the team. God help us.

Watson - a Test opener who play everything off the front foot. God help us.

Hughes -a Test opener who struggles against the seaming ball. God help us.

Hilfenhaus-new-ball bowler with three wickets in 4 Ashes Tests. God help us.

Bollinger - Flogged in the last Test he played. God help us.

Michael Beer - pedestrian spinner who takes 1st class wickets at around 40 apiece.

I'm off to find my rosary beads.

Posted by a1234s on (December 30, 2010, 14:06 GMT)

@jaswant. 2003 was when warne was banned. And India was by far the best team in 2003. One bad day at the office cost them the world cup.

1999 was totally owned by Australia and Pakistan. I still remember moin khan hoiking sixers over deep fine leg.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 14:03 GMT)

Well, everyone in the cricketing world knew this was coming... One way or the other..

Posted by sawifan on (December 30, 2010, 13:49 GMT)

@chapo... i'm with you 100%, lay off Punter! Sure he can be a bit of a prat at times, but so can many players (and captains... Ganguly). But he was and still can be a great player. It is a bit tough to lay all the blame on him for losing a few series. The teams greatness has been on the wane for a while, and it is not HIS fault if the incoming players aren't as talented as their predecessors. His captaincy record is great and he hasn't lost a WC game in his last 2 attempts! Allan Border didn't win a test series until his 8th series, why, not because he was a terrible captain, but because he didn't have the players and opponents were stronger. Ponting's career is a mirror image of AB's. He started captaining against weaker teams with a great side, and now the opposition is better and his team has less talent. It's not Punter fault the rest of the world has improved!!! Please note, i'm not trying to say Ponting is as good a captain as AB, nor was i trying to bag Ganguly, i was a big fan.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 13:36 GMT)

Yessir, Clarke will get out once again to a lame defensive shot after scratching around for 60 odd balls and scoring 15 odd ... Whatever happened to the flair he possessed in the 2004 Indian tour? Nowadays he seems to. Be playing angled bat defensive shots all the time and then, when you think he looks good, he gets out

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 13:33 GMT)

Still their batting looks weak because of no.6. My opinion would be symonds. He can be a good player at that position n he can bowl also as well

Posted by crow_eater on (December 30, 2010, 13:31 GMT)

Great another new south welshman! They've served us so well so far this series. Get ready for more disappointment................

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 13:26 GMT)

Still their batting looks weak because of no.6. My opinion would be symonds. He can be a good player at that position n he can bowl also as well

Posted by djfw666 on (December 30, 2010, 13:20 GMT)

Let this team lose, then the real changes can happen. Clarke to captain from 6, Trent Copeland or Clint McKay for Ben Hilfenhaus who is too injury prone, Chris Lynn and Shaun Marsh to get looks in, Steve Smith to be left in first-class cricket for most of his career to learn how to play cricket, Steve O'Keefe to get a shot at big time, James Pattinson to take Ryan Harris' spot.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 13:17 GMT)

Still their batting looks weak because of no.6. My opinion would be symonds. He can be a good player at that position n he can bowl also as well

Posted by MisterE84 on (December 30, 2010, 13:09 GMT)

True about VIC being a dominant side however the very good reason that NSW has struggled at state cricket level is due to the fact they regularly have 5-6 players in the Australian team at any time.

If there was a season where only state cricket played then NSW would undoubtedly have won the majority of years over the past 20 years.

In regards to AUS poor show this year lets also not forget Preparation --> England came over early and used tour games to get conditioned. While all this was happening our guys are playing (with no direspect to Sri Lanka) meaningless small ODI series against SL which what did it really mean? It was like a cover band killing time before the front-line band steals the show.

Hope Khawaja and Clarke ton-up at home --> whilst I don't think he will ever be in the league of Taylor and S. Waugh its nice to see another NSW player at the reigns (even though I would probably have preferred Haddin to get the nod)

Posted by scoobyy on (December 30, 2010, 12:59 GMT)

hey Guys .. have you totally forgotten BRET LEE and his OUTSTANDING Performance against England in Previous ASHES Tours .... Bring him BACK....

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 12:56 GMT)

Aussies need a tiger to lead..................not a PUP

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 12:56 GMT)

Clarke going to lead. Very sad for Australia.I ask Ozs selectors get ready to find your 44 th captain.........

Posted by shanghaibatsman on (December 30, 2010, 12:42 GMT)

What is great about Clarke?How can onetime great player of spin be vulnerable to the type of bowling he dominated? He is another Zoolander who would command zeo respect.

Posted by pom_and_proud on (December 30, 2010, 12:36 GMT)

Decisions, decisions, decisions. All theses decisions over team selection are quite tough to make. I just don't know what they should do.....................does Collingwood bat 5 or 6? What are your thoughts?

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 12:27 GMT)

In my opinion.......allow KLINGER 2 make his debut....r get george bailey

the perfect 11 for scg acc 2 my :

1) shane watson 2)Tim paine 3)Usman khwaja 4)Michael clarke 5)Callum ferguson/Shaun marsh 6)Michal hussey 7)Mitchell johnson 8)Steven smith/Trent copeland 9)Xavier doherty 10)Peter siddle 11)Doug bollinger 12)Michael beer

copeland can come into team....No.6 of australia could be ""mike hussey""

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 12:21 GMT)

what is wrong with making Hussey as captain, he is the best Aussie cricketer in this series...

the captain is usually the player whom u select first in the team...

Posted by rgk1974 on (December 30, 2010, 12:21 GMT)

do you all really believe that Punter being dropped is to to do with his finger?? How very convenient for the selectors!!

Posted by Seers on (December 30, 2010, 12:02 GMT)

I wish some would back up criticism with facts and 1st class records on CricInfo are the best place to look. First, Brad Hodge is good but a bit overrated. Experienced batsman like David Hussey and Phil Jaques have better first class records than him. As for the younger crop, Khawaja, Hughes and Smith are the most exciting young batsmen in Australia and have superior records than others like Ferguson and Marsh. A lot of the best players have and still do come from NSW. So what? It has more junior cricketers than any other state. Players like Watson, Katich and Hauritz have moved to NSW from other states. In selection processes, there are a few unlucky players from most states inc. NSW (eg. S. Clark; Copeland; Hauritz; O'Keefe; D. Hussey; A. MacDonald; McKay; Swan; Butterworth; P. George). Some will get a chance, some won't. Finally, Ponting and Clarke are two of the best Aussie batsmen ever and great people. Lay off and support your team through this interesting transition period.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 12:01 GMT)

So this is what we call the chappell effect. Everyone can see it, yet the people who have the powers can't.... Shaun marsh in for Hughes( this bloke tries to play like sehwag but clearly is a long way off ) . Khwaja in for ponting is an inspired selection (hopefully he scores some runs). Clarke is lucky to be even in the team,let alone be the captain. Cameron white shda come in instead of him. Hauritz shda been recalled (clearly he had som disagreements with Ricky over field placements but that shdnt count against him...Ricky never has understood spinners). I would have dropped Johnson too simply for his attitude and bought in copeland. Mark Cameron could come in instead of hilfy and doug bollinger in place of Harris . The rest of the team stays with haddin at 6 and smith at 7 ... This team shd have been able to beat England in Sydney ..but alas

and regarding the ponting condundrum, I believe he shd be back as a player only once he's fit and bat no 5, but that won't happen. Oh well.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 11:58 GMT)

He could have exited with dignity by announcing his retirment rather than being pushed

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 11:55 GMT)

may be this is a end of ricky's cricket career.... But no one replace his best captaincy ever.

Posted by Aussasinator on (December 30, 2010, 11:54 GMT)

It's the Australian Cricket Board's way of saying enough is enough, move on. They have most certainly hinted to him to use the injury as an excuse to step out. It is all the more apparent because just a day before Ponting was talking about the Sydney Test, his efforts and not wanting to quit etc. All in all, this was overdue for a while. I expect Khwaja to do well in a few Tests and there would be no regrets at all for Oz cricket. Ponting would be history in a month or two as far as Test cricket is concerned. Watch Clarke's game improve from now on.

Posted by 5wombats on (December 30, 2010, 11:52 GMT)

I must say I'm surprised at this Aus squad selection; No Hauritz! Surely there are better bowlers around than Hilfenhaus/Bollinger!? Khawaja seems to be the next in line - but he didn't cover himself in glory in Hobart. Not sure why Cameron White is not involved - one of only 4 Aussies to nick a ton off England bowlers this tour. He's Victorian - maybe that's his problem. Hughes - didn't look that good at Perth or MCG, again - isn't there anyone better? As for the new skip' Clarke - he's been dealt an ordinary hand by his predecessor.... and look what happened to him. Australia are heading for the mincer at Sydney; with 2 new baggies, one of which, critically, is an unproven spinner. Mmmm.....

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 11:42 GMT)

I feel that instead of Michael Clarke fails the captaincy should go to Simon Katich.He has been leading the NSW Blues for sometime now and is a proven leader.He is also a accomplished top order batmen and has been in a consistent form for some time now.So he should be better off leading the team rather then a struggling Michael Clarke.

Posted by AwaisKazi on (December 30, 2010, 11:30 GMT)

Will really feeling very sorry if a Legend like him will end his career on such a sad note. He deserves a good Farewell.....

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 11:28 GMT)

cant wait to see how Khawaja plays the english bowlers.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 11:25 GMT)

This is a subtle way of saying "goodbye ponting". The injury is a pretext for retirement. He was able to play at the mcg with it and now suddenly its a problem.

Posted by george204 on (December 30, 2010, 11:25 GMT)

Interesting that Clarke is Australias 43rd captain. England have had 42 captains since the second world war alone! (Aus have had 22 since the war). Since Border took over in 1984, there have been just 5 Australian captains, but 16 England captains.

Posted by Saad_Parekh on (December 30, 2010, 11:21 GMT)

Selectors don't seem to learn. The team needs 7 specialist batsman, 1 full-time spinner, and 3 fast men. It been clear through dismal batting performances that Australia is AT LEAST 1 batsman short, and they have been constantly wasting one of their fast bowlers by choosing to play 4 fast bowlers + Watson. Smith is nothing player and still needs good 2+ year in the domestic cricket. They could have done better by choosing Cameron White, surely a better batsmen and marginally better bowler. And Hauritz should have been called back. He haven't done nothing bad enough to be dropped in the first place and certainly is the better spin bowler in Australia. But Its G Chappel, who certainly defies the common sense. The talent cupboard is not as bare as this selection committee is suggesting.

Posted by cris89 on (December 30, 2010, 11:19 GMT)

Come on...am sure that an all-time great like Ponting deserves to go out in a home series..preferably at Hobart..he has earned the right for that atleast..

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 11:13 GMT)

i don't think australian cricket has ever faced troubled times such as these. Honestly speaking, having Greg Chappell as their chairman of selectors is the worst thing that could happen ( The precedent being the Indian experience). As far as test performances are concerned, Ricky Ponting might not be called back. But I am sure, he will bounce back in the World Cup. Taking Australia as pushovers in the World Cup would be a huge mistake.

Posted by mattyboy95 on (December 30, 2010, 11:04 GMT)

Cameron White??? You can't be serious? They guy has 114 runs at 28 this season. If the only question mark over Kwajha is that he hasn't scored a century since a double-ton 5 matches ago.. then the kid has a good case to play for Australia

Posted by hedleyvertiyisgod on (December 30, 2010, 10:52 GMT)

Come on what is" metrosexual" got to do with his ability. Give the guy a fair crack!

Posted by Sezzlers on (December 30, 2010, 10:47 GMT)

Punter should deserve a pride exit instead of this.... But fate is cruel.... Bye Punter your Hook and pull shorts are master piece.....

Posted by rhavs on (December 30, 2010, 10:44 GMT)

Bit futile, but I think that Michale Hussey should have had the captaincy for a while. In all the games he has seen the more impressive in the Ashes for Australia barring Haddin with the bat. Hopefully the Aussies won't slump to new lows. World Cricket needs the Aussies.

Posted by hyclass on (December 30, 2010, 10:43 GMT)

Based on his 40% match fee fine of $54000, giving him a full match payment of $135000, Id say there is no need to feel sorry for the hugely well rewarded Ponting. In 3 hopeless days, he earned double the annual average wage. How incredibly unprofessional of him to play with a badly broken finger, especially given his two years of poor form. How could the coaching, selection and Cricket Australia staff allow this kind of behaviour. Who the hell is in charge of what amounts to anarchy. It is useless to compare what is occurring now with 1984 retirements. The sport is fully professional and the level of support staff, centres for excellence and talent identification are extremely high. This group was the rebuilding group of 2 years ago and is a hopeless failure. When is someone with a sense of decency going to stand up for our national pride. Teams lose. Its part of sport. But never in the gutless way this group capitulates. Sack Sutherland, Nielsen, Hilditch, Clarke and Johnson as well.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 10:39 GMT)

Would expect Khawaja, Bollinger and Beer to all play at Sydney, since there would be no point picking the latter for three consecutive tests, and not including him in the final XI... Hilfenhaus is short of wickets in any case, and neither Ponting nor Harris are available (obviously).

England will be unchanged and will be looking for a 3-1 result.

Still surprised at the selection policies of the Aus selectors - Hughes has a poor technique and Smith is a work-in-progress at best. Not complaining as an England supporter, but still surprised. Are these really the best available players in Australia..?

Posted by Philsy on (December 30, 2010, 10:37 GMT)

The squad selected for the final test reeks of minimal risk on the part of the selectors, it's like they don't want to take the risk of blooding too many debutants. Surely they'll send a new look side to Sri Lanka-a perfect opportunity, really, they're not the best test team in the world, but the tour could still be a challenge. I know it must be hard for Ponting, but the health of Australian cricket should surely be bigger than any single players' ambitions. At present, the reality is that the current first class scene in Australia doesn't seem as strong as it was in the late 90s-early noughties, there were many more players outside the test team of test standard back then. Looking at current State cricket first class averages, and the ease with which England beat Australia A, the depth isn't there at present. I don't think the decline will be terminal, this has happened before, home losses to NZ in 85/86 and England in 86/87, and yet they won the World Cup in '87 with a young team.

Posted by Paul_JT on (December 30, 2010, 10:31 GMT)

Best squad selected this series by Australia - which is not saying much. Whatever the future for Ponting, or indeed Clarke, it is important that Australia make this Clarke's Test match with Ricky not involved at all till the final ball has been bowled. They still have the wrong spinner (O'Keefe overlooked again) and should swap Smith and Haddin in the batting order. Otherwise, this is the best available. Australia needs to stop mourning that they are no longer a great side. Instead concentrate on trying to be competent. That is what it every other team, specifically England, have had to do in the past twenty years.

Posted by muski on (December 30, 2010, 10:26 GMT)

Its another innings defeat for pup and co staring at Sydney. He is neither an inspirational leader nor a great batsmen.To add to that his physical fitness which certainly wont help the cause. He certainly would not have got a place in the Indian test team on his batting merits. That speaks volumes of Aussie Test Cricket isnt it. Why not Mr Cricket as a stop gap arrangement say for a year till they get the right guy to take up the mantle. With Clarke at the helm, they can get ready to compete with Bangladesh and Windies for the bottom spot.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 10:26 GMT)

Why clarke why haddin why not hussey I think hussey should be the captain after ponting.

Posted by raysa on (December 30, 2010, 10:24 GMT)

SAme problem as last 2 tests. One batsman short and batting is the weakness and no Hauritz or O'keefe. The continued selection of Beer is a joke. Going to Sydney with 5 fast bowlers and Smith as the spinner is guaranteed to hand England victory before a ball is bowled.

Posted by Dhanno on (December 30, 2010, 10:23 GMT)

Rest in pieces punter ;). There will be someone to fill in your shoes, CA has made sure of that. Someone who will appeal incessantly, claim dropped catches, be indifferent with bat and bring on loads of rubbish to the team. Oh and sorry Haddin, it just sucks to give a lending hand to the side day in day out and then to be put as deputy to the one-so-out-of-form-middleorder-guy!

Posted by SHARK810 on (December 30, 2010, 10:20 GMT)

He is finished as a captain after the world cup, I believe he will retire from odis after it too and stay on as a batsman only in test cricket until he is dropped. He may be forced to come in at 4 or 5 too. The Ashes has broken more than his finger. He is not the man he was a few years ago.

Posted by damrox on (December 30, 2010, 10:14 GMT)

Since the 5th test is being played in Sydney, I would love to see the likes of a full time spinner. My first choice would be Nathan Hauritz. The sydney pitches has always assisted the spinners, than any pitch down under. Hauritz would be in my playing elevan instead of Doug Bollinger.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 10:08 GMT)

A great cricketer.... not a great soul

Posted by antselector on (December 30, 2010, 10:07 GMT)

Upsetting to see this happen to Ponting. he is a true great of the game, but like other greats, he needs to take some time to evaluate his performance and do what is best for his team and himself. He would be our best choice at number 5. Happy to see Khawaja get a chance, he is averaging 75 in shield, and hope he plays well. The other issues are no 6, agree with Smith's selsction, but lets try Haddin at 6 and releave the pressure on Smith (also give him decent fields to take wickets). I dont understand why Bollinger get a recall after a such a poor dsplay in Adelaide...... Give Copeland a go, another young man who has played brilliantly in tests and offer something different to the current line-up of quicks. Has to be Hughes last chance, Shaun Marsh has been playing well, and has proven his worth in ODI's..... Drop the coach and the selectors, time for CA to make some brave moves.....

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 10:01 GMT)

ANNNND finally, we all must remember - FORM IS TEMPORARY, CLASS IS EVERLASTING. Clarke may be out of form now, but he has shown in the past was a good cricketer he is (ie. Last Ashes - was our best batsman by far!). I have no doubt, he will rediscover it with a good knock...

Posted by sunnymachoo on (December 30, 2010, 9:57 GMT)

oh sorry, i just read, its only for this match as of now! (change of captaincy)

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 9:57 GMT)

Oh, and @ masterblaster1971 - i hope your not an Aussie supporter, because quite honestly, the fact that you HOPE the english side thrashes us in Sydney purely because you dislike our new captain, is disgraceful. Kicking and screaming about what was going to be an obvious appointment will not aid Australia nor your credibility as an Aussie fan. If you're English, well, I still hope your proven wrong hehe...

Posted by dilgara on (December 30, 2010, 9:53 GMT)

It is a shame the way, the media, cricket commentators and the arm chair crictics treated Ponting. The way they said that he is dropped because of the finger injury is a joke. The worst is that they appointed Clarke as the captain. I won't be surprise to see Michael Hussey and Simon Katish announced their retirement. CA had treated players like Brad Hodge, Andrew Symonds, Nathan Hauritz and a few others is dreaded. It is high time people like Sunderland and Hilditch are rmoved and Buchanan restored. Do you know that Australia going downhill since they removed Buchanan as the coach. Shane Warne and Ian Chappel will disagree for their pin up boy is now the captain

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 9:53 GMT)

To not pick Clarke would have shown instability and disorder in the team and selectors. Personally, I think the added responsibilty on Clarke will actually aid his game - giving him the confidence of the team and selectors. Much like when Punter was given the nod, he matured as a player and leader. The fact that people were spouting that White or Haddin were going to be the next captain was always fantasy. White was not established in the test team and relatively untested whilst Haddin is 33 and has several young, yet incredible understudies in Wade and Paine. I think now the Aussie public needs to swallow whatever reservations they have about Clarke and support him. He is afterall, coming into the weakest Aussie side we've seen in decades - and being a Captain during an intense rebuild is one not often envied. Finally, the Aussie public need to adjust and be patient with each player (especially younger ones) - this will be a period of blooding them into the squad.

Posted by anver777 on (December 30, 2010, 9:46 GMT)

As we all expected Punter is not playing in SCG test hence out of touch & under pressure Clarke will captain the side........OOPS !!! to much burden for poor Clarke at this point of time..... " need to score & must win to equal the series "

Posted by FTB93 on (December 30, 2010, 9:44 GMT)

Australia has done the right thing by bringing in Khawaja as he is the highest run scorer this domestic season, but should bring in Swan instead of bollinger as he is the leading wicket tacker this domestic season. Also Hauritz should be included instead of Beer as he is the leading spinner so far plus his batting would be more then handy, Cosgrove instead of Hughes as he is the leading run scorer for an opener and second highest run scorer this year. This is how I believe the team should be selected on form instead of age and residence.

Posted by HamzaAftab on (December 30, 2010, 9:41 GMT)

Finally calrk got chance to lead Australia where things are not going well. any way Usman Khawaja got a chance to play for Australia. it is really Test for Islamabad boy where team is struggling. whish him good for clark and Usman. poting have a time to take rest give time to family enjoy Bar BQ parties and come up with gerat zeal and enthuisam. GOOOOD LUCK to Clark

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 9:32 GMT)

Osman Khawaja...LOL...soon we will see Ashes being played between South Africa and the sub-continent ;)

Posted by Biggus on (December 30, 2010, 9:25 GMT)

Still no Nathan Hauritz? I have never had so much difficulty following the selector's logic before. Even back in the dark days of the Packer circus I could make some sense of their choices, but I really am baffled now. Here we are heading to Sydney, traditionally a spinner's pitch and I can only assume that they intend to use Smith (alone) or Smith and Beer there. What has Hauritz done wrong? Did he accidentally back into Andrew Hilditch's car after training. Is Steven O'Keefe dating his daughter? Why can't these guys get a game. Why is Smith batting at No.6? Most perplexing of all, who was the guy impersonating Mitchell Johnson in the Perth test, and would he like a game in Sydney?

Posted by sunnymachoo on (December 30, 2010, 9:24 GMT)

is this just for the 5th test or permanent test captain change? but whatever it is, I dont agree with this move! Im a Pakistani fan, so you all know why im sick and tired of such moves!! =p

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 9:24 GMT)

a more appropriate squad would be (in batting order): hughes, watson, khawaja, clarke, hussey, FERGUSON, hadding, smith, johnson, siddle, beer.

stopping leaving ferguson out of the side, leave it too long to blood him and he'll be past his best.

Posted by pozx on (December 30, 2010, 9:23 GMT)

One look at this team and anyone can tell the change has happened..long gone are the days of that invincible team. Clarke is the only player of that once great team. Now, how can one expect them to perform the way that team did. I think the Australians are still living in that old glory. Its time to let go and get realistic. Blaming it on Pointing won't help it. Having said that i don't feel its the right time to let pointing go. You need someone experienced. someone as good as pointing to lead the side and rebuild this side. Pointing still has a lot to offer. Give him sometime.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 9:18 GMT)

Ponting good morning hahahahah ...................... zahid khan

Posted by tikna on (December 30, 2010, 9:11 GMT)

Expect Ponting the batsmen to be back with a pretty loud bang in the world cup but I dont think Australia will win it. And I really dont think Ponting is going to retire from Tests so early too, irrespective of being captain or not.

As for pup now being the captain, well its a big big test for him and if (and i hope) Aus lose another test in SCG the editors of the world will have a field day

Posted by Hooves on (December 30, 2010, 9:10 GMT)

Clarke must be bricking it, can't imagine he's looking forward to this test at all. And i don't think he wil be test skipper fo long, Haddin will supercede him after a season or two.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (December 30, 2010, 9:04 GMT)

Poor Punter. A great cricket deserves a great farewell. It seems that's not what he's going to get.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 9:04 GMT)

'Metrosexual tendencies'?

Is this 2010 or 1910?!

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 8:58 GMT)

Pretty much no one agrees with Clarke as captain because of the obvious reasons but Haddin? Sure he has some virtues but he is as much of a cock as Ponting & Clarke. Surely Hussey appeals as a better choice and at leats you'd get 2 years out of him, before possibly the likes of Watson may become captain, if he can get rid of the annoying habit of wasting umpire reviews literally everytime he gets a call against himself, which pretty much are always confirmed as out - Watson is a very selfish cricketer but is a better long term prospect than Clarke. Ponting will nevre play test cricket again and based on his form it is time to go. 99 test wins eh Ponting? Just another player to fall on 99...

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 8:57 GMT)

who the fuck Ian chappel is to say that Indain team does not have good bowlers????? then HOW COME INDIA IS NO.1 TEST TEAM FROM LAST 6 MONTH OR SO......

Posted by RJHB on (December 30, 2010, 8:47 GMT)

Ehhhhhhhhhhh what the??? The finger was good enough for Melbourne but not good enough for Sydney? So it got worse during Melbourne did it? My aunt Fanny!!! Hmmmm anyway sorry to say we won't be missing either your captaincy, your poor attitude or your terrible batting of late Punter but I do hope you continue as a batsmen in test cricket for a while to come. And as for Clarke, well extra pressures with captaincy and responsibility can only help his batting really, because it sure as hell can't get much worse than his dreadful series. Ponting and Clarke, they're your reasons why we lost the Ashes. Two best batsmen, two worst series stats. Disgraceful.

Posted by jawadkhan_amc on (December 30, 2010, 8:12 GMT)

i feel sorry for him... a good cricketer should hve a godd fairwell

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 8:12 GMT)

I think ricky you should have left captaincy after 2nd test, clark is a good captain but more in form then ricky. i want to win Aussies the last test because if they will loose England will get much confidence for worldcup.

Posted by sportsbuffno1 on (December 30, 2010, 8:10 GMT)

The fact that Clarke has been chosen as captain in Ponting's absence is predictable.....he is & has been for some time now, the VC, the heir apparent...so for this current band of selectors to not select him as captain in Ponting's absence would have been a monumental decision for them to make & an admission of failure on their part.

Of course, going purely on form, Clarke should be dropped from the team but that was never going to happen - not at this moment- especially in Ponting's unexpected absence.

This could be the making of Clarke - a chance to finally stand on his own 2 feet & lead from the front & take on some real responsibility......but I think he needs to cut out all the off-pitch activities - the inane Tweeting, the appearances in the paperazzi etc etc & concentrate on being a test cricketer & a would-be test captain

Posted by Samdanh on (December 30, 2010, 8:10 GMT)

Ponting has had his run. Hopefully this break will help him. He needs special applause for being so passionate about leadiing Aus during these tough times of re-building the team. I cannot find such captains from any other country in the recent past who had such grit during similar times of crisis. Mostly they cried out. My recommendation would be to bring in strong performing batsmen from Sheffield Shield and bloster the batting in the squad. It is Aus batting failure that have let the team down. Have three fast bowlers and one regular spinner-Hauritz, have Smith too but in the squad. This will enable Smith to grow with the team and also e ready to play as replacement when Haurits is injured or as additional spinner during tours to Sob continent dust bowls in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Like in the Border and Steve Waugh eras, the selection committee should persist with the squad and provide them with long time to build through experience.

Posted by masterblaster1971 on (December 30, 2010, 8:06 GMT)

Dumb, dumb, and dumber thats what the selectors are here. They should have passed on Clarke as Captain and given it straight to Haddin. He is in form and a leader of the team. Instead they create another Ponting (out of form and dealing with a team in turmoil). Other readers are right, where is Cameron White? I'm looking forward to England giving this team another battering.

Posted by Bilal_Choudry on (December 30, 2010, 8:03 GMT)

@AndrewFromOz u got it spot on mate

Posted by chapo on (December 30, 2010, 8:00 GMT)

I think everyone should back off Ponting and give the man a break. Ponting has been a major factor in the success of Australian and world cricket in every aspect of the game. He has been a fundamental leader in the success of Australia as a one day and test captain and has more times than not led from the front foot. Everyone is entitled to go through a run of poor form especially when the foundation of your side has recently gone throuh a major change. The pressures on a captain, not to mention those as a player to succeed in a team that has a reputation in cricket such as ours must be enormous and I can't see why Australians are so quick to look for someone to blame?? What happened to the Aussie battler?! Before the start of the Ashes everyone wanted Hussey gone?? What a mistake that would have been. I cannot think of a better person to lead Australia at the present time other than Ponting and those who write him off will be made to look silly. Chapo signing off!

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 7:54 GMT)

Usman Khawaja. You're kidding right? That's all the changes? Are the Australian cupboard that bare? Surely not...right? Right?

Posted by JoeyJoJo on (December 30, 2010, 7:53 GMT)

Victorian is one of the most dominant domestic teams over the past 10 years yet NSW is over represented AGAIN?? Hilditch should do the right thing and step down immediately on the basis of a clear bias to NSW players and stupidity in handling the 'smotth' transition in the Australian team post-retirements.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 7:51 GMT)

lets c wat can dis fella do............

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 7:44 GMT)

its r8 choice for asuie but it will be really interesting to see how MC handle the pressure of saving ashes ~~~

Posted by avinashhot009 on (December 30, 2010, 7:39 GMT)

yes i agree....ponting is heart broken....broken finger is juz the reason....:p

Posted by SlogSweeper on (December 30, 2010, 7:34 GMT)

@ Test_Match_Fan, since when has Katich done anything to be assured of a spot?! M Hussey (c); S Watson (vc) Based on FORM and COMPETENCY.

Posted by ashutosh163 on (December 30, 2010, 7:33 GMT)

You have to believe that Aussies will play the spinner if its the SCG wicket. Hence, its almost certain that Beer (still no Hauritz??) will play. So, lets look at the Aussie team for a match in which their remaining pride is at stake: a less than capable opener, non-performing captain, spirited-yet-highly-ineffective pace attack and a rookie, inexperienced spinner! Ponting or no Ponting, Aussie will suffer another defeat!!

Posted by satanswish on (December 30, 2010, 7:30 GMT)

I the above pic, I can see broken stumps, broken form, broken heart & broken career. Can't see broken finger due to gloves he is wearing, maybe Cricket Australia wanted to dump him out with broken finger excuse.

Posted by SanthoshIyer on (December 30, 2010, 7:26 GMT)

I think this is the end of Ricky Ponting in tests as Captain and Player. I think he will lead Australia for one last time in the ICC World Cup to be played in the Sub-continent. Goodbye Ponting after a great Australian Career.

Posted by Clive_Dunn on (December 30, 2010, 7:25 GMT)

So, CA have replaced a man with 12,000 runs for a debutant, kept Hughes at opener, Smith at 6 and will possibly have another left armer replacing Hilfenhaus. I'm sure Swann is very happy at the prospect of the extra rough on a pitch expected to turn. Can someone tell me how that team is better than the last one put out ?

Posted by KingofRedLions on (December 30, 2010, 7:25 GMT)

Thejana - Didn't have to be so specific. Just saying "Peter English mas maintained a pessimistic tone" would have summed his articles up pretty well.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 7:22 GMT)

Ponting gone, but not forever and his future will be determined by his World Cup performances. Clarke had to be named as captain, but this could be for 1 game. The problem with the other selections is catrosphic. Smith, Hilli and Hughes are not yet at test level; possibly Hilli will never be at this level. This is the time to make drastic changes.The selected squad will not get near a victory against England, and I am an Aussie true and blue. Just for this game, a team to have a chance of victory is required. Unfortunately it appears Katich is still unavailable. Smith, Hilli, Beer and Bollinger out, replaced by Hauritz, Copeland, Hodge, D Hussey and Maddison as 12th man. Batting line up, Watson, Haddin, Hodge, Clarke, Hussey, Kawaja, D Hussey,Hauritz, Johnson, Siddle, Copeland and Maddison as 12 th man. In Sydney, this team has a chance.

Posted by landl47 on (December 30, 2010, 7:22 GMT)

I guess the selectors were so impressed by the play of the Australian team in Melbourne that they didn't feel any need to make many changes. Ponting and Harris are injured, so in come Khawaja for his debut and Doug Bollinger, who got 1-130 in his only test of the series. It's hard to think that they will make the same mistake as in Melbourne and go in with 4 seamers, so presumably Beer will make his debut. That makes the bowling unit Siddle, Johnson, Beer, either Hilf or Boll, Watson and Smith. The batting now reads Watson, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Hussey, Smith, Haddin, Johnson and the other three. There's one thing- the side is getting younger. Whether it's getting better is another matter. The loss of Harris is a blow- he was the only one of the bowlers who bowled consistently well. It looks a fragile batting line-up, especially if the pitch takes spin. They might play very well, but England must go in as favorites.

Posted by popcorn on (December 30, 2010, 7:21 GMT)

I am delighted that Michael Clarke has been anointed as Test Captain after being the Captain in waiting to Ricky Ponting. THIS IS the AUSTRAYLIAN WAY.All loose talk of finding another Captain - White, Haddin, Paine, Watson was stupid and childish. Whenever Michael Clarke has been given the role of Captain, he has performed admirably. As to the Team composition, Dougie Bollinger MOST certainly SHOULD not play. He performed MISERABLY when given the chance, both in India and during The Ashes.The traditional SCG pitch has favoured spin, so here is Michael Beer's opportunity - an offie, alongside a leggie, Steve Smith.Like Warne and Macgill.We have 4 quicks - Johnson, Hilfenhaus, Siddle, Watson.That's enough.

Posted by Sameer-hbk on (December 30, 2010, 7:11 GMT)

And somewhere else in the world, in the corner of a lonely dark room a man shivers with morbid fear as he repeats in a murmur "He's back... He's back..."

-The Chronicles of International Captains: The Greg, the Ganguly and the Ponting

Posted by PlayingItStraight on (December 30, 2010, 7:10 GMT)

The worsening finger injury is timely for Ponting - now he can retire from all international cricket after the World Cup, without having been pushed by the selectors. We are about to find out if Clarke is up to the job (in my opinion definitely not), and finally we get to see Khawaja have a go. The naming of Haddin as VC is telling - if Clarke's form trough continues we may yet see Haddin as the test captain. Bollinger coming back into the team is a pity (but not a surprise) - he always tries hard but ultimately he doesn't provide anything to the attack that it doesn't already have, and this was the perfect chance to give Copeland or George an opportunity. England are playing so well this series it will probably end up 3-1 anyway, so the selectors have wasted a big chance to try another younger player at test level.

Posted by abahukhandi on (December 30, 2010, 7:08 GMT)

Dont understand why everyone's ready to write Ponting epitaph. Sure he the first one in almost a century to lose 3 Ashoes series or have a dreaded Ashes as a batsman but the poor guy was as good a captain as the team given to him. Agreed he should have been removed if there was a good alternative but taking it away from a guy who scored 113 to a guy scoring 148 in an Ashes series wouldnt give me any confidence if I were an Aussie. And not just that Clarke has a long way to go to develop as captain. Sure he can fill in the place while Ponting recovers (like Gilly did in 2006) but one Ponting's fit, he should be given back the captaincy, more so because of the lack of better alternative. And as a batsman, Ponting would bounce back.

Posted by Rohan0309 on (December 30, 2010, 7:08 GMT)

Ponting may very well bid goodbye to his captaincy if Clarke manages to lead Australia to a face saving win at SCG.

Posted by kp.india on (December 30, 2010, 7:08 GMT)

its actually a very poor desicion to name clarke as the captain.Haddin wud hav been a better choice and i guess he has the so called "australian mentality"="win at any cost",which none of the other players in the current squad seem to possess.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 7:08 GMT)

woohoo giddiyap horsey pontin is out clarke is in now lets hope ozzys can atleast save their shame by levellin the series 2-2 :D

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 7:06 GMT)

I Think Cameron White is good captain better then Clarke..

Posted by Herbet on (December 30, 2010, 7:02 GMT)

I take it from this article that Peter English doesnt fancy Clarke as captain! If not Clarke then who? Australia select captains on a (very) long term basis - this is only their 5th in about 25 years. So that indicates they want the next incumbent to be in for a while too. That therefore rules out Katich, Hussey and even Haddin. Plus once you've selected a vice captain you have no real choice other than to promote him. Clarke is generally a class player, he might be in a rut now but he'll come out of it. He appears to have trouble against pace and against England but there are hardly any quick wickets anymore and you dont play us that often. Your gonna need someone in that middle order with a bit of experience. Any 'metrosexual' tendancies he may have are irrelavant.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 7:02 GMT)

Michael Clarke for Captain? NO THANKYOU

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 6:52 GMT)

for those playing at home - khawaja 598 runs @ 74.75, white 114 runs @ 28.50

Posted by Iceborn999 on (December 30, 2010, 6:49 GMT)

Michael Clarke is not the future of Australian cricket.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 6:46 GMT)

Ricky is out due to finger injury..:):) nice joke.

Posted by mattyboy95 on (December 30, 2010, 6:46 GMT)

@ WC2011Champs: Ponting actually has a better record coming in when the openers have failed, rather that coming in at 1/100

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 6:43 GMT)

Finally Usman Gets a Game

Posted by handyandy on (December 30, 2010, 6:39 GMT)

If the pup captains and bats the way he does in T20 cricket were doomed.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 6:37 GMT)

The selection for this ashes has been really bad.Greg chappell is mainly responsible for the australian downfall.Before that, the grooming of young players went on good.Then suddenly chappell removed nathan hauritz from the side.If not for this series,hussey will also be dropped.Stupid selections caused the defeat more than the defeat itself.Removing chappell would bring wonders.Punter is a great player who has lot of success as a captain even he is out of form.Removing clarke ,smith and bringing in white and hauritz will be great

Posted by braindead_rocker on (December 30, 2010, 6:25 GMT)

He is making excuses...Clarke will be the one to see the Ashes go to England...

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 6:16 GMT)

Lets see how pup is gonna perform as a captain.He usually does well when he leads the team. Will have to see how he is gonna go in Sydney. But IMO he is not the man to lead Australia, he is not the one 4 me. Punter has been exposed heavily, I reckon Pup is hiding behind Punters poor performances. Pups performances have been miserable too, but luckily for him, all are focused on punters pathetic plight. Pup is just surviving based on his celebrity icon.ATM I can't think of an ideal man to lead Australia. Huss, Watto & Katto are the guys i can think of.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 6:12 GMT)

at least australia's no. 6 problem has been solved. ricky can bat there

Posted by Test_Match_Fan on (December 30, 2010, 6:07 GMT)

make Katich, Hussey or Haddin the captain. Those are the only ones with guaranteed spots in the team

Posted by AndrewFromOz on (December 30, 2010, 6:06 GMT)

Brilliant selectors true to form - pick another New South Welshman with indifferent form to add to Hughes and Smith. Two words: Cameron White - to bat at 4 (Clarke can bat at three if not dropped and can try to earn his pay for a change) and White to captain the side.

Posted by 250988 on (December 30, 2010, 6:01 GMT)

This could be a real blessing in disguise. I really think some time away from the game will help Ponting. He has been one of the 5 best batsman (including Sachin, Lara, Kallis, Dravid) over the last 15yrs. He may never be the Champion batsman of yrs gone by but he still has enough in him to be up there with the best. I think there lies the problem, can a champion (sometimes cocky and arrogant) be satisfied with being good/average player. He will have to search his inner soul to figure it all out. Whatever happens from here on history will remeber Ponting as one of the best to ever to have played the game.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 5:58 GMT)

Mr Peter English has maintained a pessimistic tone towards Khawajas inclusion. If Steve Smith could be included as a specialist batsman for scoring nowhere near of a big century, I find no issue in having Khawaja as a specialist batsman irrespective of the fact he has not scored a FC century for a while. Consistency matters the most. An average over 70 in sheffield shield is not negligible.

Posted by SyedArbabAhmed on (December 30, 2010, 5:55 GMT)

Ponting should have step down gracefully from captaincy, this is not the way to say bye either from captaincy or from test cricket for a player like Ponting & this is not the legacy of Australian cricket, this is simply unfortunate.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 5:47 GMT)

This is the time Ricky Ponting should announce his retirement now.

Posted by kool_Indian on (December 30, 2010, 5:42 GMT)

Finally Peter English will be a relieved man I guess... This is actually little weird - I never liked ponting but for some strange reason - I feel a little sry 4 him... anyways Life moves on...

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 5:37 GMT)

Better late than never. Having said that ponting should take this as blessing in disguise & try to regain his composure physically & more importantly mentally. had it not been for injury- excuse, his dropping would have been humiliating for a player of such calibre. this certainly is not an end of road for him. He certainly has cricket left in him. I think he will be back to business with a bang. World cricket is more exciting now with lot of even competing teams[eng, ind, SA, PAK] and that's how it should be. Australia should accept that monopoly in cricket cant last forever! they r still a force to reckon with. GAME ON! CRICKET

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 5:35 GMT)

I am not a Ponting basher, but most of them will agree with me if i say that PunterĀ“s decision making ability throughout this Aussie summer is not commendable. Selection of Phil Hughes, playing with 4 seamers, putting himself on top of the batting order even when he is out of form, etc.. now Clarke to lead the team???? huh.. gimme a break...

Posted by Philsy on (December 30, 2010, 5:21 GMT)

Tough for Ponting, but it was only a matter of time before he was dropped anyway, time to leave the scene gracefully. And a difficult job for Michael Clarke, not to mention Khawaja, not the easiest thing to do, make your test debut at the tail end of a dismal effort. Will Clarke just be a caretaker captain? Time and his own form will tell. The current problem with the Aussie team is there is not much competition for places, which can probably lead to complacency-just goes to show they had an embarrassment of riches in the 90s-mid noughties, nearlymen like Brad Hodge and Darren Lehmann would've been regulars in the current squad. Looking at current first class stats in Australia, as well, the depth isn't there at present, but it's probably not a long term problem if you consider that many of the game's greats have come from Down Under.

Posted by akheel_aa on (December 30, 2010, 5:15 GMT)

It would be a really ridiculous decision from CA if they decide to remove Ponting from Tests. He needs to be cleared of the burden of Captaincy and should be allowed to show his potential as a pure batsman. There is a lot more left in Ponting as a batsman to offer to Australian Cricket. Ponting should now take a good break to refresh himself and comeback with a fresh mindset. Cricket world needs a legendary no. 3 batsman to go on a high.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 5:14 GMT)

A New Era of Australian Cricket.... its Khawaja Time !!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 5:09 GMT)

even thought out of form and injury i think ponting has the potential to be back in the team once injury heals. all he needs is one good innings sooner or later.

Posted by WC2011Champs on (December 30, 2010, 5:09 GMT)

This is called "eking out" a career (Chapell brothers listening?). It has been over 3 years since his use-by date expired. No doubt he used to be a good bat starting at 80 for 1 or 125 for 1 and assured of stronger batting order to follow for a decade. He does not have that luxury anymore and is exposed. Unlike Sachin's case this time both brothers are looking at his past performance and dreaming about his return to form.

Posted by Praszzgsk on (December 30, 2010, 5:04 GMT)

I think ponting should fully recover before comes back, and Cleark as captain?

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 4:44 GMT)

Is he really injured?? is he really hurt??? hurt finger or hurt his heart... I guess finger is just the reason.. HE HAS BEEN DROPPED"

Posted by satanswish on (December 30, 2010, 4:38 GMT)

Did Ricky hit the wall by frustration & got his finger fractured? Broken finger is just an excuse to skip the final test, which is again gonna be nail in the coffin for Aussies. Maybe he played his last test match at MCG.

Unfortunately Aussies don't have worthy replacement at the moment. Only capable player seems to Michael Hussey but he have limited number of years left with him. Shane Watson could be better choice.

Posted by longdonkey on (December 30, 2010, 4:38 GMT)

Australia17594 on (December 30 2010, 00:25 AM GMT) moans "Stop complaining about NSW players. The reason they are chosen is because they are the best in Australia. Name a batsman that has better talent than khawaja?? Name a bowler better than Starc, HAzlewood, copeland? YOu can't." I don't think anyone is complaining about Khawaja getting picked although he's not proven at international level but the NSW cricket mafia would have us believe that the best 6 opening batsmen in the country are from NSW. And if you're that good why has NSW only won 3 Sheffield Shields out of the last 16 years. Meanwhile you have 6 NSW bowlers in the WC squad and the mafia complains that Bracken and Hazelwood aren't included. Name a bowler better than Starc, HAzlewood, copeland? Here's a list Johnson, Siddle, Harris, Hilfenhaus, Bollinger, Faulkner, Swan, Butterworth, Pattinson, George, Hastings, Wright, Dorey and Duffield.

Posted by only_india_1 on (December 30, 2010, 4:32 GMT)

I think this is CA's tactic to sack ponting, they can't just sack him as he is the player of high calibre, but they have to do it in the benefit of team, so here they have a very good reason to back their decision...well let see how thing goes for Ponting as far as his test career is concerned. Good luck punter!!!!

Posted by jtstriker9 on (December 30, 2010, 4:28 GMT)

And so it begins, the end of the once great Ricky Ponting. Such a shame he has to face the ignominy of a broken little pinky possibly ending his test career. I'm sure he will lead the aussies at the WC, but i dont think they'll win anyway. But all hail one of the best batsmen of all time. Only Tendulkar and Lara have matched the same level of greatness in the modern era (maybe Dravid & Kallis too?). Let's just hope there's plenty of juice left in Sachin's tank too. All the best mate!!

Posted by sillybouncer on (December 30, 2010, 4:20 GMT)

Great player having tuff time. its life but don't forget his achievements.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 4:20 GMT)

"The past four Tests have shown that Australia need big scores from their top six to survive against England and it is a tough ask for a debutant to provide such leadership to an ailing outfit."

Yes, but the real issue is that Australia have to look long-term. We may well lose in Sydney but the bigger picture is about giving younger players a go.

Australia's inability to look to the long-term and plan succession is what has gotten us into this mess.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 4:20 GMT)

My ausie XI for sydney test. 1-Watson (capt),2-Cosgrove,3- Khawaja,4-Cleark, 5-Hussey, 6-Marsh, 7-Haddin, 8-Hauritz, 9-Johnson, 10-Siddle,11-Cameron/Swan.

Strong batting list ( 7 bat nd 2 alround), Strong balling attck 6 ballers including two spiners.

Posted by Varsan on (December 30, 2010, 4:19 GMT)

Well, a good oppurtunity to ease Ricky out of the team citing fitness over form. This has Greg Chappel tactics written all over it. Reminds me of the way Ganguly was initially eased out of the team and then "dropped" ater Dravid had been in place and performing well. Now all it takes is for a stand in captain to perform well in the Sydney test. I believe the downfall of the team started from the Harbhajan singh episode in the Sydney test and its a return to the same place that offers an oppurtunity to start all over again. Haddin as captain or even Cameroon White as captain should start with a complete overhaul of the team and new blood like Usman and Mitchell Starc coming into the lineup. Reminds me of the overhaul the South African team had after the 2003 world cup. we need a strong Australian team back in the international circuit soon.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 4:18 GMT)

Ponting should have opted out of the MCG test, but he did not. Now maybe his test career is over. Australia should appoint either Hussey or Watson as captain. They have leadership capabilities and they think on their feet. Clark would be the wrong selection. Clark is loyal deputy and that is what he must remain.

Posted by SuzieWong on (December 30, 2010, 4:18 GMT)

Like him or not, Ponting has done and given a lot for Australian cricket over the years and should be given the chance when he's fit to win his hundredth test match.

Posted by TonyMH on (December 30, 2010, 4:18 GMT)

Beyond dispute that Ponting's Australians have had Ashes struggles & must rebuild. But let's add some perspective and fact to the situation. The Age Sport front page "...captaining Australia to an Ashes series defeat for the third time...'' not factual (yes - it may eventually be true) Age writer Jamie Pandaram: "...first skipper since 1890 to lose the Ashes three times..." is just false The facts are: 2005: Aust failed to retain the Ashes losing a close series 2-1 2006/2007: Aust regained the Ashes in a whitewash 5-0 2009: Aust failed to retain the Ashes losing in the decider 2-1 2010/2011: Aust has failed to regain the Ashes and trails the series 2-1 clearly the inferior side but still with a chance of levelling the series. If Australia wins in Sydney Ponting will have won 1 Ashes series, drawn 1 and lost 2 (surrendered Ashes twice - regained them once) Tests won 9 lost 6 drawn 5. Gaps between teams with Ponting as (c) small over time; failures drastically overstated

Posted by janardhan55 on (December 30, 2010, 4:15 GMT)

Good luck ponting ,I hope he comes back to play test matches.

Posted by Dismayed on (December 30, 2010, 4:10 GMT)

Cameron White or David Hussey must come in to Captain the side. Hopefully Copeland or Pattinson and Steve O'keefe also come into the eleven to be part of the attack of Johnson,S.Smith and unfortunately Siddle. So it would be Khawaja,Watson, D.Hussey, C.White, M.Hussey,Haddin,Smith,O'keefe,Johnson,Siddle,Copeland/Pattinson. Time for complete clean out.

Posted by popcorn on (December 30, 2010, 4:10 GMT)

Who does Peter English think he is to create a sense of foreboding that Ricky Ponting may not play another Test when formewr greats like Allan Border and Greg Chappell and Rodney Hogg firmly believe he should continue as capotain for 2 years more so that he can mentor the young blood - as he has done so convincingly by leading an inexperienced side to South Africa in February - March 2009 and beating South Africa 2 -1?

Posted by Magchennai on (December 30, 2010, 4:07 GMT)

Please make Haddin the next captain. Clark is not gonna help Australia at all. He made them believe that he is worthy as Captain, but there ends his advertisement. He can't be a captain at all..

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 4:06 GMT)

Its always sad to see such a great player struggle so much. Besides the usual mantra that "he as captain lost several great players due to retirement 3 years ago blah blah" I think a huge reason for Ricky's downfall is his "arrogance".

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 4:05 GMT)

End of an era! Sad day for cricket indeed.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 4:03 GMT)

Punter was a soldier.... certainly not now..,

Posted by Okakaboka on (December 30, 2010, 3:56 GMT)

Come on Selectors...It HAS to be Cameron White!! The is NO WAY ON LIVING EARTH that Clarke can be named captain. If the selectors pick Clarke given what we have seen this summer as well as captaincy efforts in the one dayers, then they are admitting to have IQs ranging to idiocy levels. Surely White is a long term prospect....try him out. The point is find out now...why give it to an old fart who is only an interim Captain. White should have always been in the team and Clarke should be dropped..end of story. Come on Chappel and Hilditch...get those little wheels turning...don't listen to the NSW cricket mafia...woops..forgot...your the grandfather of that organization!!!!!! Not even the NSW public want your little dongle boy captain!

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 3:52 GMT)

Broken finger ,...........and broken spirit . Chappell's suggestion is correct he should resign he's served his time . Now its gone , i dont wanna see another example of great captains like saurav ganguli and steve waugh to be thrown out of the team ......just leave with your pride else you loose everything your captaincy and your pride your spirit ...all

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 3:51 GMT)

"Ricky Ponting may never play another Test ....." That if indeed true would be a sad thing. I remember how he thrashed us in 2003 World Cup final. All things aside he is a great batsmen and deserves at least couple of more prolific seasons. Good Luck to him.

Posted by Rusty_1 on (December 30, 2010, 3:50 GMT)

I personally think the MCG Test was the last time we will see Ponting as captain of the Test team. The selectors have told him to have a rest and clear his mind & we will see him return (as capt) for the last 2-3 ODI's against England to prepare for the world cup in Feb. The finger injury is just an excuse. He will retire from ODI cricket and as test captain after the world cup - and he will hope that Australia win it a 4th time as his send off. I am sure we will see him continue on as a specialist batsman for as long as his form is good ala Tendulkar. He will bat lower down the order (4th/5th). Australia should take this chance to renew the side, but I doubt they will. The side SHOULD be (in order of batting): Marsh, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Hussey, Watson, Haddin, Smith, Johnson, Siddle, Bollinger - Hilfy 12th. But the selctors seem reluctant to move Watson even though he is statistically one of the best allrounders going round in 2010 (Bat 730 runs @ 43 & Bowl 19 wickets @ 27)

Posted by janardhan55 on (December 30, 2010, 3:44 GMT)

We may have seen the end of ponting in MCG.If he fails to impress in worldcup then he will have no chance of playing in future tests for AUS

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 3:44 GMT)

Good bye Mr. Ponting. Good luck.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 3:41 GMT)

Broken finger or broken morale ?

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 3:35 GMT)

About time Usman Khawaja was included in the 11.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 3:30 GMT)

oh snap!! feel sorry/rooting for him..wl never see his 100th test victory..now ppl hav reasons to equate him(99) wd bradman(99.96).

Posted by avinashhot009 on (December 30, 2010, 3:28 GMT)

ricky ponting may not add to his 152 appearances is a lil concern to him n his fans.but i personally think dat he is done wid his job in d baggy green .time for the australian cricket to find a new face .may be huseey fits in the job quiet well :)

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 3:24 GMT)

Still would like to see Phil Jacques open instead of Phil Hughes, and then either David Hussey or Chris Rogers down the order.

Posted by khija on (December 30, 2010, 3:22 GMT)

Khawaja will need to train very hard in order to succeed against England. One of the worlds top batsman, Ricky Ponting has been failing against the English attack, so it will take quite a bit of hard work to score some valuable runs for Australia.

Cricinfo team: Is Simon Katich going to be playing in the SCG test match?

Posted by mattyboy95 on (December 30, 2010, 3:17 GMT)

great to see Kwajha there, but very sad to see a great legend possibly ending his test carear. The last of the great Aussie's may have left.

Posted by Philapal on (December 30, 2010, 3:12 GMT)

Glad to see Ponting out....!

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 3:12 GMT)

This reminds me of the classic Beyond the Fringe sketch, in which Perkins is sent off on a suicide mission. "Goodbye, sir. Or is it 'au revoir'?" "No, Perkins. It's 'goodbye'!" Just substitute Ponting for Perkins. He's not coming back.

Posted by karansagar on (December 30, 2010, 3:10 GMT)

This maybe the worst let-down for Australia in years. Ricky may have had a hard time this year but that does not mean he is loosing it. Ponting is the best captain in the world of international cricket. Mark my words Australia will lose the match without Ricky (or get the match drawn)

Posted by landl47 on (December 30, 2010, 3:08 GMT)

I'll be charitable and say I believe the story. It's a sad note on which to leave the team for Ponting; I don't see why Australia would go back to him as captain when it's obvious the team needs a new start. He's been a great batsman and always competed hard. Unfortunately, his legacy as a captain will be that he took over a great side and left a side in disarray. Still, at this time we should remember his many great innings. As for Khawaja- how did he get on in the match for Australia A against England?fi

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 3:07 GMT)

hahaha!!! ws dyin to hear this for a long long tym!!! :)

Posted by Mervo on (December 30, 2010, 3:07 GMT)

Not Clarke please .... so many Australians will abandon this team if he is captain. Show some intelligence for goodness sake.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 3:02 GMT)

As expected!!! Finally Cricket Australia has taken the bold step!!!

Posted by gogoldengreens on (December 30, 2010, 3:02 GMT)

Don't make Clarke test captain he should be out on his ear - last time he was dropped he went away and became hungry again - let him go for the limited over games as well his scoring rates resemble a snail... Pick a short term test captain say Haddin/Hussey and make Cameron White the long term ODI & 20/20 captain - White is well proven with his limited over captaincy tactics.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 3:00 GMT)

Such a sad end to an amazing career !!! Boasting a record which rivals the best of the game, it is probably unfair !!! But would really love to see him make a comeback and then retire keeping dignity intact !!!

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 2:54 GMT)

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS>>>>>>>>>So HAPPY PONTIng is out...Now Aussies can start winning again.brave me make Khawaja also the Captain

Posted by Chamindra on (December 30, 2010, 2:52 GMT)

This was bound to happen.. feel sorry for Ponting But for Aussies to Move On.. He should Go.. PS: Clarke should have been dropped too.. Hussey is the best candidate for Captaincy..

Posted by   on (December 30, 2010, 2:46 GMT)

Life is a great Leveller.

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