Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney December 30, 2010

There goes Ponting the Test hero

When thinking and grumbling about Ricky Ponting in his current state, don't forget that he has been Australia's best batsman since Bradman
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If this is the Test end for Ricky Ponting - and it almost certainly is - it is not the way he deserved to go. Cricket doesn't always let the greats choreograph their departures and there will be no traditional SCG farewell for Australia's best batsman since Bradman. Don't forget that when thinking and grumbling about Ponting in his current state.

He may have been a limited captain with an equally basic team in his final two years, but Ponting, 36, was a modern master for more than a decade. He was not flashy and magnetic like Lara, or mistake-free like Tendulkar, just technically pure and unfashionably hungry.

Ponting was a kid who stepped into the team with 96 on debut against Sri Lanka in 1995-96 and walked back into the dressing room with rare fury following a terrible lbw decision. A batsman who would hook and pull when most others considered the shot too risky. A stylist who would spend as much time driving through the covers as lying under them. A tiny man who became a batting giant.

There were intermittent bad choices on and off the field, but he matured into the most successful run-maker in Australia's side and as a captain was on the verge of reaching statesman status. He has been in charge of the side's most painful defeats of the past 15 years, but he was always calm, honest and engaging when dissecting what went wrong. In Sydney today he laughed when someone asked him if he needed his eyes checked. Until lately he was always loveable with the bat, but it took time to adore him as a man.

Handed the captaincy in 2004, Ponting knew Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and a batch of other first-rate performers would soon be retiring. He stood up and held the team together for longer than most expected. When the slide came quickly he still he wouldn't give up. These were his men and he would stick with them. Even yesterday at the MCG he was talking about how desperate he was to push them back towards the top, more determined than deluded.

His record currently stands at 12,363 runs at 53.51 in 152 Tests, with 99 victories. There have been 39 Test centuries, but none since January, and he added just 113 runs in his eight Ashes innings over the past month. Watching him it was easy to recall The Foofighters' song Hero.

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He's ordinary

Sadly, Ponting has been ordinary for more than a year. A move down the order might have saved him, but it took a barren streak, a broken finger and another Ashes disappointment to consider a switch. Like the emu and the kangaroo, which stare at each other on the crest of the baggy green, Ponting was unable to go backwards.

The deterioration of his little-finger injury, which he sustained in the third Test in Perth, has saved the selectors from a major decision over how to handle the captain. A doctor has made the choice for them and it is most likely the panel won't have to meet to pick a Test team until August. By then the emotional attachment to Ponting will have weakened.

Of course he will always be the captain whose only Ashes victory in four campaigns was the 5-0 whitewash in 2006-07. But when thinking of his batting, overlook his troubles in this series and remember that he has been virtually peerless as a run-maker for most of his adult life.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 5, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    Hahaha...here we go again. No matter what the context is the Indians are gonna talk about viru, ghambir..lol.

  • balajik1968 on January 4, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    It is sad if this is indeed the end of the road for Ponting. I don't see him coming back. He looks defeated as captain and is too proud to play under someone his junior. I don't know about getting a second wind like Tendulkar. Tendulkar went through the process of retooling his game for quite a long time, before it came together in the 2007 Australia tour. The change in approach was quite visible. I haven't seen Ponting do something like that. Talking about his captaincy Sydney 2008 was the turning point for him. The way he escalated the Symonds Harbhajan incident was not something a cooler head would have done. In the process he lost Symonds. As captain his handling of players left much to be desired. The way Tait, Hodge, Lee and others have fallen away shows it. A great batsman, a reasonably good captain, but no statesman. But, all said and done Punter deserves better. Will Australia give it to him?

  • harshthakor on January 3, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    If he retires it is a great loss to the game.Statistically,the best Aussie sbatsman of all after Don Bradman.He played pure fast bowling better than Lara or Tendulkar and at times reminded one of the ferocity of Viv Richards.Ponting at his peak scored in Bradmanesque fashion Infact at one stage he statistically outperformed Tendulkar averaging over58+runs when passing the 800,9,000 and 10,000 run marks and looked set to even surpass Tendulkar.

    Overall I still fel that Greg Chappell was the 2nd best batsman of Australia after Bradman,considering the attacks he faced and the era which he played in.Remember the World Series Stats.I will remember Ponting as the best player of pace bowling after Viv Richards and the best match-winner with Inzamam Ul-Haq of the modern era.

  • prasad.mandali on January 3, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    Hi, everyone must remember that neither any of the captains in the history of cricket has as best as batting track records as like as ponting, so there is nothing to comment on ponting and about his batting, ok, even sachin, lara, kallis and many other batsment do not make best themselves as a leader. So by all these aspects PONTING IS THE BEST. Of course about umpiring decission, if India had taking reveiwing system, they wouldn't have won any of the series with they won now.

  • on January 2, 2011, 19:59 GMT

    Mr.Peter, I didn't understand 'he has been virtually peerless as a run-maker for most of his adult life.' Really? What about waugh brothers, gilchrist, heydan , hussey etc.? Were they not scoring runs? That line better suits for sachin, lara, injamam etc.

  • on January 2, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    PUNTER is always one of a greatest player to have played cricket as a Captain & a batsman. He is still second greatest after Don. Modern day Gladiator.

  • katwash on January 2, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    What makes me laugh, is the comments on here about Ponting getting preferential treatment from umpires, and surprise suprise Tendulkar getting alot of bad decisions. I suspect these comments are most likely from fans whose team has been on the receiving end of a Ponting inspired Aussie victory ie World Cup 2003. In fact, the disdain shown for Ponting on here, has more to to with his success over his career in all forms of the game. From a unbiased cricket fan, well done Ricky!!

  • on January 2, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    It is true Ponting has been lucky with Umpiring decisions throughout his career. By and large, Australians have benefited from incorrect umpiring decisions. Tendulkar on the other hand has suffered from poor umpiring decisions.

  • Laxman.Prabhu on January 1, 2011, 14:09 GMT

    Ponting and Tendulkar have been the best players for me. I both rank them equally and the stats or their recent performances dont bother me. Even if both retire today they will be my favorites. Although a die hard sachin fan, i have always loved seeing ricky play. No matter what the situation is he was always positive and always played positive cricket, he always stood out as a batsmen in the australian team. I think its wrong to count ponting out, players have a bad phase. I am very sure that ricky will bounce back, dont count him out yet. He still has a couple of years of cricket left at least as a batsman if not as a captain.

  • on January 1, 2011, 1:08 GMT

    To Ramanathan/ prashant and others - Let us give Ponting the respect he deserves. He was possibly the best batsmen of this decade (yepp Kallis, tendulkar, dravid and few others equally did well) - Ponting was possibly the most telling in both test and One day format.

    Like any great batsmen, there are these ordinary spells of form and obviously the tasks of picking up and re-shaping the Oz team is also affected his batting form. Only possible shortfall is that He could not emulate Border in re-configuring the oz team. for all india - let us wait and see how we rebuild after Tendulkar, dravid and Laxman in next 2-3 yrs. Once we can do that - we have right to comment on Ponting.

  • on January 5, 2011, 16:03 GMT

    Hahaha...here we go again. No matter what the context is the Indians are gonna talk about viru, ghambir..lol.

  • balajik1968 on January 4, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    It is sad if this is indeed the end of the road for Ponting. I don't see him coming back. He looks defeated as captain and is too proud to play under someone his junior. I don't know about getting a second wind like Tendulkar. Tendulkar went through the process of retooling his game for quite a long time, before it came together in the 2007 Australia tour. The change in approach was quite visible. I haven't seen Ponting do something like that. Talking about his captaincy Sydney 2008 was the turning point for him. The way he escalated the Symonds Harbhajan incident was not something a cooler head would have done. In the process he lost Symonds. As captain his handling of players left much to be desired. The way Tait, Hodge, Lee and others have fallen away shows it. A great batsman, a reasonably good captain, but no statesman. But, all said and done Punter deserves better. Will Australia give it to him?

  • harshthakor on January 3, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    If he retires it is a great loss to the game.Statistically,the best Aussie sbatsman of all after Don Bradman.He played pure fast bowling better than Lara or Tendulkar and at times reminded one of the ferocity of Viv Richards.Ponting at his peak scored in Bradmanesque fashion Infact at one stage he statistically outperformed Tendulkar averaging over58+runs when passing the 800,9,000 and 10,000 run marks and looked set to even surpass Tendulkar.

    Overall I still fel that Greg Chappell was the 2nd best batsman of Australia after Bradman,considering the attacks he faced and the era which he played in.Remember the World Series Stats.I will remember Ponting as the best player of pace bowling after Viv Richards and the best match-winner with Inzamam Ul-Haq of the modern era.

  • prasad.mandali on January 3, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    Hi, everyone must remember that neither any of the captains in the history of cricket has as best as batting track records as like as ponting, so there is nothing to comment on ponting and about his batting, ok, even sachin, lara, kallis and many other batsment do not make best themselves as a leader. So by all these aspects PONTING IS THE BEST. Of course about umpiring decission, if India had taking reveiwing system, they wouldn't have won any of the series with they won now.

  • on January 2, 2011, 19:59 GMT

    Mr.Peter, I didn't understand 'he has been virtually peerless as a run-maker for most of his adult life.' Really? What about waugh brothers, gilchrist, heydan , hussey etc.? Were they not scoring runs? That line better suits for sachin, lara, injamam etc.

  • on January 2, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    PUNTER is always one of a greatest player to have played cricket as a Captain & a batsman. He is still second greatest after Don. Modern day Gladiator.

  • katwash on January 2, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    What makes me laugh, is the comments on here about Ponting getting preferential treatment from umpires, and surprise suprise Tendulkar getting alot of bad decisions. I suspect these comments are most likely from fans whose team has been on the receiving end of a Ponting inspired Aussie victory ie World Cup 2003. In fact, the disdain shown for Ponting on here, has more to to with his success over his career in all forms of the game. From a unbiased cricket fan, well done Ricky!!

  • on January 2, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    It is true Ponting has been lucky with Umpiring decisions throughout his career. By and large, Australians have benefited from incorrect umpiring decisions. Tendulkar on the other hand has suffered from poor umpiring decisions.

  • Laxman.Prabhu on January 1, 2011, 14:09 GMT

    Ponting and Tendulkar have been the best players for me. I both rank them equally and the stats or their recent performances dont bother me. Even if both retire today they will be my favorites. Although a die hard sachin fan, i have always loved seeing ricky play. No matter what the situation is he was always positive and always played positive cricket, he always stood out as a batsmen in the australian team. I think its wrong to count ponting out, players have a bad phase. I am very sure that ricky will bounce back, dont count him out yet. He still has a couple of years of cricket left at least as a batsman if not as a captain.

  • on January 1, 2011, 1:08 GMT

    To Ramanathan/ prashant and others - Let us give Ponting the respect he deserves. He was possibly the best batsmen of this decade (yepp Kallis, tendulkar, dravid and few others equally did well) - Ponting was possibly the most telling in both test and One day format.

    Like any great batsmen, there are these ordinary spells of form and obviously the tasks of picking up and re-shaping the Oz team is also affected his batting form. Only possible shortfall is that He could not emulate Border in re-configuring the oz team. for all india - let us wait and see how we rebuild after Tendulkar, dravid and Laxman in next 2-3 yrs. Once we can do that - we have right to comment on Ponting.

  • aracer on December 31, 2010, 22:32 GMT

    @ManjuEleven of course you can assign probabilities to scenarios. Are you really suggesting that on the basis of the evidence of the series so far there's just as much chance of Clarke succeeding with the bat and also winning the test as of him failing with the bat (again) and losing the test? Admittedly I am being a bit mischievous and suggesting the latter is by far the most likely outcome, but if you really think the former is just as likely then I suggest you head down the bookies, as I'm sure you can get quite good odds on that.

  • nuzrai on December 31, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    make white captain for odi and t2o. clarke should captain test team. play ponting as a batsman in all forms

  • ramanathanindiafans on December 31, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    According to me Ponting is a very much overrated player, he is a flat track bulley, atleast 15 centuries hit by ponting are with the help of umpires like david shepherd, steve dunne & steve bucknor,i still remember the adelaide test against india in which ponting scored a double in first innings, there he was plumb lbw when he was 30 odd shepherd gave him life, he intimidates umpires like anything& thinks himself as above the game, he changes opinion to suit him,best example is udrs, when Australia used to get favorable decision he supported umpire giving call, he went on to the extend of claimed catches given by fielders must be given out, when umpires started giving marginal decision in favor opposition, he started supporting refferal. He deserves humiliating exit for ponting from cricket, because at best he should be remembered as a good batsman with great fielding abilities, according to me damyn martyn & mark waugh are miles ahead of him in terms of class.

  • yorkerguru on December 31, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    come on... till August PUNTER has his time for rehabilitation... He's the only guy who could challenge Sachin's records in the present era of Test match and one day cricket... He can make a come back... I have trust in him... He may be brought down from captaincy (But from what happened to Seve waugh... it's difficult) but his batting cn aleays be improved and he'll start performin.. Punter has got lots of cricket left in him... It'ld be very sad if the Aussie selection commitee drops a LEGEND so abruptly...

    He's a hero because he has captained a side successfuly without the mcgrath, warne and haydo and langer... it's difficult...

  • jay57870 on December 31, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    "Turn out the lights; The Party's Over". Watching Ponting, I am reminded of this line (from Willie Nelson's song) which the late commentator Don Meredith would render like a swan song on ABC's Monday Night Football whenever a game was seemingly over. Fait accompli: Actually, Ricky's fate as captain should have been decided in 2008 after the infamous SCG Test. Many felt he should have been fired then. In Peter's own commentary "Open your eyes, Ricky", he admonished Ponting for the "contentious catching rulings, sledging, poor sportsmanship, persistent appeals on flagging umpires, and ungracious celebrations". Sadly for Ricky, with his Jekyll & Hyde-type persona, he has chosen to let the ugly side get the better of him. Equally dark, he's lost his great batting form. It's coming home to roost. But who knows? Maybe he'll learn to adapt and reinvent himself like Sachin Tendulkar. Maybe he'll rise from the Ashes and become the batting Hero he once was. It ain't over till it's over, right?

  • bijusportsfan on December 31, 2010, 9:17 GMT

    @beakyjonjo: I have already stated Ponting is world class and one of the best i have seen. BUT, he has scored next to nothing (by his standards) in the "batting friendly conditions in India" like you suggested, even after 4 series. You cant have it both ways. Tendulkar and Dravid has equal or better averages away from Home (India). Please check facts before you write an opinion.

  • on December 31, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    "don't forget that he has been Australia's best batsman since Bradman." so why was he excluded from your all-time XI in favour of Border and Chappell? Statements like that are quite telling, everyone loves you when you're dead, and punter's dead.

  • on December 31, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    It is sad that Ponting is going like this. I somehow feel that Astralian cricket desperately needs him. Clarke is struggling too and seems too flippant and casual as a captain and a player. Give me an aging , grouchy Punter any day! Remember too Ponting's great world cup record. Part of three winning teams, leading two triumphs and being part of 29 unbeaten world cup games. Yes, he can bat lower down the order, yes he can play as a player only but play he must. The young batsman need a hero to look up to and in my mind at least Ponting is just that. To come out of a drinking problem, to grow up, to lose McGrath, Warne, Hayden, Langerm Gilchrrist and even McGill not to mention Brett Lee and still compete is a commentary on his fighting qualities. Never a backward step , that is what makes Ponting what he is, a fighter to the very end. sridhar

  • ashish514 on December 31, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    "Tendulkar and dravid have scored most of their runs on batting friendly pitches in India" @beakyjonjo- Check out their performance anywhere outside India, it has been equally good if not better, admittedly except in SA. In Australia, Tendulkar averages more than he does in India and also a tad more than what Ponting averages in australia . And finally check Ponting's record on those "batting friendly" wickets in India and then eat your own words. That by no means was attempting to belittle Ponting's achievements, the sheer grit and confidence makes me his fan.Only my patriotic partiality would stop me to rate him better than Dravid and very close to Lara and Tendulkar. @dyogesh- Come on man!!! Ganguly is way down the list of great batsmen , don't be so partial. As a captain though, he is just below Waugh , Imran Khan and Stephen Fleming (among those I've seen )

  • Psyc_s on December 31, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    @beakyjonjo-I have question to ask you, "A batting friendly pitch" is common to both the playing teams, when you say Sachin & Dravid have mostly scored in batting friendly pitches, do you mean that touring team comes to play in sub-continent with 11 bowlers? don't they have batsman to play on batsmen friendly pitches? With all due respect for Ponting, If he is a great batsman then why do he have only one century in so many outing there and had suffered worse than his peers from other countries? (In six outings @ so called Indian Batting friendly pitches, here are series averages 1]13.50, 2]21.00, 3]3.40, 4]38.00, 5]56.00) Opinions will never be same between people but when you are talking about proven individuals, you should have numbers supporting you...

  • on December 31, 2010, 4:20 GMT

    @beakyjonjo, I agree with you that Ponting is definetly one of the all time greats. But why did u say that Sachin and Dravid scored runs in batting friendly pitches in India? Did you take a look at Sachin's and Ponting's Test runs? Sachin scored more runs in foreign test matches thatn what Ponting scored. Ponting scored 50% of his test match runs in Australia where he was born and learned cricket. Why did he fail to score runs in India if the pitches in India are batting friendly? Ponting always had a great bowling unit to make sure that even if he scores a fifty or hundred Australia end up winning the match. But in case of Sachin he never enjoyed that Luxury. Look at ponting now. After Glenn and Shane's retirement he is struggling to keep his place in the team. So the bottom line is you win a test match only if you are having bowlers who can take 20 wickets in a match and no matter how great a batsman you are.

  • Fieryorc on December 31, 2010, 4:03 GMT

    Beakyjonjo. You say that only Tendulkar, Lara and maybe Dravid can rival Ponting. Do not forget about Kallis. Of the top 5 run scorers, on a per innings average - runs divided by innings - Lara leads the averages at 51.52, followed by Tendulkar at 50.46. Kallis at 47.85 is ahead of Ponting at 47.73, with Dravid following at 46.79. Kallis certainly did not score most of his runs on batting friendly pitches either! Ponting is certainly world class, but his pedigree does not top the list of current players!

  • ManjuEleven on December 31, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    Aracer, You are having a interesting point but I beg to differ. If you give weighted ratings to the possibility then any one can prove any % of chances. But you have to equal ratings since I am not giving if he score that much or this many runs. So there is only if they score well considering the match result and importance of the scores. So it is equal wieghtage on all 4 possibilities and looks like Ricky and you have to live with that chances........... But even with that I wish he will come back as a batsman and give Tendulkar and Dravid run for their chase. Otherwise those two will become #1 and #2 (not that I envy them) greatest scorers. He is there with them. But comparing his winning rate as a captain and Tendulkars and Dravids is not correct it is not apple to apple. Come if you have a team of Warne, Gilly, Hayden, Mcgrath anybody can become captain and win matches. Listen to Chappel beautiful comments - England can afford "Collingwood" (and his failures), they have good team.

  • Johnnnno on December 31, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    Ponting was indeed an amazing batsman, but like all great people they have no idea when to bow out gracefully. His selfish desire to play another Ashes series in England in 4 years time is what's caused this sad demise. Most great sports people are missing an accolade or 2, Steve Waugh and India for example. Suck it up and accept that you can't do everything. Ricky, you have no one to blame but yourself. Unfortunately you'll depart the way that boof head from Queensland Hayden did, looking like a sad fool and in an ignominious fashion. Yes a great batsman but a captain that was made to look a hell of a lot better due to the 2 best bowlers that have played the game for years, McGrath and Warne.

  • SA_Scot on December 31, 2010, 1:47 GMT

    I think those who are insightful sports followers are easily differentiated from those who are purely subjective and partisan "followers". To suggest that Ponting isn't a "great" or only gets good when "the going is good" is just dellusional thinking and demonstrates poor deduction.

    I'm not a massive fan of Ricky Ponting myself, purely based on his on-field demeanour as I have no other insight into him as a person, but he is undoubtedly a sensational batter. I don't even feel the need to list his remarkable batting displays under massive pressure, because that would suggest I am paying credence to those who suggest he isn't or wasn't a modern day great. And I'm not an Australian or a supporter of their cricket team.

  • aracer on December 31, 2010, 1:29 GMT

    @beakyjonjo - Ponting _was_ world class. There are no current England players with the pedigree of Warne, and they seem to be resisting suggestions to recall him (despite the fact when he last played he was doing rather better than Ponting is right now). Form might be temporary and class permanent, but ageing is also permanent - there has to be a suspicion that at his age he's unlikely to return to his former standards. Like makemyday I'm not a Ponting fan, but agree it would be sad to see him go out like this - he deserves one last hurrah against an opposition attack who don't expose him in the way the current World Class England unit have.

  • devalyagnik2003 on December 31, 2010, 1:11 GMT

    I wrote down the same thing so many times, but stupid people wanted to read it again and again! For the ones who are saying Sachin is not a match winner, how come he gets more man of the match award (PER MATCH) in ODIs than any one else!! In test matches ofcourse one man can't do anything, and India's performance is better in Test now a days because of team work. I like Ricky (as a batsman) but than no one has right to say Sachin is not a match winner, he is having more man of the match award per match compare to even Ricky!! So if you don't know cricket its okay, go on and say whatever you want to say, but if you know cricket and still commenting like a baby then just go to hell!

  • fullglobe on December 31, 2010, 1:07 GMT

    What is it with the Ponting rants. Anyone with a Test everage +50 is one of the greats. He has consistently scored at the hardest of positions #3 coming in when we have lost an opener early and having to steady the ship and score against the new ball. I don't think he is ready to go and nor should he be, he still has a lot of runs left in him and I will be prepared to gloat when he gets them. Hurry back punter, as the ultimate team player, the team needs you.

  • on December 31, 2010, 1:05 GMT

    Why would someone argue and create a scene with the on-field umpire when the third umpire himself has given the verdict??? Tht was bloody disgraceful. I mean.... who does tht ??? Wht was he thinking??? This is not the first time that he has behaved this way. People dont care if u are under pressure or if ur dying of freakin cancer. We expect u to behave a certain way on the field and also off it as an ambassador of Australian cricket. Ponting deserves every thing thts coming to him.

  • aracer on December 31, 2010, 0:51 GMT

    @ManjuEleven - you're assuming that each of your 4 possible scenarios has equal probability. If you assess the probability of each scenario correctly, and assuming you're correct with your assessment of the outcome of each scenario, then Punter has better than 50% chance of coming back as captain, and less than 10% chance of going out completely!

  • dyogesh on December 31, 2010, 0:49 GMT

    Australia need a new leader but are they ready to do away with Ponting, the batsman ? The younger batsman in the team need a leader. Ponting's experience would be invaluable to Khwaja, Smith, Hughes and whoever comes in. It would burden Clarke if there is no one to guide the younger batsman. There is Hussey but he isn't a legend like Ponting. Young talents blossom better in the presence of legends.

    Despite the grudges against his behaviour, a legend of the game. Probably tried too hard after Sydney to be a better public personality and lost some of his winning edge. And on his place among the greats of his era, tend to go with Ganguly - just behind Lara and Tendulkar.

  • beakyjonjo on December 31, 2010, 0:47 GMT

    Ponting is world class period!! There are currently no English players with his pedigree and only Tendulkar, Lara and maybe Dravid can rival him for his contribution and amazing record as a batsman in the modern era..and Tendulkar and dravid have scored most of their runs on batting friendly pitches in India !!! The argument of "good players behind him" is a nonsense!! Anyone watching the intensity in his eyes in this series knows he doesn't go out to bat with a relaxed attitude.....and he is a big match player.. don't forget that valiant 150 that saved australia at old trafford in 2005?? Yes he is in a form slump..but form is temporary...class is permanent!!

  • mgzak on December 31, 2010, 0:34 GMT

    It's unfortunate that Ponting had to go like this...in a way it's a bit like how Lara went. I hope Tendulkar does not have to go like this when his time arrives. Anyway, I remember seeing Ponting score a double hundred at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad a few years ago and there are some things that you cannot forget in cricket....notably a great batsman dominating the opposition. That innings will truly remain etched in my memory whenever I think of Ponting. Give him his due...he was a great batsman and one who was never given his the accolades he deserved.

  • on December 31, 2010, 0:19 GMT

    Ponting is way past is prime. i guess its best for Ponting to give up the captaincy or retire from test cricket. Out of 15 years of his career he was very ordinary in 7 years; not even managing an average of 40 together. The remaining 8 years he averaged more than 65. Here are his stats

    8 Dec 95 to 7 Dec 98 21 Matches 1194 Runs @ 38.51 with 2 Centuries (First 3 Years) 8 Dec 06 to Present 45 Matches 3124 Runs @ 40.57 with 6 Centuries (Last 4 Years)

    8 Dec 98 to 7 Dec 06 86 Matches 8045 Runs @ 65.40 with 31 Centuries (8 Years)

  • makemyday on December 31, 2010, 0:04 GMT

    I am not an Australian, but it is still sad to see a great cricketer fade away. I'm no great Ponting fan, but there's no denying he's been a great batsman.....one of the all-time greats! I have a sneaky feeling he will be back to torment all his opponents, even if it is not as captain.....he does not deserve an exit like this.

  • NoCountry_for_OldMan on December 30, 2010, 22:56 GMT

    @Beazle, like crickpissek no one is paying attention to your sad diatribe. they are all greats and they have all won matches away from home unlike Sangkara or Mahela supposedly greats with no techniques against fast moving balls.

  • bijusportsfan on December 30, 2010, 22:33 GMT

    @ Beazle: ..and I thought the runs Tendulkar makes in a match count towards the team total!Maybe you didnt realise cricket is a team sport and the team total is the sum of all individual scores. There is no doubt Ponting has been a great batsman, one of the best I have seen. He may not be as consistent the last couple of years but there is no doubt about his class. I am sure he will get another chance and he would prove himself once again as the class is permanent.

  • Machozz on December 30, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    Ponting in my view, "when the going gets good, he gets going" player. For most part of his career he doesn't have to worry as there were reliable stalwarts following his wicket. In the last few years it isn't the case and his stats provide the proof. With captaincy he is pretty ordinary. Any one captained Oz would have won with McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist, Hayden, Langer etc. Now that he gets the chance to form his own team he falters. Failure is largely due to his inability to form the team and his Big EGO. What happened to Brad Hodge, Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz, Symonds, Bollinger etc.. They need to feed his ego if not they are gone. The embarassment he's going thru currently, he probably deserves it. It his own making. For aussie's resurgence there needs to be a change of guard, strong leadership and patience thru the tough times.

  • on December 30, 2010, 21:45 GMT

    Why are people seeing this as end of Ponting as test player. He surely deserves a better farewell. He is no Michael Vaughan or Saurav Ganguly. Greats like him can't be shown the door like this. He will be back and retire on his own terms. This is also good for Cricket Australia as far as WC is concerned, he will be hungry for runs and show where he belongs. I would have liked to see Haddin as captain but that's how Australia cricket goes. Very conventional!

  • rht_rex on December 30, 2010, 21:28 GMT

    Ponting was handed special team in 2004, alright. But, does it get any easier to handle a team which is already soooo successful??? What about the expectations so high. Ponting was caption in the 2 World cup with wins in all the matches...this is how Ponting responded with the team given by S Waugh. The truth is that he not only met the HUGE expectations but also exceeded the expectations and this is where he WON. Coz the reason is that it is not only a great team continuously wins you matches, especially in cricket otherwise the World Elevens would have never lost any game. I think it was even tougher. Hats off to you buddy...

  • travelingoz on December 30, 2010, 21:28 GMT

    From reading the comments below it's abundantly clear who are cricket fans and and who are true lovers, of this the most beautiful of games. If you know what I'm talking about here then you're probably one of the latter. If you need it explained then perhaps you should just click that remote, and watch the soccer or something. The facts clearly speak for themselves.

  • Yorker_ToeCrusher on December 30, 2010, 21:28 GMT

    No doubt..Ponting has been a great batsman eventhough i disliked him as a player.Over a period of time he had developed into a tough competitior and test cricket will be poorer with out him and I would be happy to say that I am privileged to watch him play test cricket at bangalore chinnaswami.Thanks

  • Beazle on December 30, 2010, 21:26 GMT

    Ponting won far more more matches than Tendulkar who is an average hog. (check SRT's number of not outs -Lara only has 6!)

    Players like Sehwag, Gilchrist, Lara and Ponting win matches - Tendulkar does not. He plays for himself.

  • ManjuEleven on December 30, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    Here are the protocols. #1. Clarke does well with bat and Wins 5th test + Khawaja bats well too = Ricky out permanently. #2. Clarke does well with bat and Wins 5th test + Khawaja fails with bat = Ricky back and accept down the order. #3. Clarke bats well and losses 5th test = Ricky back and accept down the order irrespective of Khawaja does well or not. #4. Clarke fails with bat and losses 5th test = Ricky back as captain and accept down the order, irrespective of khawaja does well or not. What say you....So, Ricky going out completely 25% chances = coming back as captain 25% chances.

  • on December 30, 2010, 20:24 GMT

    Guys, guys, This guy was no doubt a "Big Match PLayer", if you have doubts, then rewind back to 2003 WC final and you will get the answer, others may score here and there, but, when it matters most, this guy delivered, something other peers lacked. If I name them I know I would stir some backlash, A guy walks in and single handedly takes the game away is the player for me in my team, very few can do that,

  • on December 30, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    he is the hope of australia for this wc.. if he goes aus goes..

  • amitava0112 on December 30, 2010, 19:47 GMT

    Just one bad series does not make himan ordinary player..u cant be an ordinary player to be able to score 12000 test runs with agressive oriented batting..one of the best players of the pull/hook shot..it was a shame that his era did not coincide with the era of the great west indian fast bowlers of 80s..else we could have had some exciting face-offs..imagine Ponting facing Marshall, Holding at their best at the WACA or Sabina Park....hope to continue to see him playing tests for a couple of more years at least...such a big match player should go out on a high note...but now he needs to come to terms with the fact that now he should come down the order..maybe at 4..his reflexes are bound to slow down with age...even greats like Richards, Border, Waugh,G.Chappell also stepped down the order in their later yrs in test cricket...

  • 5wombats on December 30, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    @adamgilly; spot on.......

  • Sal_CricFan on December 30, 2010, 19:29 GMT

    Indeed he will be remembered as Australia's best batsman. His demise started as soon as he started to take shortcuts (i. e. Sydney 2008 against India). If you see his records, all the good scores are before January 2008. And then he comes to India and pushes Mr. Sharad Pawar to get off the presentation ceremony, which attracted more curse. He is a great batsman period, I wouldn't be writing this if he was not. But as a captain the Ausie team was too talented for him to control as a captain. I don't think he was a great captain. I mean, isn't he the one who destroyed Bret Lee's career? He expected Bret to take all 20 wickets all the time. Johnson clicked at the right time, otherwise Ponting was abourt to do a Bret Lee on his career too. I think he will be remembered for his inability to win the Ashes.

  • on December 30, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    Ponting has to cope some blame for the continued regression of Australian Cricket.He had two middle order batsmen as openers which I think was a bad move.Face it Watson will never be a world class opener.Ponting mishandled the spinners big time.He played a certain Cameron White as a spinner in tests.Kresja was discarded after a solitary blemish on a flat pitch at Perth.Australia needs to have a fresh start which can only happen with a new captain at helm.South Africa selected 22 year old Greame Smith as captain even though he was not even a year into international cricket.Australia have to find their 'Smith' for their redemption.

  • adam_clone on December 30, 2010, 19:10 GMT

    Hey Peter English! Are you an aussie? Coz there aint a reason why this article would otherwise make sense. This bloke's always been a good batsman. But thats it. Please dont put his name alongside names of gods a.k.a Sachin, Lara and the Don. He is nothing but an 'out of date' good batsman, an average captain and a very sore looser, who cries like a baby when the team loses. I mean if the whole world but the aussie fans think he's a cry baby, then surely he is. Accept it aussies !

  • on December 30, 2010, 18:57 GMT

    There's too much criticism out there for Ponting, some of it unwarranted. The Ashes are a matter of prestige and the reaction from fans and public is understandable, but the important thing to keep in mind is that this is NOT the same team which Taylor and Waugh had. That team had Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Hayden etc, each of whom were single handed match winners. If you'd play them in the Bangladesh team they would have been No. 1 too. Obviously as those players are gone Australia is becoming more vulnerable in spite of the 'Australianlism'. Don't forget that Ponting is the last of that era of great players, he is still a phenomenal batsman. Criticism of his captaincy might be valid, but he is far from done as a batsman.

  • Amol_Gh on December 30, 2010, 18:41 GMT

    @Arun Swaminathan: Ponting was just an ordinary player??? Any guy who crosses 10,000 runs and 39 centuries in Tests and blasts 5 centuries in 6 tests against a very strong SA bowling (2005-2006) is just an ordinary player ???!!

  • Amol_Gh on December 30, 2010, 18:36 GMT

    @Jignesh: Graeme Smith was not in the mid-twenties when he became captain. Infact he was the youngest SA captain when he became one at the age of 22 in 2003.

  • diss on December 30, 2010, 18:30 GMT

    Great player. Out of the amazing Australian teams he was a part of, he was always one of the better players. I don't believe in great players getting to pick their farewells. Some people are lucky enough to, but others aren't, and this shouldn't ever diminish their achievements. He played the game hard and never took a step back. I see this as a positive. And aside from his sporting achievements, you have to remember he once had an alcohol problem, acknowledged it, and put his life and career back on track. That takes great personal strength and I feel like this is a part of the man people always forget. He is an admirable human being.

  • Naren on December 30, 2010, 18:22 GMT

    Cricket is a cruel game. In 2009 Ashes, Australia was almost on the verge of victory (same with India series too) in one of the matches which should have ended the series in draw and Australia could have gone into the current series with the Ashes in hand. But not able to force victory in that match has cost Australia and Ricky so much. Several of the recent loses/series were very close. It is sad that Ricky has to cop all the blame. His on field behavior had probably added more enemies to him.

  • cricPassion2009 on December 30, 2010, 18:20 GMT

    And Ponting will do well to see how Dhoni is managing. Dhoni is not afraid to take breaks and let someone else captain the team. He returns rejuvenated to resume his captaincy. Ponting messed up by trying to be 24x7 captain, and a rigid one at that. No matter what he does he is not a better captain than his predecessors like Steve Waugh and Allan Border.

  • cricPassion2009 on December 30, 2010, 18:14 GMT

    Ponting should have emulated Pakistani Great Imran Khan - Imran was more tuned to the team situation than many will credit him. He would change the batting order at will and manage the pressure. Any x, y, z can be promoted ahead to take the pressure off. This ensured his longevity as a captain and brought out the best in his team mates. To make this short, if form worried Ponting, there was no reason why he could not have been able to move out of batting pressure temporarily.

  • palashboss on December 30, 2010, 17:50 GMT

    ponting is a class act, no doubt, but he is in a slump... let him rest his injured finger. clarke is just a stop gap solution. i hope ponting stays captain for another year and bows out gracefully after a new year test at sydney. he has not been a very good ambassador for the spirit of cricket but i admire him for his batsmanship. he is fierce and proud as well as a teamman to the core . i hope he is remembered for his positive side. this song comes to my mind "when my time comes, forget the wrongs that i have done". btw, aus need to carefully plan for the future. i dont understand why cameron white is not in the team. he is a much better no. 6 than what aus have tried in this ashes.infact, i see him as australia's skipper for all 3 formats. usman,s marsh,ferguson,wade,o'keefe,mckay have to be nurtured. they will take aus forward. will definitely take some time but no gains without pains.

  • on December 30, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    I din like ponting ever... But its true it was not a way he should have departed.. I think he should take some time of.. recover.. make a return like ganguly did and then retire with grace... Long live the hero...

  • on December 30, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    The beginning of the END of Punter!!!!!!!!

  • ash_abi on December 30, 2010, 17:25 GMT

    along with sachin, dravid, kallis, sangakara, inzamam, lara i feel ponting is a modern day great i think we are overreacting to what has happened in the Ashes its not as if all other batsman are scoring & ponting s not. first he doesnt have a good team as his predecessors had. He was there to backup steve waugh when he was in poor form but consider hs deputy pup who is unfit to be even in a state team.persist with ponting he will be back with a bang. throw chappel brothers out of criicket australia you will get a good result..........

  • phoenixsteve on December 30, 2010, 17:05 GMT

    Great player, OK captain but with an incredible test record. Poor guy has had the misfortune to meet an England team near the top of it's game at a time when his personal form has been poor. If he returns to the side after returning to form he still has a lot of runs left in him. Look out India if this is the case! Good luck Punter and enjoy some well deserved R+R. You are a class act.... if a little petulant at times!

  • mosursubramaniankailash on December 30, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    Australia's best batsman since Bradman ? is debatable.....Where does gilli, Haydos, Steve waugh feature ? Lara, Sachin and Andy flower had many failures but were always supported many people around the world. In case of ponting...Even fellow country man Ian Chappel wants his head chopped off..... why is it so ? Remember those glorious days when Aussie cricket team thrashed others with haydos,gili,mcgrath and warne....Ponting was over the moon and showed no respect towards oppenents.... Thats why they say....Game is a beautiful leveler

  • 114_in_final_Six_overs on December 30, 2010, 16:58 GMT

    @cricketpissek, you are showing your true colors here. Were you not begging for civility at Anantha's blog. We respect Ponting because he played his cricket with his heart on his sleeve. And what a great batsman he was and is. So why dont you pray that Mahela and Sangkara score few runs away from home this time. Good luck facing Tremlett, Broad, Anderson, Bresnan and few more in swinging conditions :)

  • on December 30, 2010, 16:34 GMT

    Ricky Ponting, despite his arrogance, is a geat batsman and WILL come back. I hope that after reading Ian Chappel's article, the Australians now realize that the Chapple bros are generally JEALOUS of great batsmen. They called for the head of Tendulkar, Dravid, and now Ponting...Enough said. I hope that Punter ignore these bros.

  • on December 30, 2010, 16:07 GMT

    Knowing Ricky, we are sure he is going to bounce back. He is a tenacious little cricketer who has done enough to leave the big stage on his own terms just like Sachin. Agreed that his form was patchy but you cant blame him only for the loss. One just cant score 12,000 test and ODI runs without having class. He showed those in amples against India recently when he was the lone warrior. This series has to be just one odd aberration. Sacking him is not the option. Aussies has to find couple of good openers (Hughes and Katich just arent good enough). You have to be kidding if you think Smith can be a good No. 6. If you look back, the Australian openers and the No. 6 are presently the worst amongst test playing nations (including Bangladesh). The bowling attack is 1-D to say the least. Hilly wontt get into the Mumbai Ranji team. With this line up, they are going to struggle, doesnt matter whether Ricky plays or not. But one thing's for sure,this is sure to fire him up for the WC.

  • on December 30, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    Ponting has been a great captain. He couldn't win now because his team is week. Cricket Australia should give him a great farewell. His past should be respected.

  • KishoreSharma on December 30, 2010, 16:03 GMT

    The greatest Australian batsman since Bradman? On what basis is this assertion made. This does a disservice to the likes of Steve Waugh, Greg Chappell and Allan Border, to name but a few. All of the above may have had their weaknesses, but so did Ponting. In my view, Steve Waugh will always stand out for the way the way he fought his way back into the Australian team, addressed his weaknesses against the short-pitched ball and the sheer number of memorable innings that he played under severe pressure. He would always be ahead of Ponting for me in any all-time Australian team.

  • on December 30, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    If it was his last test match, then we will surely miss u PUNTER. I see a lot of people blaming him for a lot of things, c'mon guys we should be really lucky to have seen such a great player bat. I aways think that I never had an opportunity to watch Bradman play.. Please only talk about Ponting the cricketer, not Ponting the human being.

  • CricketPissek on December 30, 2010, 15:32 GMT

    he's not done yet. he's still an AMAZINGLY TALENTED batsman. he might go on to break sachin's records

  • pitch_curator on December 30, 2010, 15:20 GMT

    @ Dax 75 -- Just becos Dhoni and Ganguly claimed illegitimate catches does not make Ponting's claims honest. Does it? He will be remembered as a great batsman but a very sore loser who will go to any lengths to win the match.

  • adamgilly on December 30, 2010, 15:16 GMT

    you won't see the happier aussie than me to read that most arrogant player from the great cricket country has shown the door...... he has disgraced us enough to sack him... all his achievements overshadowed by his arrogant, shameless behaviour....cheater...... but salute the one of the finest batsman of our times

  • SnowSnake on December 30, 2010, 14:56 GMT

    CA did give Ponting a lot of warnings so that he can retire gracefully. Ponting just did not heed to such insinuations. Even in the last Ashes many Australian players blamed him for the loss, but Ponting said that he hoped to play another Ashes in England. Loss of 4th test was final nail in the coffin. Ponting should have announced his retirement/resignation. He didn't. So, CA was left with no options. Words have meanings. Ponting predicted 5-0 whitewash and instead lost the Ashes urn. I just don't know how can anyone expect any other result than firing Ponting? This was his last test. Having him as a player would be demoralizing for any other captain as well as Ponting himself.

  • Podarite on December 30, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    Therre is No Doubt abt His Batting Ability. He is Truly one of the Greatest Batsman in the Modern Era..But his Ego & Pride have let him down,& he will be remembered more for it than his Class Batsmanship!

  • Sri999 on December 30, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    The downfall of a champion is always painful. Ponting did not have the best record of sportsman spirit but he has been a great batsman. I would have wished he got an opportunity to bow out in a graceful manner. Hope the Indian stars are watching this episode. Leave before it is too late. Do not bring disgrace upon yourselves by stretching it too long. There was a time I hated Ponting but I still feel sad for him. I hope he make a strong comeback and leaves Test cricket at a high note which he deserves.

  • Dax75 on December 30, 2010, 14:42 GMT

    @Vasi-Koosi No one cares what Indians think of Ponting. I respect him as a person and the work he does with his charity. If you don't like him cos he's apparently dishonest, look at your own backyard first. Ganguly,Dhoni and a few others all claimed catches that werent legit. Deal with it, and get over it.

  • on December 30, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    Would always remember Ponting for his knock in 2003 worldcup finals where in he single handedly won the cup! Though my own country was at receiving end:-). True batting great but would never miss his arrogance and brashness though!

  • on December 30, 2010, 14:35 GMT

    Ponting is a great batsmen in bad form. Bit like Tendulkar before his second wind. Never been a good captain though and I persist with that since he took over from Steve Waugh. The burden of captain taken off his shoulders in future matches is best, maybe with a move down the order. I know he is captaining an average side with poor selections...How Copeland is ignored ill never know, or Bollinger, or other bowlers like Butterworth not used or O'Keefe/Hauritz and maybe George/McKay. All ignored for the boys club of Siddle and Johnson who have provided great spells but not nearly as often as these bowlers perform good spells for their state. Batsmen like Marsh/Cosgrove are ignored as well. Anyway this is a go at selectors, fact is he has had average decisions like to never bowl Clark who averages 23 in test cricket and was forced to be dropped from Ponting's neglect. Great batsmen who will play until he retires even if its in the middle order and hopefully not captain like Tendulkar

  • on December 30, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    Only very few players the world get chance to contiune during the lean period. Ricky will bounce back he is a natural player.

  • Champ2000 on December 30, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    He will be back after world cup... and Roaring....I loved him as batsman and hated as person.. He was too arrogant to opposition and on and off field..

  • elcid05 on December 30, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    Never mind anything else about him - and even if he never plays another test match - Ricky ponting was/is one of cricket's modern greats. This bloke won three world cups for his country, and was part of, and led, a world beating team for close to a decade. To even, if gently, imply he piggybacked (read: no pressure while batting because blah blah) on the performances of the other world class performers in his side at any time (Glenn Mc Grath, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchirst amongst others) is being discourteous to the genius and tenacity of the man.

    An enforced rest, then a second wind, Sachin Tendulkar-like would be a beauty. In any case we of this generation were truly lucky to have two such all time greats captivate, thrill and hold us spellbound wth their performances over the last two decades.

  • Vikramaditya100 on December 30, 2010, 13:49 GMT

    Ponting the greatest Australian batsman since Bradman?? What happened to Neil Harvey, Bob Simpson, Ian Chappell, Greg Chappell, Allan Border and Steve Waugh?? Did they not play cricket at all for Australia?? No doubt Ponting is one of the greatest batsman Australia has produced and one of the best batsman of our times, but calling him the greatest since Bradman is an insult to Bradman himself and to the above mentioned greats.

  • ramj289 on December 30, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    Ponting couldn't have done much in this Ashes series considering the Mickey Mouse selections made. If anyone has to face being sacked it should Andrew Hilditch whose ideas of selecting a winning team have been quite easily undone. If he is sacked in the future, how ready is Clarke for captaincy. @Jaswanth Jash- what exactly is the point you're trying to make.

  • on December 30, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    I have no qualms when I say that - Greg Chappell and Ian Chappell are jealous of the stupendous success and delight to Aussie fans. Ponting is way way above than either of them and they just cannot stomach his success. Ponting has been a fighter and was a never a maverick like Greg, Ian or Trevor. I think the trio needs to apologize to Ponting.

  • on December 30, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    Ricky... the man that made me follow the Aussies for so long. At this point, I still see you as my hero. Love to watch you bat and love his possitive approach to cricket. His style has been the foundation under which we all enjoy test cricket today. Forcing captains to think of winning than drawing test games... The Aussy way.. Attacking in test cricket. Thats why we have more possitive results than negative. To him, I doff my hat.... Pointing, what ever happens in this series, I care not, cos you are still the true hero.

    A man that has batted at a spot for so long and as captain, let imagine him without the stress of being captain of Australia... What do we think the Records of runs getters would have looked like...... Again, I doff my hat.

  • vparisa on December 30, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    Is everyone so sure that Punter is not going to make a comeback? I am sure Ricky(along with SRT and Kallis) will retire from ODI cricket following WC 2011. But he has a long way to go in Tests. The next test series will be in August against SL and Ricky will have enough time to be fit and ready for Test Cricket. I hope this is a real injury, otherwise this is a sad sad sad way to end his test career. Ashes is a great and historic series but English and Aussie cricketers should consider it as just another series or the pressure is going to get to them. Hope to see Punter in Whites in August 2011.

  • DINESHCC on December 30, 2010, 13:30 GMT

    Ponting just left out from the squad due to an injury. It is not end of the road. But everybody, including the author of this article concluded that his career is over. How can you just like that drop one of the world's finest batsman. Still he can score many more int'l' 100s for his team. I do not know whether the Australian Cricket Board recruited any member from Pakistan Cricket Board. The Aus media also adding fuel to this issue. Aus media has to learn a lot from the Indian Media. On 21st December when India was humuliated by SA by an innings and 25 runs, all the Indian media was praising Tendulkar for his 50th useless hundred. Nobody criticized the team's worst performance. Bangladesh, WI, Pakistan, Newzealand and SL are already licking their lips to beat Aus in Aus as the Australian team has further weakened due to the dropping of Ponting. Instead of dropping Ponting you please drop Clarke so that Aus can win the Sydney test.

  • on December 30, 2010, 13:23 GMT

    guys take a break , Ponting hasnt retired from Tests , he will be back from this dark era soon... When greats like Sachin have had few dark periods ,whats wrong with him? he has been and will be the best ever captain in the whole world. stop comparing Ponting and SRT .

  • on December 30, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    I think as far as batting is concerned Ponting should look at the lean years of Tendulkar but he had a second wind about him and I see no reason why Ponting cannot do it. The best thing for him is to sit back and regroup his thoughts...Focus on the ball and let his Batting instincts take over him...He is best when attacking and with world cup is around the corner in pure batting conditions he will make runs for sure...If Australia are not able to find good bowlers it is not the mistake of Ponting...He cannot take 20 wickets all by himself...It will be unwise to question his captaincy and I am exceedingly losing respect for Ian Chappel for being commenting without sensing....

  • on December 30, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    Expect one go from the punter, sad to see a favorite cricket go in this way but gut feeling is saying he is going to a ball at the SRI LANKAN SERIES , wishing him a great world cup, you can do it PUNTER

  • Something_Witty on December 30, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    Also, for the people who are banging on about Ponting cheating and claiming catches that were unfair, that is simply rubbish. I'm sure we all remember one of India's favourite sons, Sourav Ganguly claiming a catch that bounced about a foot in front of him. And I remember watching a game in last year's IPL, Rahul Dravid nicked a ball straight to the one and only Sachin Tendulkar at first slip, Tendulkar claimed it, Dravid stood his ground, 3rd ump ruled it NOT OUT. Seriously, stop accusing him of "cheating". If he had ever cheated in his career, he would have been crucified for it. The only example that need be given is Greg Chappell and the infamous underarm incident. - That wasn't even against the rules, and boy did he cop it in the neck.

  • Something_Witty on December 30, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    I really hope this is not the end of Ponting's career. This is not how he deserves to leave the game. Say whatever you like about his captaincy and his behaviour and attitude towards the game, the fact remains that he is indisputably one of the best number 3s of all time, and among the top 3 batsmen of the modern era. And let us not forget, at his peak, he was the best of the lot.

  • crimsonbull on December 30, 2010, 12:56 GMT

    Ponting- there goes my hero-with great arrogance-he does not think he's ordinary.

  • on December 30, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    @Jaswant... Warne was the highest wicket taker in the 1999 WorldCup.

  • elephasMaximus on December 30, 2010, 12:52 GMT

    Good buy and good riddance!

  • on December 30, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    I think as far as batting is concerned Ponting should look at the lean years of Tendulkar but he had a second wind about him and I see no reason why Ponting cannot do it. The best thong for him is to sit back and regroup his thoughts...Focus on the ball and let his Batting instincts take over him...He is best when attacking and with world cup is around the corner in pure batting conditions he will make runs for sure...If Australia are not able to find good bowlers it is not the mistake of Ponting...He cannot take 20 wickets all by himself...It will be unwise to question his captaincy and I am exceedingly losing respect for Ian Chappel for being commenting without sensing....

  • on December 30, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    As a Batsman.... This Guy was a Giant.... Hope we will see him soon on Test arena... with the same vengence.... Sandeep

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on December 30, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    Ponting was good in his day, with Mcgrath and Warne to bowl the opp. out cheaply there was never as great a pressure on him to score runs when the opp had often already made a low score compared to lesser teams. Carbon fibre bats contributed too, but he was a master of the game batting wise.

    His sportsmanship has destroyed his legacy, however, and has forever sullied his name. The biggest problem for Australia now, though, is that Clarke is the worst choice for captain. Clarke lacks creativity, imagination and is a bungler in the field. Every intrernational team will be licking their lips when Clarke takes over.

  • KingPunter on December 30, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    Blunder, biggest Blunder. I simply cannot believe they are leaving Ricky out. Time for aussie cricket team to join Pakistan, NewZealand and West Indies league. A simplest solution to the situation was a shift down the order. I seriously doubt whether i will follow australian cricket with Ricky gone....

  • on December 30, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    How can one say ponting is nt gr8?????? even india,west indies n all other teams had gr8r team strengths,though they won the wc.......srilanka,pakistan,west indies nd india also.........but they dint win each n every match in the wc...though they had THE best team.......BUT PONTING SURELY DID NOT NCE BUT TWICE....i bet no other captain can do it further.....warne wasnt there for 1999 wc....mcgrath was the nly recognized bowler.....andy bichel rose up,symonds came up......they r still the best

  • on December 30, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    Vidyendaran:

    Do you not think he faced both bowlers in Shield Cricket ?

  • njr1330 on December 30, 2010, 12:15 GMT

    What Ponting needs more than anything is a rest, both physically and mentally. Now, by default he's going to get it. watch out for him in 12 months time!

  • rgk1974 on December 30, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    Brilliant batsman, just an absolute shame about his total lack of grace and class. the game will miss his cricket, but not his behaviour.

  • mighty_cricket_lover on December 30, 2010, 12:07 GMT

    well! its very easy to point ur finger at Ponting. I think it is d first time that Punter is going through the low time in his career. Many people say, earlier he had good members like Warne, Mcgrath, Gilly, Hayden in the team and winning was easy. Now with those legends retired, current Aus team looks ordinary. U can not blame Ponting for that. Its Aus cricket board and selectors who has to take the blame for not preparing enough bench strength to play international level cricket and persisting with Clarke, North in the middle order. There are many talented guys in Aus domestic teams but selectors always overlooked them... A leader can win a battle if u provide him with talented people. But if u give ordinary men and are expecting a great result its ur fault... Sack Greg Chappel first, he spoiled Indian for a while and now he is doing it for Ozs..

  • penguin3012 on December 30, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    I think the issue has been that he was a truly great batsmen and to mention him in the same breath as Bradman as a batsman but certainly not as a captain. I have always argued since he was appointed captain that he is a great Batsman but does not have the skills to be captain. His field placements and bowling changes have always been questionable. He is a determined person but it is a fine art to be a true leader and motivator. It is dissapointing to see him slipping away but I hope he has the ability to stand down as captain and try to stay on as a number 3 Batsman. I believe with the weight of captaincy removed he will go back to being the brilliant batsman he has always been. Good luck Ricky with your return from Injury but stand down as captain and let Australia find its true leader.

  • andrew-schulz on December 30, 2010, 12:04 GMT

    Surely he is still the best option to captain Australia in the world cup. And like Craig McDermott and David Boon in 1987, success there would catapult him back into further success in the long form of the game-I am sure he would love to smash the daylights out of India in next summer's Tests.

  • Vasi-Koosi on December 30, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    I am fine with all the adjectives for Ponting, except HONESTY!!!! HONESTY and PUNTER don't go together... I am sure all Indians will agree with me...

  • cricket_fan_1980 on December 30, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    Ponting is certainly a class batsman. There are plenty out there who are more talented and stylish than him, but his sheer doggedness and will to remain on the crease have earned him a spot in the very elite club of possibly the top 5 best batsmen of all time. However, this glorification really needs to end there. He is not a statesmen or a role model otherwise. He has been involved with several dirty tactics on the field, claimed catches that were clearly not out, fought with umpires in very disappointing shows of sportsmanship. What he did with Aleem Dar in the last test was pathetic. And, I agree with the several other comments below that he inherited a really strong team which contributed more to his wins as captain, rather than his captaincy skills themselves.

  • Aussasinator on December 30, 2010, 11:57 GMT

    In the last couple of years, bowlers caught on and exposed his weaknesses against different types of deliveries. The chinks in his armour are too evident now and he can never be a good bat again. That's the the reason why, more dominat batsmen like hayden, Gilchrist etc. retired while the going was still strong and good. They will be remembered for their greatness and not so much for their failings.

  • on December 30, 2010, 11:54 GMT

    Things doesn't seems good to me when we will be in this same situation, not now but when Tendulkar, Laxman, Dravid retires...

  • on December 30, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    Things doesn't seems good to me when we will be in this same situation, not now but when Tendulkar, Laxman, Dravid retires...

  • safwan_Umair on December 30, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    he is too good a player to go out with a whimper! i wont be surprised if he makes a legendary comeback.... come on RICKY!!!!

  • on December 30, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    Ponting may not be the best human being, but he certainly is a great batsman and I hope he returns back as a Player, scale a new peak and retire whilst on a peak, certainly not like this. He is and will be a great Cricket HERO. I don't know why people blame squarely on him ? Australia failed to get back ASHES because of weak bowling. Selectors will have to go to the grassroot level (domestic cricket) and find new gems like McGrath, Lee, Gillespie, Warne etc.

  • ebbie-qld on December 30, 2010, 11:32 GMT

    Bertie-wooster, if Ponting is not great because of his Indian stats, then Warnie would not be considered great because of ordinary bowling in India and Tendulkar in his own backyard against South Africa would not be considered great

  • kristee on December 30, 2010, 11:20 GMT

    Ponting's exit, an event almost as certain as England's ashes triumph, is being greeted with relief and joy in certain quarters for obvious reasons! The selectors there, I'd say, are in fool's paradise if it's not his injury that tempts them to precipitate his departure. Otherwise, they are in for the West Indies experience with Lara/ Richardson's exit on similar lines.

  • reddawn1975 on December 30, 2010, 11:15 GMT

    Wow i am truly amazed to read so many comments on Ricky Ponting being dropped from the test team what a joke the man still is an amazing cricketer sure he hasn't had a great series but this can happen to any great player.I think Ricky should move down to number 4 and take some pressure of himself and maybe someone else should captain Australia is michael clarke up for the job mmm in his current form no.I think Ricky has a few great years of cricket in him he's fit and still hungry, how dare someone like Ian Chapel give Ricky such a slam in the press quite sad really maybe a little bit of back up support might be good for a bloke and a team down on form Mr chapel instead of your half baked comments in the media poor for MATE .C'MON AUSTRALIA GET BEHIND YOUR TEAM AND KEEP YOUR HEADS UP HIGH.

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 30, 2010, 11:14 GMT

    One of the great batsmen of all time. Capable of rising to the big occasion. His 140 not out in the World Cup final was a grand innings, and crushed the opposition. His twin 100s in the Sydney test against South Africa, especially the thrilling run chase in the second innings, a similar 4th innings chase in Cape Town of 100* after a huge South African fightback and his ferocious attack on Shoaib Akhtar during his 197 at Perth were all memorable. My favorite memory is however is his 156 in the 2005 Old Trafford Test, again in the 4th innings. It was the perfect innings, in one of the most tense test matches ever, an innings only a genuinely great batsman could have played. I am sure that being relieved of the responsibility of captaincy will bring out two more strong years out of him as a batsman.

  • Opener on December 30, 2010, 11:14 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is certainly one of the modern greats. He is going through a lean patch that everyone goes through at sometime in their careers, and unfortunately that coincided with the time Australia played a resurgent English side that is the best seen in decades, in terms of collective attitude if not individual abilities; that has been enough to set the witc h hunt in motion. The Australian selectors, public and media should back this great at this time instead of baying for his blood.

    Nobody, NOBODY, plays the pull/hook as well as this modern great, and it is only a matter of time before he finds form and enthralls us again as he rides into the sunset.

  • Mervo on December 30, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    He'll be back .... he wants that 40th test century and he is still better than Michael Clarke as a batsman. There are no easy replacements and we in Australia crucify our older players. Waugh, Hayden, Healey were all treated shabbily.

  • on December 30, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    oh! if this is the end of Ricky Ponting than its too bad....he is a fighting cricketer and after competing with Sachin in terms of 100 we really enjoy every run that sachin made..thats interest comes from Rickey's performance....and surely we as a cricket lover missed his batting... he is legend...great team maker... but hope that he return back and his competition with Sachin make cricket more interesting...

  • on December 30, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    I wish he had taken the decision a year ago. He was a modern day great and deserved to walk out like that. But I will always remember his pulls and hooks. What a stylish player he was!

  • Vidyendaran on December 30, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    Ponting was a good batsmen...problem is that he had to play against some of the weaker attacks and scored the bulk of his runs. If he had to face mcgrath and warne during his days then am sure his record would be around 8000-9000 runs only.

  • on December 30, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    You feel sorry for the small lad. In his prime, he was devastating and very very compelling to watch. His pulls, hooks and cuts are fresh in my mind. I was hoping he will get his magic back. Maybe captaining a weak side has taken its toll on him. he looks very very old and beaten now than ever.

  • Hooves on December 30, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    People will see what has been lost the game when they see the little mouse that is Clarke flouncing around. I'm English and have enoumrous respect for Ponting. And i will only remember him as an almost immovable object at the crease.

  • on December 30, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    Peter, you sound like you have just written an obituary of Ponting. I hope he stays on and delivers what many believe he is capable of doing even at the twilight of his career. I will remember him as a wonderfully talented cricketer who had difficulty controlling his temper on - field, more often than not!

  • TAMOOR.QURESHI on December 30, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    Ah! what a sad & dramatic feature by Peter.. Rightly said he was a golden era of Cricket. In my thinking may be he would not be able to come back as a captain but as a player he may return so its a good news for all of his fans including me :)

  • anver777 on December 30, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    From HERO to ZERO ...... my mate this is a Gentlemen's Game so at least from now on change u'r attitudes & show the best sportsmanship in the field !!!!!!!!!

  • on December 30, 2010, 10:01 GMT

    Do not write him off just yet. People wrote swan-songs for Tendulkar few years back, now they have disappeared. If anybody in this world can pull of a Tendulkar, it is only Ponting.

  • on December 30, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    England's dance is probably the farewell dance peformance for Ponting! There goes Australia's greatest batsman. Clarke is gonna make this unit even worse. Come February Aus will be thrashed by Bang and Zim!

  • DaisonGarvasis on December 30, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    Ponting's a good batsman no doubt about that. And he is still capable of a great show in the world cup - dont discount him. No Indian will forget how he trashed the Indian Bowling in the 2003 world cup final. And thats about the batsman he is.

    As a captain/leader he shouldnt be rated high. When he inherited a great team, the team was winning anyway and he got all the acolade for the team performance. Now the team is not as good as used to be and is not performing well. Nobody complained when he got the acolades for the good performances. Why complain when he gets the blame for poor performance? His poor for only adds to that.

    Morover, talking about being statesmans and all - he doesnt deserve. He has cheated and has been caught red handed more than once (typical example - claiming a catch that was grounded at Sydeny). So trying to portray him as a rolemodel is not worth it. Ponting is/was a great batsman and it ends there. (His Captiancy is not even worth mentioning)

  • razors_1981 on December 30, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    So long Punter u have been a great servant for the cricket.I don't think ur a great captain but no doubt ur one of the all time great batsman. gud luck.

  • EricDeoul on December 30, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    I don't get it why Punter seems so very "donkey licked" in this (thr)Ashes series :-@

  • on December 30, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    This man derserves some respect n yes he really is gre8 captain without any doubt.I hope he recovers soon frm injury n start scoring some big runs

  • asif_the_spotfixer on December 30, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    bye bye punter !!! its been over all now an era is finished and its the time for new beginning..

  • on December 30, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    A great cricketer and a marvelous batsman. Its sad that he goes out with out a final swan song. Stubbornness was both his strength as well as weakness.

  • 5wombats on December 30, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    I don't think he's a hero. Michael Vaughan called it dead right a few weeks ago when said that England would prevail in Australia and that as a result this would be the end of Ponting.

  • cricsom5667 on December 30, 2010, 9:21 GMT

    I hope this is not the end of Ponting though my patriotic affiliation (I am an Indian) will make me happy if this were the end of punter. Rising above parochialism, Ponting has been a great exponent of batsmanship and his grit and dedication are phenomenal. He deserves a glorious send off for his services to world of cricket. Australia were always going to be brought a notch or two down with the retirement of the greats. And it is to his credit that he did not try to hide himself lower down the order and always tried to lead from the front. Some decisions were questionable but then everybody has his share of failed punts - glorified if the gamble pays off vilified if it falls flat. The new man should be given time to re-build things as Border and Taylor were accorded. A great team isn't built overnight. And I am not sure whether Greg Chappell would be the right choice as coach at this critical time where emotional comfort and guidance are more called for rather than a corporate style.

  • Tomek on December 30, 2010, 9:15 GMT

    Never thought much of him as a person, and that hasn't changed. I believe he was also a truly terrible Captain. But undoubtedly a sublime batsman. I watched him make two centuries at the 'G and had to totally suspend my dislike while I watched the incredible skill he's developed. And while his anger was on show just a few days ago he's never in my mind had the petulant nature of a Haddin or a Harbhajan, just a clear hunger for the win. I feel he was hard done by being made Captain in fact. Gilchrist could easily have served, and maybe a young Clarke would have taken to the job pre-soapie relationship-based media furore. (I personally think this is what has put him off further leadership). It's time for a new guard, Ferguson, Khawaja, maybe White and McDonald, real change is required. But for a man who can be a real wally sometimes, I think Punter was ultimately alright, and undoubtedly an incredible bat.

  • on December 30, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    Well - how could have Ponting won the tests if only two his boys (Watson/Hussey) have been delivering constistently for last so much of time! He probably has failed more as a batsman and, moreover, is facing the noise only because of the high standards set and followed by a champion team.

  • on December 30, 2010, 9:09 GMT

    Gr8 to see, one of most egoistic guy will be retired like dis

  • Marcio on December 30, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    Methinks some people are counting their chickens before they are roasted. By the way, the test series is not over yet, and neither is Ponting's captaincy. Clarke, on the surface, appears a poor choice as captain. Maybe he could captain the high school netball team. He'd look good in a skirt. OK, just kidding (kind of). I have a feeling he will do well as captain, and will grow into it (and my feelings are usually right). Sometimes responsibility brings out the best in people. There will be a first up win for him at the SCG, which will put him in the good books. A final issue. They will need to find someone to captain the T20 team, as Mr Clarke is not in our top 30 T20 players, let alone 1st 11.

  • on December 30, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    ricky ponting is a fine player and should be given another chance

  • SriS on December 30, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    Peter, thats what you understood about ponting or about the champions. Come August, you will get the answer. Ponting is here to stay for atleast another two years and will retire at the zenith of his form !!

  • c3vzn on December 30, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    It will be hard but he needs call it close on his test career, that average has suffered for long enough, a new era of Australian cricket needs to begin. Let him take the Aussies to victory in the World Cup and let it be his final swansong.

  • on December 30, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    Will he get 100th win as a captain? Ummmm.... No one seems to like him so he may not.....He tries to pe sporty but he is no where near...he is the same man that used to be like symonds having drunken fights but captaincy depressed those feelings a bit!

  • on December 30, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    This is not the end of Ricky Ponting. He still has so much to offer the Australian team and he is badly needed. It was different for the end of Border/Taylor/Waugh as there was an obvious successor in place. Ponting is still the backbone of this side and is needed to oversee the development of Khawaja, Smith, Hughes (even Beer if he somehow gets selected!) Ponting's last 18 months have been far better than Hussey's were before the Ashes, so we need public opinion to demand his spot in Sri Lanka

  • Mattis007 on December 30, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    The man needs no PR stunts, his performance as a player and captains speaks by itself. I am a hardcore Indian supporter, but, i cant pretend not seeing how great was Ponting, for last 16 years. I think, what that great man needs now is a break and rejuvenation, and this is the right time for it. There is no one in the history,, including my fav SRT, who didnt go through this phase. CA needs to treat the situation with respect, and i dont think Greg chappell is the right man to do it. He is more into insulting style, and nonsense management- his reports of Indians greats, which was proved wrong later, speaks the truth about that man. Ricky, as an Indian, i respect you and you still can contribute a lot to AUS and for world cricket. it is just a phase, and i also salute you for not deserting you team and team members at the time of crisis.

  • Sabharim on December 30, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    If you write him off too soon, you don't know the man! We certainly have not seen the last test of the Punter. He will be back,even if he won't play as captain.I don't see Australia having a replacement for the batsman that he is. He may have his drawbacks as a captain and has got the side (many a time-unnecessarily) into some avoidable controversies, but as a batsman,he is a class-act that will be very difficult to emulate.I wish he would take a break and sort out his batting form and get back. He has a lot more to give to Test Cricket.

  • ebbie-qld on December 30, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    If was Punters last test, well here cheers to one of the greats of test cricket. As Peter stated Ponting took on the captains job knowing he would lose some of the greatest players ever as well as some very good ones. It has been amazing how long he held the team at the top before it decent down the rankings. Yes he has made some bad choices as captain but who hasn't. At least he took on the leaders role when greats from other teams only held their leadership for a small time. For most of his captain time his average actually improved. A great innings, Ricky, but hopefully still not out.

  • on December 30, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    no matter what, Ponting is the best captain of the era

  • Bertie_Wooster on December 30, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    Truly great batsmen play splendidly well under all conditions that they are challenged with. Whilst the urge to be fulsome in praise is understandable in an epitaph, it does not miss the critical eye that Ponting was a miserable failure in India. He had enough chances and yet was, consistently, Harbhajan's bunny. His consistent failure in Indian pitches categorically disqualifies him as a genuinely great batsman. Enough said!

  • SanthoshIyer on December 30, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    Yes absolutely. Ricky Ponting test career has finally come to an end after being DROPPED in the Sydney Test. I dont think we can see him playing test cricket again as the Aussies are to tour Sri Lanka in August. I also think the World Cup will be his last ASSIGNMENT in any form of International Cricket. In other words, PUNTER GOES HOME TO ENJOY HIS RETIRED LIFE.

  • hitman3083 on December 30, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    Very well written article. In india we have our own way to disgress our heroes.

  • on December 30, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    we miss u dear ponting. we love u for ur batsmanship n competitive spirit but hate ur behaviour on the field. hope u ll b back soon

  • on December 30, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    In Punter we Trust. He'll be back to make his mark on ESPN's Legends of Cricket!

  • shrimati_bradman on December 30, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    virtually peerless as a runmaker? did lara/tendulkar/dravid/kallis not exist then?

    i still dont understand why it seems to be the end of the road for ponting. he could shed the captaincy and have a revival as did sachin in 2000.

  • on December 30, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    sad demise for such a great man...........

  • dmudge on December 30, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    Hear, hear, what a tremendous player for Australia Ponting has been. Right up there with Warne & McGrath.

  • sachin1088 on December 30, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    Superb Article! Ponting still is majestic in his own right. Give him time and he will show the difference between champions and good players. His time is not done, its just a lean patch. he needs one good innings, thats about it

  • Quazar on December 30, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    Disagree with this piece. Based on Ponting's comments, I'm pretty sure he intends to play on in Tests, even if it means giving up the no. 3 slot and the captaincy. And given his experience, and the current talent available, I'm pretty sure the selectors will give him a run at No. 4 or 5. But please...enough with the on-field boorishness, Ricky...conducting oneself with class is more important than showing class with the bat.

  • Ponting1996 on December 30, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    this is not the end of ponting. australia will b in the biggest hole if they get rid of him !!

  • karusubra on December 30, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    The cricketing Legend of modern times Ricky.you will be remembered so long in the cricketing history.I am always a staunch supporter of you.Best of luck.

  • on December 30, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    I humbly disagree....the same was being said about Tendulkar a couple of years ago, and then 241* at Sydney and look at him now. He may not be selected as captain anymore, but he certainly has at least a year and a half of solid Test cricket left in him. He is fit as a fiddle and just needs one knock to turn it around. He averaged 56 in the last series against India and am sure he will turn it around like Tendulkar did.

  • popcorn on December 30, 2010, 6:59 GMT

    At last! Peter English has a change of heart, and writes a touching article acknowledging Riicky Ponting as the greatest Australian Cricketer after Sir Donald Bradman.The WINNINGEST Captain EVER in Test History.The ONLY Captain to score so heavily besides taking on the responsibility of Captain.Sachin Tendulkar failed miserably as Captain, and gave up Captaincy.

  • kamaniparag on December 30, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    All cricket greats - or to be greats - undergo a bad patch sometime in their career. There have been cries to axe [or suggest retirement] of the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Vivian Richards, Brian Lara, and even Sachin Tendulkar because of a single poor series in the past. So, too, for Ricky Ponting, but he's too good a batsman not to shine as we move into the New Year. Hang on, Ricky, your appetite for [the oppositions'] destruction by scoring runs and, needless to say, winning matches will return in 2011 and how...

  • on December 30, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    It is ver sad to see Ricky Ponting to go out in this manner. While Sachin Tendulkar is a mistake free hero, Ricky is a swashbuckling hero for me. Even though he is stubborn, arrogant and sometimes cross the line, its this characteristics that make him more attractive. Certainly i cannot express in words the enjoyment he bought to me while watching Cricket. He was one cricketer whom i loved and hated equally on same lines.He will be missed badly.

  • cimrsimg on December 30, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    The pressure is killing him. He surely misses Hayden, Gilly, McGrath and Warnie.. It's gonna be tough for him to comeback strongly. But I wish him all the best. If Punter goes, who will replace him? Clark??? He doesn't fit..

  • Boundsy0868 on December 30, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    Good luck with the rehab Punter, sad to see you are unable to lead the boys one last time and draw the series. You have done your best to push on through the pain (both mental and physical - gutsy effort, no doubt). I guess all we can look forward to now is Punter leading the World Cup squad for yet another quest for One Day glory (at least that would be a good way to end his international career, which he deserves). Are the selectors serious? Clarke as captain? He cannot hold his spot as a No 4 batsmen, so why should he be in the team at all? Hussey or Haddin could captain, and someone new (McDonald or Ferguson) could come into the team. If the Aussies manage to draw the series with a win in Sydney, I will watch / read with great interest what the press reports have to say...reading that the win was due to Punter's absence would be disrepectful, but I would not be surprised if this was the flavour of the match reports. We will wait and see.

  • Vnott on December 30, 2010, 6:49 GMT

    Well. Well. Well - Let us not write Farewell Paynes for Punter. Ponting will certainly be there - atleast for another year or so. He will have a terrific farewell and will certainly help in the rebuilding of the Aus team. This may be the last time we see him as captain but that does not mean he is retiring yet.....or will be asked to....

  • gilly007 on December 30, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    Ponting has been has a great ambassador of the Game. People who keep saying that he is a poor captain simply overlook whats happened. He won the champions with the current team, with an Australian A Team he beat India 4-2 in their own background, defeated south africe in their backyaard. And come 2011 australia are the firm favourites for the World Cup( AGAIN!!!). He deserves a royal send off and he will definitely get one

  • on December 30, 2010, 6:45 GMT

    Sad to see him go this way. For what he has accomplished, it would have been great had he got that 100th win.

  • NeoTheSaviour on December 30, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    Ponting, I will always remember him for his Pull Shot. He was great batsman no doubt, right up there with Kallis, Dravid. But his arrogant behavior (when he had Warne and McGrath in his side) didn't fetch him many fans. I am not Ponting fan, but honestly it would be so sad if this is end of his test career. I hope he glows one final time and get same farewell as was given to Waugh, Warne and McGrath.

  • rohan024 on December 30, 2010, 6:12 GMT

    i hope and jst hope that Dravid takea a cue from Ponting & retire gracefully...

  • george204 on December 30, 2010, 6:07 GMT

    Yes, he has been a magnificent batsman to watch - poise, power, placement, timing, style & most importantly intent.

    If this is the end of his career (& I still think it's an "if"), it would be a shame, but he won't be the first great player to finish on a low: Hammond, Marshall, Ambrose, Lara, Inzamam (to name a few) all ended on a low note.

  • Fastbowler55 on December 30, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    Very well said, the bloke is a legend. What a pity it would be for him to be remembered for his last 2 years of captaincy rather than his first 13 years as a run machine.

  • Vikramaditya100 on December 30, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    Ponting the greatest Australian batsman since Bradman?? What happened to the likes of Neil Harvey, Bob Simpson, Ian Chappell, Greg Chappell, Allan Border, David Boon, Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh, Justin Langer etc.?? Did they not play cricket for Australia?? Agreed Ponting is one of the best batsman to come from Australia and indeed one of the best of our times but calling him the greatest since Bradman is an insult to the above mentioned greats. If i were to pick one Australian batsman in my all time XI(apart from Bradman) it would definitely not be Ponting. I would rather pick Greg Chappell, Allan Border or Steve Waugh.

  • on December 30, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    Too early to write his swan song

  • Nadeem1976 on December 30, 2010, 6:00 GMT

    Oh what a great legend he is . He is big match player. Sad thing is that he should have retired in 2007 along with warne and mcgrath and ghilcrist and hayden and marten. But he stayed there for three more years and to face embarcement at the hands of arch rivals.

    What concerns me his form and as every player retires , he tries to earn money more and more before retiring.

    I am not satisfied the way he played ashes this time around and i felt for first time that may be he took huge amount money (like pakistanies) to let ashes go and fill his own pockets. But that can and can not be true. Pardon me if i am wrong.

    However great great legend and reall leader and captain. Salute to him and his leadership. No doubt he is second best modern batsman after Sachin.

    I hope to see him back again in WC.

  • Chamindra on December 30, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    Sad Ending for Ponting.. Great Batsman and a Captain who ran out of Luck.. Hope he would be able to come play in the World Cup.. Would love to see him Batting again in Sri Lanka.. PS to Punter: get that mustache again buddy you were awesome when its there when you got started.. maybe it will bring some luck to you at this time of end..

  • on December 30, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    I quite disagree. Ponting was always an ordinary player. He was blessed with players like Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor, Adam Gilchrist, Mathew Hayden, Justin Langer, Shane Warne and Glenn Mcgrath. It was way easier as these players took considerable pressure off him. And he used to make merry. He nowhere compares to players like Sachin, Lara and Kallis. He was an over hyped player, who is clearly struggling after the retirement of the other legends in the team.

  • New_Wind on December 30, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    Why do you assume its his last test? His captaincy may go but Aus can deviate from their tradition and retain him as a batsman along the lines of Indian (even srilankan or Pak) teams. Ricky is not thinking about retirement and I think with captaincy load off he can roar back into his old batting form.

  • Jaggadaaku on December 30, 2010, 5:55 GMT

    Australia should kick Ponting out and give a chance to someone who is younger. Australia should concentrate on team, not on a captain. Just look at the example of India and South Africa. When Dhoni and Smith have become captains, they both were in their mid 20s. May be at the beginning, Australia won't win, but if they want to think for future, they should choose younger for captain-ship.

  • Soham_soni on December 30, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    I guess I would kinda agree to most this but something that I can't agree at all is this -- He has been in charge of the side's most painful defeats of the past 15 years, but he was always calm, honest and engaging when dissecting what went wrong. He has never been calm particularly when he is loosing, refer to how he lost his cool with Aleem Dar on KP's review against his team. Lets not talk about Honest. We can find 100s of example of him being off it..... he is the person we love to have for his arrogance and for his lack of sportsmanship spirit. Good Bye Ponting, at leas I wont miss you!!!

  • on December 30, 2010, 5:49 GMT

    Even with 3 Ashes losses, he has won more tests than he has lost (8-6). Such are the standards and expectations of Australian cricket, that is simply not good enough to save this batting great. Farewell Ricky Ponting!

  • TheOnlyEmperor on December 30, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    "His record currently stands at 12,363 runs at 53.51 in 152 Tests, with 99 victories."

    Incorrect. He may have participated IN 99 victories, but he has captained only in 48 of them to which he can take ownership even in a team sport.

  • prashant1 on December 30, 2010, 5:42 GMT

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

  • KrashNBurn on December 30, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    Something I never understand is why Ponting is so disliked. I can understand Indians feeling that way but Aussie bloggers seem to abuse him the most. Sure he wasnt best behaved cricketer but nowadays very few are. He is a very graceful batsman. His drives through the offside off either foot and his thunderous pulls are what he should be remebered for. Also I admire the fact that he fought off alcoholism and went on to become one of the greatest batsman ever. I hope he doesnt go out this way and gets to play in the World Cup.

  • amit_mangal30 on December 30, 2010, 5:37 GMT

    Nice article. I am from India, and Aussies being our competitor and now the biggest rival for all the last decade, we Indians had no choice but to hate him, you can't love your (on-field) enemies you know. But Ponting has always been a great batsman, no doubt about that, and as truly mentioned, we never really got to know Ponting the man. I am sure he's a great guy as he has been a great great captain. We love to hate him and that what make's him special for us.

  • Arsh on December 30, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    I'm an Indian and therefore not been a biggest Ponting fan but despite this I agree with you. If this is The End for Ponting then it's very sad and unfortunate. He's good enough to retire with average of 55+.. his final stats don't do him justice.

  • on December 30, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    Great article, although, the sad thing is if Ricky played it safe with his injury after Perth and missed the boxing day test, he wouldn't of attracted nearly as much criticism as he has, as the spotlight wouldn't have been on him, his captaincy, and the low scores he has made, therefore easily sailing back into the team 4 Sydney (assuming aus lost of course). But that's the breaks you get, and he may not be finished just yet, although it would take a massive turnaround in form.

  • on December 30, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    i will remember the late 90s one day ponting the most, he was the best fielder i have seen and his through was deadly, i have never seen anyone other man field the ball at midwicket and run in and whip the bails of quicker than one batsmen could get back after a mix-up u hugely arrogant thing todo but that is one of my fondest memories 1997-98 tri nations v south africa, second best was the 160 in south africa

  • on December 30, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    Captaincy is affecting Ponting's batting of late as he has reduced strength available to him. Relieving Ponting from captaincy will help Ponting regain his batting form. Shane Watson probably could be the right person to succeed Ponting as captain. Ponting has a couple of more years left as a batsman.

  • Kirk-at-Lords on December 30, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    Thank you Peter English for offering a more balanced view of Punter. The exploration into whether he was in some transcendent sense Good or Bad will ultimately lead to a destination marked "Human". It may also be worth noting that his removal compares quite favourably with his immediate predecessor Steve Waugh, who was dispatched out of the Australian side with barely a second thought. It will be interesting to watch this most human and potentially combustible of captains as the World Cup approaches. Will he convince the selectors to give him one more go at glory, in what will certainly be an uphill struggle on the subcontinent? Will he decide to let it all go and become a wise mentor and back office brains trust member? Is he a future coach or selector? I cannot help but think of Shakespeare's Prince Hamlet and King Lear. What sort of man manager will Punter decide to be ... if he has the power, opportunity and personal fortitude to decide at all?

  • on December 30, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    Ponting deserves a good farewell. Australian selectors cant allow this to be his last test match :(

  • Street_Hawk on December 30, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    I am guessing that Ricky Ponting's fate will be pretty similar to what happened to Sourav Ganguly under Greg Chappell. If I were an australian selector then I would not write off Ponting. There are more things to fix first in the Australian team..like who is the best man to do the opening job? Katich is getting old and Watson is good..but he is making only 50 odd runs..you need an opener like Cook who will make 150+ scores when they're settled. Next, who will be the next ideal # 6? One can move Shane Watson to #6 for now and opt for young specialist openers. Steven Smith can wait, Australia need him more as a leg spinner than alrounder..plus what is going to be the ideal bowling combination..Johnson, Siddle all are inconsistent..Siddle I can understand inexperienced but Johnson is not. There are many more things to take care of first before calling for Ponting's retirement. However, I do think Aussies need to find a different captain for test.

  • mrgupta on December 30, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    I was looking at his year by year stats and since last 4 years he has an avg of less than 50 in every ear starting from 2007. Infact the average has been less than 40 in last 2 calender years and that too in 46 innings of 25 tests. This is the longest period in his entire career he went below 50. Last time this happened was in 1996-1998 when he was just a 24 year old and he bounced back like a champion. Now he is 36 and nobody is quite sure if same thing can be applied here now. But i sure feel sad to see these comments that he might not play test cricket again. This is not what a legend like him deserves.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on December 30, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    "don't forget that he has been Australia's best batsman since Bradman" : Nah! A certain Greg Chappell I would think.

  • avis1001 on December 30, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    Hope he comes back again and gets the proper farewell !!!

  • on December 30, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    Yeah, this is not the way to go. Reckon he's still good at #3 minus the captaincy. No other #3 in world cricket counter attacks like the punter. He's still hungry, got a few years under him, he just needs reinvention. Get him off the captaincy,he'll be right back. He's done enough to go out on his own terms

  • on December 30, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    "He may have been a limited captain, but Ponting was a modern master for more than a decade." - a worthy epitath indeed and a very good article, emphasising while not glossing over!

  • Chris_Howard on December 30, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Why do people keep saying Ponting is our best bat since Bradman? You can't go on his accumulation, as he's played a gazillion Tests; you can't go on his average (53.51, because this has been a batsman friendly era, with heaps of his peers also achieving the previous elite of 50+ average (G Chappell has a slightly better average from a tougher era) (In the last 20 years, I'd say 55 is the new 50); you can't go on his conversion rate of 50s to 100s, as others have done better (G Chappell and Hayden are a couple). Ponting was a great batsman, but to say the best since Bradman just can't be justified.

  • wix99 on December 30, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Both Katich and Ponting may have played their final tests this summer. It is sad to see them go out because of injury and not have a chance to retire on their own terms. However, the game goes on. Younger players will rise up to fill their places and new batting greats will emerge.

  • landl47 on December 30, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    A great batsman in his prime. Perhaps it was inevitable that he would fall faster than some others because he always attacked the ball, pushing his bat out aggressively. When the reactions start slowing a little, that style doesn't leave much room for error. He might yet come back if he adjusts the way he plays, but it's hard to imagine him playing under another captain. He's always been a proud man- maybe sometimes too proud for his and Australia's good.

  • Philsy on December 30, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    Nice article, Ricky Ponting can't take all the blame for the slide in Australia's fortunes-remember, he won the World Cup twice as captain. He was a great batsman at his peak, and played in a unit that was very hard to beat at its best and dominated world cricket for close to 15 years. But all great teams come to an end, sport would be totally dull and boring if one team/player dominated for too long, from an armchair perspective

  • mattyboy95 on December 30, 2010, 4:56 GMT

    great piece, couldn't agree more. Ponting was a true master batsman up until 2009. I am sad that I didn't watch cricket when he was in his prime. I missed alot.

  • on December 30, 2010, 4:55 GMT

    why do u criticize ponting so much-Life has different phases-good ones and bad ones he is the best batsman alongside tendulkar and Lara-Ponting has played numerous match winning innings and been the super star of the star studded australian all time great team.Dont put down any human as much let alone ponting

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  • on December 30, 2010, 4:55 GMT

    why do u criticize ponting so much-Life has different phases-good ones and bad ones he is the best batsman alongside tendulkar and Lara-Ponting has played numerous match winning innings and been the super star of the star studded australian all time great team.Dont put down any human as much let alone ponting

  • mattyboy95 on December 30, 2010, 4:56 GMT

    great piece, couldn't agree more. Ponting was a true master batsman up until 2009. I am sad that I didn't watch cricket when he was in his prime. I missed alot.

  • Philsy on December 30, 2010, 4:57 GMT

    Nice article, Ricky Ponting can't take all the blame for the slide in Australia's fortunes-remember, he won the World Cup twice as captain. He was a great batsman at his peak, and played in a unit that was very hard to beat at its best and dominated world cricket for close to 15 years. But all great teams come to an end, sport would be totally dull and boring if one team/player dominated for too long, from an armchair perspective

  • landl47 on December 30, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    A great batsman in his prime. Perhaps it was inevitable that he would fall faster than some others because he always attacked the ball, pushing his bat out aggressively. When the reactions start slowing a little, that style doesn't leave much room for error. He might yet come back if he adjusts the way he plays, but it's hard to imagine him playing under another captain. He's always been a proud man- maybe sometimes too proud for his and Australia's good.

  • wix99 on December 30, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Both Katich and Ponting may have played their final tests this summer. It is sad to see them go out because of injury and not have a chance to retire on their own terms. However, the game goes on. Younger players will rise up to fill their places and new batting greats will emerge.

  • Chris_Howard on December 30, 2010, 5:00 GMT

    Why do people keep saying Ponting is our best bat since Bradman? You can't go on his accumulation, as he's played a gazillion Tests; you can't go on his average (53.51, because this has been a batsman friendly era, with heaps of his peers also achieving the previous elite of 50+ average (G Chappell has a slightly better average from a tougher era) (In the last 20 years, I'd say 55 is the new 50); you can't go on his conversion rate of 50s to 100s, as others have done better (G Chappell and Hayden are a couple). Ponting was a great batsman, but to say the best since Bradman just can't be justified.

  • on December 30, 2010, 5:09 GMT

    "He may have been a limited captain, but Ponting was a modern master for more than a decade." - a worthy epitath indeed and a very good article, emphasising while not glossing over!

  • on December 30, 2010, 5:10 GMT

    Yeah, this is not the way to go. Reckon he's still good at #3 minus the captaincy. No other #3 in world cricket counter attacks like the punter. He's still hungry, got a few years under him, he just needs reinvention. Get him off the captaincy,he'll be right back. He's done enough to go out on his own terms

  • avis1001 on December 30, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    Hope he comes back again and gets the proper farewell !!!

  • TheOnlyEmperor on December 30, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    "don't forget that he has been Australia's best batsman since Bradman" : Nah! A certain Greg Chappell I would think.