West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain, 2nd day

Roach haunts Ponting's past and future

Daniel Brettig at Queen's Park Oval

April 16, 2012

Comments: 42 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting edges behind off Kemar Roach, West Indies v Australia, 2nd Test, Port-of-Spain, April 15, 2012
Kemar Roach picked up Ricky Ponting's wicket in the first innings in Trinidad © AFP
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Having humbled him in 2009, Kemar Roach has said he will not be easing up on Ricky Ponting as their return duel becomes increasingly likely to have a say in the closing chapters of the former Australia captain's international career.

Roach was a 21-year-old unknown when he shook up Ponting and forced him to retire hurt with a badly bruised elbow during a Test match at the WACA three years ago, prompting the world's bowlers to home in on an area of Ponting's game - the short ball - that had previously been considered his greatest strength.

On the current Caribbean tour, Ponting's first since losing his ODI place, Roach has lined up his quarry once more, defeating him with a snorting delivery in the first innings of the Trinidad Test on the way to five wickets. There will be another few spars between the duo for the remainder of the series, and further slim scores for Ponting will give the national selectors cause for alarm about retaining him when Australia face South Africa in Test matches at home in November. Roach, however, is not losing any sleep over being implicit in bringing twilight to Ponting's career.

"Ricky Ponting's a great batsman, a legend of cricket. To get that wicket, on a difficult pitch, easy for batting, it's very good. I'll keep coming at him, that's my job, and I want to do it to the best of my ability," Roach said. "I say he's a challenge, I won't say I have the wood on him, he's a great batsman, I respect what he's done in cricket, but I have a job to do for my team. If that's to run at him, then I'm going to do it.

"It's up to him [if he keeps playing]. If you want to be a good bowler you have to challenge yourself against the best batsmen. So I enjoy the challenge. Any good batsman in the world to get their wicket helps to build your confidence as well."

Before departing for the West Indies, Ponting had claimed that their joust was largely responsible for Roach's swift acquisition of global notoriety and a rich IPL contract, and also indicated that he felt much better equipped to handle Roach in 2012 than he had been in 2009. "He probably owes me a little bit actually because he hit me on the elbow last time out here and I probably got him about a $1.5 million IPL deal as a result of that," Ponting said with a grin last month. "I feel a bit more in control of my game than I did last time they were out here so it will be a good contest, not just for me but for the rest of our batting group."

Roach said he had provided the best possible response to Ponting's gentle ribbing by claiming his wicket, and would be seeking to do so again before the series is out. He also felt he had "matured a lot" since their first meeting.

"He can say what he wants to say. I had to bowl the ball. I got the wicket, so that was it," Roach said. "I have no problem with that. Obviously it's a challenge and I like the challenge and I'm going to keep putting my best foot forward."sign.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Meety on (April 19, 2012, 2:21 GMT)

@Aussasinator - so much in such a small comment, apart from the fact you missed the point of Front Foot's comment - he was BAGGING Ponting - LOL! Secondly, you conveniently forget that in between England's last 3 Ashes wins, was the small matter of an Historic 5nil whitewash - no surprises you forgot that one, typical! @coolindianfan/& others - I won't knock fine batsmen like Dravid or SRT to promote Ponting's stats. They were all fine batsmen, I actually don't believe that Indian pitches are flat, (except when it is India v Pakistan), they are low & slow & take turn (as a broad generalisation). A skill is required to perform on those pitches, if it was easy all non-Indian batsmen would have higher averages in India than elsewhere, generally that is NOT the case. I would say that Ponting's domineering batting contributed heavily to wins by giving McGrath & Warne some scoreboard pressure & time to win matches.

Posted by samsez on (April 17, 2012, 19:24 GMT)

come on guys ponting cannot be haunted. its just that his reflexes have weakened these days. no comparison with sachin as his reflexes are still going great guns. dravid is good but he belongs to another set of players. sti;; i believe that ponting can give little treatments to west indian emergent bowlers on flat pitches. after all he is ponting from good old days.

Posted by Aussasinator on (April 17, 2012, 18:22 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge. Are you kidding? England (especially Anderson, Bresnan and Swann) would be hoping for Ponting to be in the Oz team for the Ashes. After all, his presence won England their last 3 Ashes on the trot. English cricket owes a lot to Ponting and they will demonstrate that by winning it for the 4th time.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2012, 16:40 GMT)

Great Batsman, one of the greatest in this era ! So was Lara & Dravid. Enough is enough. He should stop embarassing himself. He should have retired at the end the Indian Tour in Australia as in "bowing out with your head high"instead of in shame. The Australian selectors gave him a hint when they dropped him from the Limited Overs team, apparently he failed to comprehend. This time, they will drop him in the middle of a tour in the West Indies, a team who is nearer to the bottom of the Test Table, than the top. This is what you call the "ALIridiculous !!"

Posted by jayantas on (April 17, 2012, 15:38 GMT)

@Attractivue: I am an Indian fan, and this is what I have to say in response to your comment that Ponting is better than both Sachin & Dravid because they "only made runs on placid slow dusty wickets of India!" Sachin's away test record: 106 tests, 8705 runs @54.74 (which is only a little less than his "home" average of 56.37) with 29 hundreds. Dravid's away test record: 94 tests, 7690 runs @53.03 (which is nearly two points MORE than his "home" average of 51.35) with 21 hundreds. Ponting's "away" and "neutral" test records combined: 75 tests, 5679 runs @46.55 (which is more than 12 points LESS than his home average of 58.95) with 18 hundreds. I guess you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out who is the real "home tiger" here! This is just to respond to you - no offense to Ponting, he is a truly great player!

Posted by pr3m on (April 17, 2012, 14:45 GMT)

Doesn't Ponting say that every time? Every interview ever, all he talks about is how much better he is now than he was "then".

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (April 17, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

You only have to put 'Ponting' 'England' and 'Ashes' in the same sentence to send a shiver down the spines of any Australian fans!

Posted by coolindianfan on (April 17, 2012, 14:24 GMT)

chicko1983-"Please check out how many runs are scored in the batting friendly subcontinent compared to the bowler friendly Australian wickets" .So logically if subcontinent pitches are batting friendly then Aussie pitches. Then pointing would have had scored more runs in subcontinent then in Australia right?He was ordinary to say the least .If centuries dont win u matches its disheartening but you shouldnt take away credit from the batsmen? How can u conclude Pointing is better then sachin or Dravid . Pointing himself mentioned that Sachin is the greatest batsmen of his era.As far as stats are concerned both Dravid and Pointing are at power . They can be compared as Border and Gavaskar.Its not about sub continent and Aussie pitches its about getting out of your comfort zone .let that be australia of subcontinent.Although no one can take credit away from pointing that he is a great of his era.But that said Dravid is up there with him.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2012, 13:49 GMT)

@Attractivue - Ponting is better than Sachin and Dravid both? how did you arrive on that? Even without stats - SRT shone in a team where he was possibly the only world class player, in pretty much all conditions, all formats and against top bowlers. That said, Ponting is a legend in his own right, whose win-loss ratio looks more impressive 'cuz he had Slater, Hayden, Langer, Martyn, Gilchrist, Katich, Hussey etc. to work with - and Warne, McGrath etc. to provide full value to his runs. Put into perspective then, someone like Inzamam - whose hundreds had higher win% in an inferior team. SRT should've retired from ODIs last April, Ponting should've retired from tests. Also, playing on dusty, slow turners is as much a test of technique as pacy, bouncy wickets. That's precisely why experts rate Ponting's 123 (Bangalore -2008) or SRT's 114 (Perth -1992) highly. It's about performing outside your comfort zone: Roach's pace, has put Ricky outside his, testing his slowing reflexes ..

Posted by drice on (April 17, 2012, 13:09 GMT)

@chicko. Your stats are correct, but your logic is grossly flawed. If Ponting had been in a team with those Indian bowling attacks, he would definitely not have the record for the most runs in wins. You are belittling other batsmen on the basis of the teams around them. What you have said is if Ponting was Zimbabwean that he'd be less of a batsman. One batsman alone cannot make a team great (or two for that matter). Ponting's most runs in wins have alot to do with people named Langer, Slater, Waugh, Warne, McGrath. You can't say one batsman is better than another based on team results. As for dead subcontinent pitches, why can't English batsmen make runs on them if they are so batting friendly?

Posted by   on (April 17, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

What a good start this is to Roach's career! He should take confidence from this joust. I want to see him being more aggressive to other batsmen as well though. He has a lot of potential.

Posted by rama_krish on (April 17, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

Being gracious in victory is the hallmark of great men. Roach's attitude vs Ponting leaves much to be desired. Of course, you want to get his wicket - that's the game. But it is important to be gracious about it. Ponting is not simply your common backyard batsman. It is also important for Mr. Roach to know that one day, towards the end of his career, most likely, many young batsmen will clobber his best balls over the ropes making him, in the end, look common.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

Ricky made some runs against mediocre indian attack...dont see him doing that against SA or England

Posted by Vindaliew on (April 17, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

Ponting's belittlement of Roach's IPL contract reminds me of why I hated Australia so much for the better part of two decades, and why Pup's refreshing maturity and gamesmanship is such a welcome change. I'm sure deep down in his heart he knows that he'll never overtake Tendulkar, but would dearly love to overtake the newly-retired Dravid's record, and only then will he consider retiring.

Posted by gogoldengreens on (April 17, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

It is sad that Ricky didn't wave goodbye at Adelaide after making the Indians chase leather for the entire series... that is the way he deserves to go out as the champion that he is... It is hard to see him trumping that effort again at his age

Posted by zenboomerang on (April 17, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

I thought 12 mths ago that Ponting should retire - his record for the previous 2 years were quite poor... Since then he has got some big scores against mediocre bowling on flat tracks in Oz (where he makes most of his runs)... I don't see him being a run achine in India & England next year, so where do were go with our local legend who's use-by date is upon us?... Personally I think Oz have a number of experienced batsmen that can grow us into the future - half a dozen names come instantly to mind & need a chance to grow with our v.g. bowling pack...

Posted by chicko1983 on (April 17, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

@ITJOBSUCKS and Coolindianfan, no stat I said was incorrect. Please check out how many runs are scored in the batting friendly subcontinent compared to the bowler friendly Australian wickets. Pointing was the best player in the greatest team ever, fact. India had two of the Greatest batsmen ever in the same team (according to Indian fans) yet they can hardly say they were dominant when they were at their peak. The truth hurts the indian fans knowing that their best would have struggled to get into our great team. There wouldn't have been room for dravid and tendulkar maybe would have got a gig over Martyn at no. 4 (although martyn was a lot better fielder). As Clarke said, no century matters unless the team wins. Pointing has the most runs in wins.

Posted by Attractivue on (April 17, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

Ponting is better than Sachin and Dravid both. You Indian supporters, your players only made runs on placid slow dusty wickets of India!

Posted by othello22 on (April 17, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

Ponting is one of the greats. He was once immortal, now he's getting old, his reflexes have slowed and he is no longer the all-conquering juggernaut he once was. Regardless, even in a diminished capacity he is still a formidable player, and on recent form and his amazing record he deserves his place in the side for now. I like Roach, he is humble, spirited and is a decent fast bowler, but in 20 years time people will still be talking about Ponting and marvelling over his achievements. Ok, a few people will still be whingeing and digging up obscure, pointless statistics in a futile bid to prove once and for all that Ponting was no good, as some are already attempting to do here. But nevertheless, no-one will be talking about Kemar Roach. Enough said.

Posted by Simoc on (April 17, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

Yes if Ponting is a passenger again in the last three innings as he has been in his first three it'll be time. Either him or Hussey has to go for whoever very soon but Hussey has still got the fight in him. Zaheer Khan was the best bowler on display on the recent Indian Oz tour so its not as if he can't do it. He looked totally hopeless in the ODIs recently and if he's batting like that again it's all over.

Posted by caughtatcover on (April 17, 2012, 8:52 GMT)

A short ball at pace demands good technique from a batsman to either duck under it or play a shot like the hook or the pull..Ricky Ponting was one of the very best to do that during the prime of his career..he is surely struggling now but he has enough zest and technique still in him to make the most while the sun still shines on him..good luck to Ricky! well bowled Roach.

Posted by Mary_786 on (April 17, 2012, 8:47 GMT)

Ricky is a champion player but like Dravid he needs to accept that its time for retirement and go out on a high before the Aussie selectors push him out which they will as our next series is against South Africa who will only get harder for him.

Posted by Marcio on (April 17, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

Two innings without runs and the nonsense begins (I won't count watson's runnout).

Posted by ITJOBSUCKS on (April 17, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

@chicko1983, Cricket is a team game!! No individual can win a match on his own!! Everyone Tom,dick & harry knows that ponting scored heavily(2002-2006), when the bowling was at it's weakest with most of the greats retiring like Wasim,Waqar, Ambrose,Walsh,Donald before 2002!! Sachin has scored 2541 runs in "only" 42 innings(avg 69) with 12 100's @ a strike rate of 93.39(easily the best if you exclude sehwag & dilshan) with 51 sixes whereas ponting has scored 2657 runs in 49 innings(avg 66) with 11 100's @ a strike rate of 69 with only 34 sixes!! Sachin is the only one to score 2k runs in a calender year for 5times!!! Please check stats before posting anything!

Posted by coolindianfan on (April 17, 2012, 8:25 GMT)

chicko1983 u mentioned that pointing won 3 cos ,but he had the backing of an invincible team.he dint do that alone . Give the due to the team as well not alone pointing .look at his performance when the other greats have left. it was ordinary for atleast 2 years to say the least.NOt that i dont respect pointing.He is an amazing player But overhyped and dravid r u serious ?Pointing himself has derived an inspiration from dravid and sachin both.if that has not convinced you Dravid has scored more runs in same amount of innings plz check their records in cricinfo.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2012, 7:57 GMT)

There is no denying that Ponting is a good batsman, but I will hardly rank him as one of the three best ever as Greg Chappel has done. If Roach is troubling him, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, S. Ajmal, M. Hafeez and the Pakistani fast bowlers will trouble him far more at this time. I have not even mentioned S. Broad and J. Anderson. He is not going to survive this bowling onslaught for much longer. A much bigger problem for Australia is who to replace him with. I hope Australia hits their biggest dip in November when the Proteas will play there so that the latter can give them such a cricket battering that it will leave them shell shocked for a decade to come.

Posted by chicko1983 on (April 17, 2012, 7:42 GMT)

@ Gupta.Ankur - overhyped players are ones who have achieved nothing. Ponting has achieved more in this sport than any other batsman and captain. 3 World Cups, plus another 2 finals, defeated every test nation in series, multiple whitewashes as captain, scored most runs in victories than any other player (whats the point of a century if your team doesnt win?) and his best years were light years ahead of the rest in history (2003 and 2005 are the top runs scored in international cricket in calendar year and he holds 1 and 2 spot). Pfft, what has Dravid actually won? What did he achieve as captain?Did he keep his team the number one in both formats for more than 5 years. I dont think so. Dravid is overhyped if anything.

Posted by ste13 on (April 17, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

I have full appreciation for Ponting past achievements, but Rahul Dravid has recently shown the path. Pls Aus invest in a younger player, Ricky will not be getting younger, faster.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2012, 6:54 GMT)

ponting will surely tackle roach well and prove his worth as the most experienced batsman of the team.

Posted by Aussasinator on (April 17, 2012, 6:18 GMT)

Ponting's weakness has been thoroughly exposed and exploited by Roach and some bowlers in the world followed suit after that, with the lone exception of Indian bowlers. He's carrying on due to his exploits against a listless Indian attack but will be reduced to nothing very shortly. The process is on now.

Posted by   on (April 17, 2012, 6:05 GMT)

well what ever, bottom line is West Indies still is not able to know, how to win the game in their home turf. The first test should have been a drawn test but it was awarded to Australia. One more hard truth is that Australia can do well without Ponting. West Indies is weak in batting that is why they are not able to win matches. All their best players are playing IPL and it is sad the board of West Indies should have fielded little bit strong side against Australia. Roach will trouble any batsman in the world because he is quality bowler.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (April 17, 2012, 6:03 GMT)

Ponting is probably the most hyped batsman of all time.His bad form has coincided with departure of his more illustrious team-mates and when the pressure fell on him to lead the batting department he failed.

This why i largely consider Dravid a better No.3 and a better batsman.

Posted by kurups on (April 17, 2012, 5:56 GMT)

Roach is from a rare breed in cricket these days. well done to him! and hope he carries on for long and get young ones interested in fast bowling..anyone out of form can come good playing against India. We are a benevolent lot!

Posted by   on (April 17, 2012, 5:44 GMT)

Ricky ponting have to score some runs to retain his batting form

Posted by   on (April 17, 2012, 4:47 GMT)

get him to play against india,he would again be scoring runs in a heap

Posted by   on (April 17, 2012, 4:27 GMT)

People talked about VVS Sachin Dravid and co succumbing to high quality fast bowling and Ponting on the wane is no exceotion. He had a great series against India feasting on club standard bowling. He has understood that he will not be meted out similar sutff everywhere. People who called for the heads of the holy Indian trinity after the Aussie tour, should realise that Ponting is also a mere mortal.

Posted by othello22 on (April 17, 2012, 3:01 GMT)

Roach has dismissed him once so far in this series, so what? It was a good delivery and it got the result, but once in three dismissals is hardly what you'd call domination. In the first test he bowled an over of short, leg-side rubbish before Ponting ran out of patience and spanked him for four.

Posted by Sen_San on (April 17, 2012, 1:42 GMT)

Ponting survived because of the home series against India. If that tour is taken out, Ponting has a miserable past 2 years, where his test average is below 20. Whether Roach owes him a little bit or not, Ponting owes the Indian bowlers a lot. The home series against South Africa could well be his last test series.. Dale Steyn & co will ensure that.

Posted by Meety on (April 17, 2012, 1:19 GMT)

One other thing, in the first Test, the players who were the most "chatty" from the WIndies side, (Braithwaite & Sammy) both had declining contributions after there press stories. Hopefully this won't afflict Roach.

Posted by Meety on (April 17, 2012, 1:17 GMT)

I was extremely impressed with Roach when he toured here a few years back, his form in Tests seemed to fall away, but he seems to be back on track now. It's funny, looking at the type of pitches in the WIndies, & then onto recent domestic FC results, on the surface of things you could say that there are a lot of similarities between Banga, SL & WIndies domestic cricket. All 3 comps are dominated by spinners, although statistically SL have better performing local batsmen, yet the WIndies still manage to unearth a Kemar Roach or Edwards. WIndies cricket need to ensure that pipeline coninues, because having a couple of world class PACE bowlers is the difference between being at Zim/Bangladesh level instead of say Pakistan.

Posted by Nerk on (April 17, 2012, 0:43 GMT)

Like Roach's attitude. No arrogance, no bluster. He knows what he has to do and he plays hard. If the Windies want to rise again in world cricket, they need to cultivate this attitude.

Posted by bobagorof on (April 17, 2012, 0:43 GMT)

If Roach did have a problem in getting Ponting out, he'd have no place in International Cricket. It's a bowler's job to dismiss batsmen. He shouldn't be ashamed or overawed. Recognise that you're playing against established, great players but aim to show that you're a great player too.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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