Australia in West Indies 2012 April 22, 2012

Ponting secure for home summer - Clarke

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Michael Clarke, Australia's captain, has all but guaranteed Ricky Ponting his place in the team's next Test assignment, at home against South Africa in November. Ponting has looked in good touch in the Caribbean despite not making many runs and Clarke, who is also a selector, indicated Ponting's place would be safe for the first Test of the home summer, more than six months away.

Having staved off a run of slim scores in Sri Lanka and South Africa before enjoying a storming series at home against India, Ponting joined the majority of his fellow batsmen in struggling to make a major score in the West Indies. Only one century was made in two Tests, by Shivnarine Chanderpaul in Barbados, and Clarke said Ponting was arguably the man most likely to make one should the Dominica pitch offer a little more encouragement to stroke play.

"He's hitting the ball well, probably hasn't got that big score that he'd like but none of us have. Conditions haven't been great for making big hundreds," Clarke said of Ponting. "If you wanted to make runs here you had to bat for a hell of a long time, and need a bit of luck as well along the way. Ricky's one of the guys that has put the team above himself and sacrificed his wicket or tried to take the game forward because we've needed to, to try and help us win the game.

"If he continues to play the way he's played throughout the last 12 months, he had a wonderful summer, then I see no reason he won't be in the team come the first Test against South Africa. There's a lot of cricket to be played from now until then. Ricky's not currently in our one-day squad but we also have some first-class cricket leading up to that first Test so I'm confident Ricky's batting well and he's not far away from a big score. If we get a decent wicket here I wouldn't be surprised if he finished the summer on a very high note."

For his part, Ponting has no thoughts of the finish line, proving it by staying on at Windsor Park for throw-downs from the assistant coach Justin Langer after the rest of the squad had returned to the hotel. "Not yet no, one more game here," he said when asked about retirement thoughts. "We'll wait and see how many I get this week, if I get 200 this week you probably won't be asking me that question."

Seven months and 13 Tests since he led Australia onto the field in Sri Lanka, Clarke called for one final push from his men to ensure the series against West Indies was won. He also pointed to the fact that so many of his men will be going direct from the Caribbean to the IPL as a reminder that fatigue should not be a problem as they play at Roseau's Windsor Park for the first time.

For the first time, Clarke will be joining them, having signed with Sourav Ganguly's Pune. The IPL will reduce the break available for those playing both Test and limited-overs cricket, before the Australians start travelling again on a 20-month odyssey that will take them to England and India twice each, either side of home Tests against South Africa and Sri Lanka, and rounded off by a home Ashes series in 2013-14.

"I think the closer you get to the finish line the more excited you actually get. We know we've got no Test cricket now until the Australian summer after this last Test," Clarke said. "I'm pretty sure all the boys will want to make this Test a good one for themselves personally and for the team because we've had a really good summer, we want to finish on a high before we get stuck into one-day cricket and the Twenty20 World Cup before Test cricket comes around.

"And guys can't be too fatigued. 95% of the blokes are going to the IPL, so we have no excuse not to come out and play our best cricket once again in this Test match and finish what has been a very good summer of Test cricket on a high.
I think we've done really well in these conditions. We've pushed hard to get results, it could have quite easily been two draws but I think our attitude has helped us win the first Test and we thought we're going to win the second Test.

"A lot of the guys hadn't seen the West Indies conditions as well so it's been a good eye opener for the guys who haven't played Test cricket over here. Your No. 1 goal is to win every series you play, there's no doubt about that, that's what we plan to do in this third Test. In saying that we're trying to win every Test as well."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Wefinishthis on April 25, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    Hussey should be the only old guy in the team, Ponting should go, as should Cowan who is averaging less than Pattinson after a similar amount of games. That is pretty embarassing. HawK89 - The stats prove you wrong. Haddin has just 3 centuries from 43 tests and all of those came in scores of 400+. Wade just scored his first century in just his 3rd test where no-one else performed and he saved the innings, exactly what you want in a keeper-batsman. I'd love for Ponting to go, but there's no batsmen in shield really knocking at the door. If anything, I'd have Nevill in there as a specialist batsman.

  • zenboomerang on April 24, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    @LesGrossman... Agree on Bailey, he is much more than just a batsman, his captaincy skills are probably the best in SS bringing an average team to the top of Shield & OD'ers over the last few years... Compare the players in NSW, Vic, Qld, WA with Tassie & they have out performed their much more fanciful opposition across both formats...

  • on April 24, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    @Stuart Smith you are joking. You want hussey to go.He has been the most consistent Oz batsman since hayden , langer,gilchrist left.Regarding Ponting well he was a terrific batsman.One of the best in the world.But his days are over.

  • on April 24, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    If Ricky knew what was good for him, he would've retired at the end of the India series.

  • Hammond on April 24, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    @Keepa-batsman wow and they used to accuse England of living in the past..

  • Keepa-batsman on April 24, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    to all england supporters getting all excited about winning the last 2 ashes series and going on to win the 3rd, i think you shouldn't forget the small matter of 18 years between ashes series wins. ouch.

  • VivGilchrist on April 24, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    Might want to score some runs first....

  • HawK89 on April 24, 2012, 1:21 GMT

    There is a reason why ponting is keeping his spot, because the new guys that i've seen in the T20/ODI squad are pretty overrated. They get a 1 off score and get hyped up for a test spot. Techniques are average, runs going down to third many off edges and defense of a part time all-rounder. The best out of all the new guys is P.Forest. Wade is a disappointment, at least haddin looks like a batsmen that would get a decent score.

  • Meety on April 24, 2012, 0:15 GMT

    @AdamB - another factor that makes comparisons between bowling line ups, along the lines of the minor counties, is that there can be a big discrepancy between the bottom placed sides in Div 2 & a poor performing Shield side. Another factor is that the County game tends to see more bowlers used during an innings than in a Shield match which is not as representitive of a test scenario. I'd estimate on the list you provided, that Oz bowlers in FC matches alone would bowl 20% more deliveries per match than in the County game. This means that on batting strips they have to work harder.

  • Meety on April 23, 2012, 23:33 GMT

    @AdamB - I won't argue with your attempt to provide a relatively neutral attempt at comparison. I will say though that, George & Bollinger are unlikely to wear the Baggy Green again & MJ has a big ? over his head. I would say that atm Cutting, Coulter-Nile & Bird are more likely candidates. Also, I might add that whilst the Test players for England would not line up often against minor counties & uni sides, the lesser players do & combined with early season conditions, FC stats in England can be skewed (slightly). Oz journeyman Magoffin took a 6 or 7 wicket haul in County cricket the other day & allrounder Henriques has been claiming plenty of wickets & they are well down on our pecking order.

  • Wefinishthis on April 25, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    Hussey should be the only old guy in the team, Ponting should go, as should Cowan who is averaging less than Pattinson after a similar amount of games. That is pretty embarassing. HawK89 - The stats prove you wrong. Haddin has just 3 centuries from 43 tests and all of those came in scores of 400+. Wade just scored his first century in just his 3rd test where no-one else performed and he saved the innings, exactly what you want in a keeper-batsman. I'd love for Ponting to go, but there's no batsmen in shield really knocking at the door. If anything, I'd have Nevill in there as a specialist batsman.

  • zenboomerang on April 24, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    @LesGrossman... Agree on Bailey, he is much more than just a batsman, his captaincy skills are probably the best in SS bringing an average team to the top of Shield & OD'ers over the last few years... Compare the players in NSW, Vic, Qld, WA with Tassie & they have out performed their much more fanciful opposition across both formats...

  • on April 24, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    @Stuart Smith you are joking. You want hussey to go.He has been the most consistent Oz batsman since hayden , langer,gilchrist left.Regarding Ponting well he was a terrific batsman.One of the best in the world.But his days are over.

  • on April 24, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    If Ricky knew what was good for him, he would've retired at the end of the India series.

  • Hammond on April 24, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    @Keepa-batsman wow and they used to accuse England of living in the past..

  • Keepa-batsman on April 24, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    to all england supporters getting all excited about winning the last 2 ashes series and going on to win the 3rd, i think you shouldn't forget the small matter of 18 years between ashes series wins. ouch.

  • VivGilchrist on April 24, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    Might want to score some runs first....

  • HawK89 on April 24, 2012, 1:21 GMT

    There is a reason why ponting is keeping his spot, because the new guys that i've seen in the T20/ODI squad are pretty overrated. They get a 1 off score and get hyped up for a test spot. Techniques are average, runs going down to third many off edges and defense of a part time all-rounder. The best out of all the new guys is P.Forest. Wade is a disappointment, at least haddin looks like a batsmen that would get a decent score.

  • Meety on April 24, 2012, 0:15 GMT

    @AdamB - another factor that makes comparisons between bowling line ups, along the lines of the minor counties, is that there can be a big discrepancy between the bottom placed sides in Div 2 & a poor performing Shield side. Another factor is that the County game tends to see more bowlers used during an innings than in a Shield match which is not as representitive of a test scenario. I'd estimate on the list you provided, that Oz bowlers in FC matches alone would bowl 20% more deliveries per match than in the County game. This means that on batting strips they have to work harder.

  • Meety on April 23, 2012, 23:33 GMT

    @AdamB - I won't argue with your attempt to provide a relatively neutral attempt at comparison. I will say though that, George & Bollinger are unlikely to wear the Baggy Green again & MJ has a big ? over his head. I would say that atm Cutting, Coulter-Nile & Bird are more likely candidates. Also, I might add that whilst the Test players for England would not line up often against minor counties & uni sides, the lesser players do & combined with early season conditions, FC stats in England can be skewed (slightly). Oz journeyman Magoffin took a 6 or 7 wicket haul in County cricket the other day & allrounder Henriques has been claiming plenty of wickets & they are well down on our pecking order.

  • on April 23, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    I think Ponting or Hussey need to go if we are to be ready for England we are struggling in too many innings bring in George Bailey.

  • Gordo85 on April 23, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    Are you serious I thought no one is secure for a home series in regards of not making enough runs currently in the first place. But everytime I see Ponting fail I keep on thinking how it is wrecking his really good record and it is now slowly getting worse.

  • SnowSnake on April 23, 2012, 13:36 GMT

    Longer a 38+ yo plays in any team worse it is for the team to find promising batsmen for future no matter what he scores. Ponting may score a century, but his strike rate will not be what it used to be in 2005; and he will score one century in several tests. Scoring centuries slowly helps in a draw and not a win. Ponting, to me, is a liability no matter what he scores.

  • on April 23, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    come on ponting get u r defence right stop falling over runs will come easily.

  • on April 23, 2012, 12:55 GMT

    Despite Punters great record, its time to go. Katich was too old....?

  • AdamB on April 23, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    This does not indicate strength, but a lack of real depth. Compare this to when you had the likes of Brett Lee or Stuart Clark to step into the breach. That is real strength in depth. I have got the spin comparison if anyone is interested, but it is a little more one sided. In reality this is not important, as I feel SA has the strongest attack by a good margin. Any team that has Dale Steyn is going to be a hard one to match.

  • AdamB on April 23, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    I do not claim that England has the better attack (although I believe it does). But I do believe the English bowlers all have to play more before getting a chance in the test team. That Cummins can come in and perform so well after only 3 FC matches is testament to his potential, but he should not be needed to do so. England has the ability to leave out Bresnan and Finn, players who have always performed, especially in the away Ashes series. Players such as Woakes have taken a lot more wickets and played a lot more games without really getting near to selection. Of course it is important to say that English players have more opportunity to play FCC every year, but they still played those games and have that experience. I include Topley not because of his record but of his potential. He burst through as a tall youngster who can swing the ball at speed, but is nowhere near the England team. This is in stark contrast to an Australian team who select players after a few games.

  • AdamB on April 23, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    I use first class bowling averages as the statistical comparison for a number of reasons. First is to use test stats would be unrepresentative of the true depth, as it punishes teams (in this case England but also SA) for continuity of selection over the bowling. However before any claims of bias comes into play it has to be said a number of English players actually have lower test averages than their FC figure (Bresnan 43 @ 24.16). What this analysis shows is that it is England who has a greater level of back up bowlers with more experience.

    Hilfenhaus 307@ 28.78, Johnson 302 @ 30.7, Bollinger 245 @ 28.36, Siddle 234@26, Copeland 111 @ 25.85, Harris 192 @ 27.7, George 129 @ 30.75, Pattinson 58 @24, Starc 57 @ 33.78, Cummins 16 @ 33.37 Anderson 501 @ 27.22, Tremlett 390 @ 27.49, Stuart broad 331 @ 28.03, Onions 307 @ 28.27 , Bresnan 300 @ 30.72, Davies 263 @ 22.50, Finn 251 @ 27.82, Woakes 223 @ 24.6, James Harris 211 @ 27.22 , Meaker 101 @ 28.71, Topley 34 @ 23.55

  • AdamB on April 23, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    I'd like to look into the grandiose claim that Australia's bowling pool is unmatched throughout the cricketing world. In interests of full disclosure I am an English fan, but let me start by saying I think Australia is in a very promising situation with regards to its seamers, and I thoroughly look forward to the next ashes series. However, the facts simply do not correlate with the afore mentioned claim.

    As such I have compiled a list of (what I see as) the top ten current or most promising fast bowlers for both countries. I selected the Australians through their appearances in national squads (the Australian FC scene is not as known to me as England's), and the English players through their performances in CC and the England/England Lions teams. (cont.)

  • sheila_4 on April 23, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    Most bowling attacks will be rubbing their hands with glee when Ponting walks in.

  • Hammond on April 23, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    Good on ya Michael- let the salvage have a last summer in Australia on true hard pitches before he struggles to average 20 in England and dips out, yesterdays (hero?) mediocre captain..

  • Dolci on April 23, 2012, 11:43 GMT

    Ricky ponting is a true legend and deserves his spot.

  • on April 23, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    @RandyOz, come on mate, stock of bowlers unheard of in the world of test cricket. Lets have a neutral on this as I believe that Tremlett, Bresnan and Panesar, all can get a place in the England side, would walk into your outfit

  • on April 23, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    lolz.. clarke talking about ponting. i cannot believe how cricket australia has humiliated one of their cricketing greats.

  • Winsome on April 23, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    I don't think there is a problem with what Clarke has said. He hasn't said that Punter has a spot come rain or shine and considering his past record of utterances, he may come out and say something quite different next week anyway.

  • vertical on April 23, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    I am not sure the captain also being a selector is the right thing to do.It can sore up relations between players especially when the captain himself will be one day out of form.Imagine Dhoni talking about Dravid or Tendulkar like that!

  • chathuradil on April 23, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    there are young talents waiting out side the fields till the chance comes. Same story for Ausies. there are a many in this case. We all know that Ponting is not up to his best at the moment, reason is age, there's nothing else. so time has come to handover his place to some one else. S.Marsh has shown his class in SL, on his debut on a slow Sluggish surface, which was hard to play at and even harder for a aussy debutant.So no doubts, he is the best match for the slot, for all formats of the game. Ponting, no need to be another Sanath or Sachin in the case of retiring. You did more than every one expected for the Ausies. Still u r one of my best.

  • RandyOZ on April 23, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    @Meety - spot on mate. The unbelievable depth in the Aussie bowling stocks at the moment is unheard of in world cricket, and is overshadowing the batting as a result.

  • RandyOZ on April 23, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    The South African attack is the best in the world, but it is still not enough to tame the mighty Punter, aka the best since Bradman. Expect more centuries from Punter this summer, can't wait!

  • on April 23, 2012, 9:03 GMT

    ponting vl retire frm cricket why he clinging in ca

  • Joby_George on April 23, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Today Ponting ...tomorrow Clarke. Who will be the next caption selector to decide clarke's end to career?

  • Green_and_Gold on April 23, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    Come on Punter - dig deep and get some runs.

  • icecracked on April 23, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    I was under the impression Australia still had a selection panel but given recent comments from Capt. Fantastic regarding Hadden and Ponting obviously I am wrong? Maybe Capt. Fantastic should concentrate more on his own game and Captaining the side than sticking up for his aging mates. The next test is not until November I believe what seven months from now any chance his mates could show some form leading up to that test or no bugger it they are playing because I said so!

  • on April 23, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    I think Australia need to think long and hard and reconsider Simon Katich

  • on April 23, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    With such dedication and sincerity Ricky is destined to stay there for a few seasons more provided Australia keeps winning. Happy to see a sensible group of selectors handling him well depending on the circumstances.

  • Meety on April 23, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge "...Never has a character strung out his test career with such complete humiliation." - ummm Ian BEEFY Botham! LOL! Check out his last 6 yrs, averaged 20 with the bat & 57 with the ball! Khaled Mahmud of Bangladesh was better than that! LOL! @Wefinishthis - "...There simply are no batsmen under the age of 30 right now in Australia other than perhaps the unproven Kurtis Patterson who really are any good." I'd disagree - S Smith FC ave 41, J Burns FC 46, G Maxwell 45, Neville 45, Lynn 36 (I still rate him he had a disrupted start to this yrs Shield). Are all well under 30 & have very good potential. It is fair to say we don't have any young "Punter-like" prodigies statistically speaking, however we have had 2 summers where spicier pitch conditions coupled with strong depth across the States in pace bowling, which I feel means that the FC stats are not too far off what a player can achieve once they get a decent run in tests.

  • Mary_786 on April 23, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    Before Ponting is dropped, Cowan should be taken out, he is averaging less then 30 after 2 series, scores more slowly then any other batsman in the world and loves to talk about himself regardless of what score he gets.

  • Gruish on April 23, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    Ya this is very good decision for CA, who made more runs in WI??, still he have calibre, until got instead of him........

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 23, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    The infamous embarrassing demise of Ricky Ponting continues. Never has a character strung out his test career with such complete humiliation. Please still be there for next years' Ashes Ricky, we want to make it Four!

  • Lermy on April 23, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    Its a sad day when people suggest "old" players like Ponting should make way for younger players just because... ...well... ...hes getting on to 40 isn't he? If hes good enough to play at the top level, its shouldn't matter whether hes 38 or 68. As for looking to the future, keeping young players out of the team blah blah... ...isn't it more important to utilise an older talent while you still can, rather than rush in young players, who will still be around and just as keen in 5 years time? I'm 95, but I can still bowl at 145 kph with reverse swing. The last guy who tried to hook me is still drinking out of a straw, so there sonny!

  • on April 23, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Hope this test will end in three days , Hussey and Hilfenhaus early returns to CSK..

  • ali00 on April 23, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    If Pup wants to make a future good for Australia he shouldn't pick ponting and he should bring more younger players to the Australian side and bring more young players is good and there is a lot of benefit

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on April 23, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    As much as i like ponting and the new australien team , i dont see much of a chance of them winning next ashes , especially since the matches are in english condition

  • Gangitano on April 23, 2012, 3:48 GMT

    Ricky Ponting 1000 runs 2013 ashes in England.... man of the series Australia to win 4 - 1 The urn is in safe hands again Watch out poms

  • MinusZero on April 23, 2012, 3:47 GMT

    I am still of the opinion that the captain should not be a selector. We saw the end of Pontings pal selections, but looks like its just going to continue with Clarke. The selectors are there for a reason. The best players should be selected, not based on emotion or history.

  • on April 23, 2012, 3:43 GMT

    The young guns will still have a chance later, but Aus stilll need Ponting for the moment. He'll be retiring or out of the team soon enough, but for the meantime, its good he's still in the side. They still need his experience and influence in the side at least until Aus next test series and see where its at from there. Just wish the media would stop hounding him!!

  • on April 23, 2012, 3:20 GMT

    THAT's RICKY C"MON You'll surely make aussies proud

  • Wefinishthis on April 23, 2012, 3:06 GMT

    I think Kapstif is right. There simply are no batsmen under the age of 30 right now in Australia other than perhaps the unproven Kurtis Patterson who really are any good. Australians are simply going to have to get used to low scores from our batting lineup in the future. I'd love for Rogers and D.Hussey to come in just to get us through the next two ashes series, but I can also understand the selectors wanting to keep a balance of youth and experience.

  • eyballfallenout on April 23, 2012, 2:07 GMT

    i wouldn't drop him. you look at the whole summer, clarke hussey and pointing held the team together.

  • on April 23, 2012, 1:45 GMT

    Rikey u can do it man .what a crikter truly a legend.

  • Dashgar on April 23, 2012, 1:45 GMT

    Clarke shouldn't come out and say this, it's unprofessional and is like something out of the Hilditch era. Summer is way too far off to be guaranteeing anyone a place in the side. You know a batsman is struggling when the phrase "hitting the ball well" comes up.

  • Gerontion on April 23, 2012, 1:26 GMT

    Let's not get too excited about this. What Pup actually said was "IF he continues to play the way he's played ......I see no reason he won't be in the team" Not exactly a guarantee (and no-one in his position would be silly enough to give one).

  • gpm86 on April 23, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    Nerk- Punter scored 221 and 60 no in the last test in oz, (his 5th and 6th previous innings). Dont include his one day stats.

    So sick of the Ricky haters. We dont have players to set up at this stage.

  • Towelie on April 23, 2012, 0:23 GMT

    OH MY GOD. I'm just sick and tired of hearing this saga. Can we please stop covering this NON-ISSUE?

  • disco_bob on April 23, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    Excellent captaincy by Clarke, he is absolutely correct in making a public statement about the Punter. Especially as it already precludes his final performance in the West Indies. His treatment by the selectors concerning his One Day demise was disgraceful. Thus Ponting will not have to endure 6 months of constant sniping. It will be interesting to see how it affects his performance in the final game of this series. A big score would certainly vindicate Clarke and my intuition is that is exactly what will happen.

  • on April 23, 2012, 0:05 GMT

    In respnse to Nerk yes ponting was averaging over 50 before he got a run in the aust side and to say marsh and khawaja are young therefor this is an excuse i agree i like Khawaja but he hasnt grabed the oppitunitys presented to him. also with your comment about marsh he has been playing first class cricket for over 10 years now and still isnt even averaging 40 how this can be demanding a place in the side is beond me compair this to when matty hayden couldnt get a run in the side when he was averaging over 60 at the gabba. In my mind clark should be the first batsmen selected in the side followed by ponting and hussy because these three are miles ahead of the compitition

  • khalidSami on April 22, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    Nobody should be guaranteed a safe place except players of the calibre of Ponting and Sachin. Ponting specially still is a great fielder and a team player - It is great to see him donning a helmet and fielding at silly mid on or short cover. What a competitor!!! would love to see him more.

  • Nerk on April 22, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    Nobody should have a guaranteed ride in the Australian team. You should be in the team based on merit, not reputation, yet this is exactly how it is being run. And as to the argument that there is nobody in Australia to replace Ponting, what a load of nonsense. Yes, maybe the likes of Khawaja and Marsh don't average 50 yet, but they are young and have been making good scores at state level. I'm pretty sure Ponting didn't average 50 when he came into the test team. There is plenty of young guns who deserve an extended chance, and I'm sure most of them could do better than a HS of 41 in the last 8 innings.

  • Kapstif on April 22, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    Of course Ponting is in! Who have they got to replace him? Marsh? Hughes? Khawaja? The fact that Ed Cowan is in the side speaks volumes and Watson still can't average 40 in test cricket! If the dearth of batting talent continues for Oz then Ponting could well break Sachin's test runs record! Sometime around the age of 65 going by his current rate of scoring!

  • on April 22, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    Yes, he will be the man of the summer for Australia ( if he has the bit of luck),Goood Luck PUNTER

  • on April 22, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    come on ricky. make australia proud bg fellow

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  • on April 22, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    come on ricky. make australia proud bg fellow

  • on April 22, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    Yes, he will be the man of the summer for Australia ( if he has the bit of luck),Goood Luck PUNTER

  • Kapstif on April 22, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    Of course Ponting is in! Who have they got to replace him? Marsh? Hughes? Khawaja? The fact that Ed Cowan is in the side speaks volumes and Watson still can't average 40 in test cricket! If the dearth of batting talent continues for Oz then Ponting could well break Sachin's test runs record! Sometime around the age of 65 going by his current rate of scoring!

  • Nerk on April 22, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    Nobody should have a guaranteed ride in the Australian team. You should be in the team based on merit, not reputation, yet this is exactly how it is being run. And as to the argument that there is nobody in Australia to replace Ponting, what a load of nonsense. Yes, maybe the likes of Khawaja and Marsh don't average 50 yet, but they are young and have been making good scores at state level. I'm pretty sure Ponting didn't average 50 when he came into the test team. There is plenty of young guns who deserve an extended chance, and I'm sure most of them could do better than a HS of 41 in the last 8 innings.

  • khalidSami on April 22, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    Nobody should be guaranteed a safe place except players of the calibre of Ponting and Sachin. Ponting specially still is a great fielder and a team player - It is great to see him donning a helmet and fielding at silly mid on or short cover. What a competitor!!! would love to see him more.

  • on April 23, 2012, 0:05 GMT

    In respnse to Nerk yes ponting was averaging over 50 before he got a run in the aust side and to say marsh and khawaja are young therefor this is an excuse i agree i like Khawaja but he hasnt grabed the oppitunitys presented to him. also with your comment about marsh he has been playing first class cricket for over 10 years now and still isnt even averaging 40 how this can be demanding a place in the side is beond me compair this to when matty hayden couldnt get a run in the side when he was averaging over 60 at the gabba. In my mind clark should be the first batsmen selected in the side followed by ponting and hussy because these three are miles ahead of the compitition

  • disco_bob on April 23, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    Excellent captaincy by Clarke, he is absolutely correct in making a public statement about the Punter. Especially as it already precludes his final performance in the West Indies. His treatment by the selectors concerning his One Day demise was disgraceful. Thus Ponting will not have to endure 6 months of constant sniping. It will be interesting to see how it affects his performance in the final game of this series. A big score would certainly vindicate Clarke and my intuition is that is exactly what will happen.

  • Towelie on April 23, 2012, 0:23 GMT

    OH MY GOD. I'm just sick and tired of hearing this saga. Can we please stop covering this NON-ISSUE?

  • gpm86 on April 23, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    Nerk- Punter scored 221 and 60 no in the last test in oz, (his 5th and 6th previous innings). Dont include his one day stats.

    So sick of the Ricky haters. We dont have players to set up at this stage.

  • Gerontion on April 23, 2012, 1:26 GMT

    Let's not get too excited about this. What Pup actually said was "IF he continues to play the way he's played ......I see no reason he won't be in the team" Not exactly a guarantee (and no-one in his position would be silly enough to give one).