West Indies v Australia, 3rd Test, Roseau, 3rd day April 25, 2012

Ponting performs on poignant day

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the third day of the third Test in Dominica
25

Observance of the day

Australia's players took to the field on day three in Dominica with poppies fastened to their shoulders, in recognition of the Anzac Day commemorations that had taking place back in Australia and in New Zealand. It is rare for the Australian team to be engaged in a Test match on April 25, and the squad marked the occasion before play with a team huddle that also included two New Zealanders - the match referee Jeff Crowe and the umpire Tony Hill. They were addressed by the opener Ed Cowan, who gave a speech about the values implicit in the Anzac story, which began with the landings at Gallipoli on this day in 1915. The wicketkeeper Matthew Wade then recited the Ode of Remembrance.

Change of angle of the day

Nathan Lyon very seldom bowls at left-handers from over the wicket, preferring to angle and drift the ball in from around the stumps then spin it away, enhancing his chances of an lbw decision if the ball decides not to turn. However Ravi Rampaul showed early comfort against this angle of attack, drawing Lyon to inform umpire Hill that he would try from his less preferred line. Previously calm against the spinning ball, Rampaul suddenly panicked, the ball now pitching in his blind-spot on or outside leg stump then screwing across towards first slip. A first slog attempt resulted in a play and miss, and the second resulted in an ineffectual edge that settled gently in David Warner's hands at backward point.

French cut of the day

Without a significant score all series, Cowan lived on his wits early on, and was fortunate to escape several tight scrapes against the new ball delivered by pacemen and spinners. Kemar Roach strained particularly hard to dismiss him, having already found a way past Warner. In his seventh over of a spell that bookended lunch, Roach coaxed Cowan into a drive at a ball from around the wicket that was onto him a little quicker than desired, and drew an inside edge that flew centimetres wide of the stumps on its way to the fine leg boundary. Roach reacted with all the disappointment of a bowler who had given his all, and it was to prove his final over of the stint - Rampaul replacing him for the next over.

Periscope of the day

Ricky Ponting looked relaxed and comfortable across most of what was his first significant innings for the series. But as stumps drew near he again fell to Roach, though in circumstances that were as much the result of happenstance as the bowler's hostility. It was perhaps out of recognition of previous pain inflicted on him by Roach's short ball that Ponting chose to duck rather than pulling a delivery that did not get up particularly high. However in going down to his haunches, Ponting left his bat hoisted dangerously above the shoulder, and in keeping with Roach's hold over him, the ball unerringly found it. The chance looped as if in slow motion to Shivnarine Chanderpaul, leaving Ponting to walk off the field after what was surely his last Test innings in the West Indies.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zenboomerang on April 28, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    @hyclass... Yes I was aggrieved when Forrest was selected for ODI duty - ahead of many much more credentialed batsmen... I realise that the NSP wanted to give him international experience, but it was definitely the wrong way to do it (at the expensive of the Oz team & our record) - S Marsh is a case in example... Surely Forrest should go the Aust A route... Saying that, Steve Smith & Hughes are in the 2012 AIS (CoE) squad, so expecting them to being looked at for the Aust A squad to Eng this winter...

  • OzMongrel on April 27, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    @5wombats - a couple of things: 1. Ponting has played in over 100 Test victories. 2. Ricky just made a half century on Anzac Day, when someone had to dig in and focus on the series win. Topscored, by the way. 3. This bloke has more experience than Clarke and Hussey COMBINED (165 Tests vs a combined 156 Tests) - why on Earth would you consider dropping him right now? 4. You might not be old enough to remember, but when Lillee, Marsh and G Chappell all left the team we got smashed. 5. He is still worth his spot, as there is no-one to take it from him. 6. While he is there in the dressing room you know there is an absolute legend from whom to learn. 7. Have a look at the role he is modelling now - he just keeps working to get Australian Test match wins. 8. Earned the right for a dignified exit? Perhaps the only dignified way for Ricky to exit is to be carried out on a stretcher, for only that would correctly display the skill and pugnacity of this ruthless competitor.

  • Aussasinator on April 26, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Looks like this misguided team will drop Watson and Mike Hussey before Ponting. England will love Ponting's presence, as will SA. Morne Morkel especially, to dish out some more Roach style.

  • Gunnerseleven on April 26, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    @snowsnake: you want Ponting and Hussey to bat at no 6 or No 7...Get a life man.Ponting has scored more than 13k runs batting at number 3 and for a few failures in the tour you are saying he has batting skills of average number 6 batsmen..go to youtube and watch his innings against india..

  • hyclass on April 26, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    I don't believe that this team is anything other than mediocre. There was some suggestion that Forrest has succeeded in the ODI side and validated his selection.Is an average of 32 and a S/R in the 60s really considered success these days. Have standards fallen so far? The selection of players with modest 1st class records over time is surely a fools paradise.Langer and Hayden,despite their early years of struggle,had spectacular 1st class records to encourage perserverence.The current selection practice ignores this long standing tenet.Who will be able to believe after he retires,that D.Hussey never played a Test but Marsh and Cowan did?Intelligence is timeless. Until there is a return to those long standing values of integrity of process,purpose and action,I expect the national team to abjure from its former highs.The India series was irrelevent and its outcomes obvious. Like @featurewriter,I rate Hughes.His original unorthodox style was genius.I hope he has the courage to resume it.

  • Divinetouch on April 26, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    What a comical way for a supposedly great batsman to get out.

  • sun_20 on April 26, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    Ponting definetely best batsman of last decade. He should bat with same freeness as he used to. He still has t to contribute to world cricket.

  • Nerk on April 26, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    @ featurewriter - agree with you re: Cowan. I think you're right about him being a Mark Taylor style, and he may be great foil for Warner's Slater. Or, if so inclined, a Justin Langer to Warner's Hayden. Agree with Meety, MJ has to put some consistent performances on the board. I also think MJ is now behind Pattinson, Cummins, Hifly, Siddle and Harris. Cutting can be added to that list, he is a good young bowler who is at the same level as Pat, Starc and Cummins.I would still rather Ponting end his illustrious career to give young players a chance to make a career of their own, but he did play well and a few months off may bring his hunger back and hopefully we will see a Ponting of old next summer. South Africa will be RP's acid test. Needs to score against them.

  • 5wombats on April 26, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Sorry - we just don't get it about Ponting. How is it that this guy is still there? First of all he is levered out of the Test captaincy because once again he had led Australia to Ashes defeat (3rd time). His captaincy was rank awful and he was a very poor role model on the field for Aus cricket. After the World Cup he was relieved of the captaincy there. Then he finally packed his rods altogether out of the ODI team. Most other people would start getting the message. We really thought he would quit at the end of the india series - finish with big runs - nice way to go, even if it was only india. He'd earned the right to a dignified exit. But did he go? No. Sure - if he wants to come back to England next year, fine and you're welcome Ricky - but Turkeys don't usually vote for Christmas, do they?

  • SnowSnake on April 26, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    You cannot say that Ponting is best Aussie batsman and be satisfied with his 57 @ at strike rate less than 50%. Ponting looks good because people expect less of him. He should be batting at no. 6 or 7 for his batting skills. Australia's tail end is better at batting. Hussey and Ponting currently have batting skills of average #5 or #6 batsman.

  • zenboomerang on April 28, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    @hyclass... Yes I was aggrieved when Forrest was selected for ODI duty - ahead of many much more credentialed batsmen... I realise that the NSP wanted to give him international experience, but it was definitely the wrong way to do it (at the expensive of the Oz team & our record) - S Marsh is a case in example... Surely Forrest should go the Aust A route... Saying that, Steve Smith & Hughes are in the 2012 AIS (CoE) squad, so expecting them to being looked at for the Aust A squad to Eng this winter...

  • OzMongrel on April 27, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    @5wombats - a couple of things: 1. Ponting has played in over 100 Test victories. 2. Ricky just made a half century on Anzac Day, when someone had to dig in and focus on the series win. Topscored, by the way. 3. This bloke has more experience than Clarke and Hussey COMBINED (165 Tests vs a combined 156 Tests) - why on Earth would you consider dropping him right now? 4. You might not be old enough to remember, but when Lillee, Marsh and G Chappell all left the team we got smashed. 5. He is still worth his spot, as there is no-one to take it from him. 6. While he is there in the dressing room you know there is an absolute legend from whom to learn. 7. Have a look at the role he is modelling now - he just keeps working to get Australian Test match wins. 8. Earned the right for a dignified exit? Perhaps the only dignified way for Ricky to exit is to be carried out on a stretcher, for only that would correctly display the skill and pugnacity of this ruthless competitor.

  • Aussasinator on April 26, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Looks like this misguided team will drop Watson and Mike Hussey before Ponting. England will love Ponting's presence, as will SA. Morne Morkel especially, to dish out some more Roach style.

  • Gunnerseleven on April 26, 2012, 14:28 GMT

    @snowsnake: you want Ponting and Hussey to bat at no 6 or No 7...Get a life man.Ponting has scored more than 13k runs batting at number 3 and for a few failures in the tour you are saying he has batting skills of average number 6 batsmen..go to youtube and watch his innings against india..

  • hyclass on April 26, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    I don't believe that this team is anything other than mediocre. There was some suggestion that Forrest has succeeded in the ODI side and validated his selection.Is an average of 32 and a S/R in the 60s really considered success these days. Have standards fallen so far? The selection of players with modest 1st class records over time is surely a fools paradise.Langer and Hayden,despite their early years of struggle,had spectacular 1st class records to encourage perserverence.The current selection practice ignores this long standing tenet.Who will be able to believe after he retires,that D.Hussey never played a Test but Marsh and Cowan did?Intelligence is timeless. Until there is a return to those long standing values of integrity of process,purpose and action,I expect the national team to abjure from its former highs.The India series was irrelevent and its outcomes obvious. Like @featurewriter,I rate Hughes.His original unorthodox style was genius.I hope he has the courage to resume it.

  • Divinetouch on April 26, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    What a comical way for a supposedly great batsman to get out.

  • sun_20 on April 26, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    Ponting definetely best batsman of last decade. He should bat with same freeness as he used to. He still has t to contribute to world cricket.

  • Nerk on April 26, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    @ featurewriter - agree with you re: Cowan. I think you're right about him being a Mark Taylor style, and he may be great foil for Warner's Slater. Or, if so inclined, a Justin Langer to Warner's Hayden. Agree with Meety, MJ has to put some consistent performances on the board. I also think MJ is now behind Pattinson, Cummins, Hifly, Siddle and Harris. Cutting can be added to that list, he is a good young bowler who is at the same level as Pat, Starc and Cummins.I would still rather Ponting end his illustrious career to give young players a chance to make a career of their own, but he did play well and a few months off may bring his hunger back and hopefully we will see a Ponting of old next summer. South Africa will be RP's acid test. Needs to score against them.

  • 5wombats on April 26, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Sorry - we just don't get it about Ponting. How is it that this guy is still there? First of all he is levered out of the Test captaincy because once again he had led Australia to Ashes defeat (3rd time). His captaincy was rank awful and he was a very poor role model on the field for Aus cricket. After the World Cup he was relieved of the captaincy there. Then he finally packed his rods altogether out of the ODI team. Most other people would start getting the message. We really thought he would quit at the end of the india series - finish with big runs - nice way to go, even if it was only india. He'd earned the right to a dignified exit. But did he go? No. Sure - if he wants to come back to England next year, fine and you're welcome Ricky - but Turkeys don't usually vote for Christmas, do they?

  • SnowSnake on April 26, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    You cannot say that Ponting is best Aussie batsman and be satisfied with his 57 @ at strike rate less than 50%. Ponting looks good because people expect less of him. He should be batting at no. 6 or 7 for his batting skills. Australia's tail end is better at batting. Hussey and Ponting currently have batting skills of average #5 or #6 batsman.

  • on April 26, 2012, 10:43 GMT

    ricky ponting is best batsman in this aussie team so he will play many test matches.

  • othello22 on April 26, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    I can't help but think the whole Roach V Ponting thing is a waste of cyberspace... Although I do believe that, judging by some of his recent dismissals, Ricky Ponting at some point must have smashed a mirror underneath a ladder. A ladder with a black cat sitting on top. On Friday the 13th.

  • Adithegreat on April 26, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    Johnson might just come back. Because when he is on song, he is totally unplayable. Though there are many hit the deck bowlers, more disciplined and consistent bowlers, this match-changing ability is absent in the current crop. The job gets done as everybody contributes and lyon has settled in nice. Cummins' SA burst, pattinson's few spells and siddle s fire is all very good but the impact an in form MJ can have is totally at a different level. But again will he get the rhythm back?Given the bowling bench the team currently possess, they don need him. Lets hope this factor gets him back better than ever. The batting looks lil out of place. Watson is not a number three. He can open to have the L-R combo or he should drop down to the lower order.

  • CricfanAustralia on April 26, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    Ponting has prooved that class is permanent and form is temporary.........Well done ponting.

  • mansoor777 on April 26, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is still the best Bastment in Current Aussie Team, and will Play for long in test

  • popcorn on April 26, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Daniel Brettig insults my intellingence by trying to lead me to believe that Kemar Roach has a HOLD on Poting, just because he injured him at Perth.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on April 26, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    I will be interested to see Pattinson, Cummins & Starc as Australia A's attack here in England and I think they will eventually take over as (in order) Harris , Siddle & Hilfenhaus fade away. Johnson is gone forever as a Test bowler for me. Woefully inconsistent at first he has now regressed to where his Tests number 1 good and 9 abysmal in every 10. Move forward people.

  • Tlotoxl on April 26, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    @featurewriter: you seriously think Ponting will make it to the Ashes? he will be almost 39 by the time he gets to England and only has 2 centuries in the last 2 years and that's against a frankly rubbish Indian bowling attack, without them he averages barely 30.

  • Meety on April 26, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    @thetopofoff - re: MJ, you may be right however, "...Any coincidence we have built a winning team since he's been out..." - we had beaten SL in SL (Poms couldn't do that) & drew the Saffas in Saffaland. So I would argue we were on the improve. Anyways I am totally on the fence with MJ in regards Tests, I am not prepared to write him off, but he will need to show sustained results to get back into a starting XI, I would think he is currently not in our top 6 pace options. @featurewriter -I know there is the "small" matter of a test series against the Saffas & Lankans in between, but I am already getting pumped for the Ashes. I would be surprised if MJ & Cummins overtake Siddle & Hilfy for starting spots, bearing in mind those 2 performed better than MJ in the 09 Ashes. I don't agree with Clarke moving to #3 (lots of people favour it), but I have not seen a shred of evidence to suggest that Clarke is a genuine #3. Don't want to weaken a strength! For fairness I'll post a squad later!LOL!

  • thetopofoff on April 26, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    @ featurewriter - you had me until you listed Johnson. Seriously, I hope he never plays test cricket again. Any coincidence we have built a winning team since he's been out? We still have a long way to go and hopefully we can be peaking by the time the Ashes roll around - but selecting Johnson is a BIG step backwards - I kusy hope Clarke and the selectors see that as well...and I think they just might. Starc is the left arm option for Australia now; he swings the ball in to the righties, can bat too and will only get better.

    I agree with the openers though - keep Cowan and Warner together...Warner not looking too flash at the moment but the pitches have been slow and difficult and about as unsuited to his method as any you will find. On faster pitches in England he and Cowan will fare much better.

  • Aussasinator on April 26, 2012, 2:56 GMT

    Ponting has earned himself a life in the team for another Test with this fifty, despite the manner in which he got out again. Peter Forrest may have got a century or two instead for Australia in this series but looks like the poor youngster will have to wait at least a year for his chance. Ask Mike Hussey, he'll tell you about the average age of entry into the Australian Test side. And secondly, isnt Shane watson denying a batsman or a bowler a place in the side?

  • on April 26, 2012, 2:06 GMT

    Well played ponting.........I am really lucky to watch his batting.....I am waiting for your Hundred.......keep going.........

  • BaggyGreen2 on April 26, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    Great photo of Punter and his bat, nearly all read in the middle of the bat, great performance Aussies!

  • featurewriter on April 25, 2012, 23:36 GMT

    I'm enjoying watching this Australian team develop. I hope the selectors persevere with Cowan, as I think he has the makings of a good opener (though more of a Mark Taylor than a Matthew Hayden). Likewise, I hope they maintain the opening partnership, because they provide a perfect balance of explosive brutality and technical patience. (I don't believe we've seen the true potential of either yet.) I think the perfect team for the Ashes series (yes, both countries are already thinking about it) would be: Cowan, Warner, Clarke, Hussey, Ponting, Watson, Wade, Johnson, Pattinson, Cummins, Lyon. With Siddle/Hilfenhaus, Starc, Paine, David Hussey (yes, I know he's going to be 35 but his experience against the Poms could be very valuable) and one of either Voges/Cooper/Ferguson/Forrest/Khawaja. My preference would be Khawaja, but his form needs to improve next domestic season. (Like Phil Hughes, the kid is an incredible talent.)

  • Meety on April 25, 2012, 23:20 GMT

    Well you could say it was another unlucky way for Punter to get out, however, schooloys have it drilled into them to leave your bat down when ducking a bouncer!!!! I do fel luck has run against Punter for a long while now, (respect to him), but that dismissal - give yourself an upper cut!!!!! Anyways - you've got about 7mths to work on that before the Saffas come!

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  • Meety on April 25, 2012, 23:20 GMT

    Well you could say it was another unlucky way for Punter to get out, however, schooloys have it drilled into them to leave your bat down when ducking a bouncer!!!! I do fel luck has run against Punter for a long while now, (respect to him), but that dismissal - give yourself an upper cut!!!!! Anyways - you've got about 7mths to work on that before the Saffas come!

  • featurewriter on April 25, 2012, 23:36 GMT

    I'm enjoying watching this Australian team develop. I hope the selectors persevere with Cowan, as I think he has the makings of a good opener (though more of a Mark Taylor than a Matthew Hayden). Likewise, I hope they maintain the opening partnership, because they provide a perfect balance of explosive brutality and technical patience. (I don't believe we've seen the true potential of either yet.) I think the perfect team for the Ashes series (yes, both countries are already thinking about it) would be: Cowan, Warner, Clarke, Hussey, Ponting, Watson, Wade, Johnson, Pattinson, Cummins, Lyon. With Siddle/Hilfenhaus, Starc, Paine, David Hussey (yes, I know he's going to be 35 but his experience against the Poms could be very valuable) and one of either Voges/Cooper/Ferguson/Forrest/Khawaja. My preference would be Khawaja, but his form needs to improve next domestic season. (Like Phil Hughes, the kid is an incredible talent.)

  • BaggyGreen2 on April 26, 2012, 1:01 GMT

    Great photo of Punter and his bat, nearly all read in the middle of the bat, great performance Aussies!

  • on April 26, 2012, 2:06 GMT

    Well played ponting.........I am really lucky to watch his batting.....I am waiting for your Hundred.......keep going.........

  • Aussasinator on April 26, 2012, 2:56 GMT

    Ponting has earned himself a life in the team for another Test with this fifty, despite the manner in which he got out again. Peter Forrest may have got a century or two instead for Australia in this series but looks like the poor youngster will have to wait at least a year for his chance. Ask Mike Hussey, he'll tell you about the average age of entry into the Australian Test side. And secondly, isnt Shane watson denying a batsman or a bowler a place in the side?

  • thetopofoff on April 26, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    @ featurewriter - you had me until you listed Johnson. Seriously, I hope he never plays test cricket again. Any coincidence we have built a winning team since he's been out? We still have a long way to go and hopefully we can be peaking by the time the Ashes roll around - but selecting Johnson is a BIG step backwards - I kusy hope Clarke and the selectors see that as well...and I think they just might. Starc is the left arm option for Australia now; he swings the ball in to the righties, can bat too and will only get better.

    I agree with the openers though - keep Cowan and Warner together...Warner not looking too flash at the moment but the pitches have been slow and difficult and about as unsuited to his method as any you will find. On faster pitches in England he and Cowan will fare much better.

  • Meety on April 26, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    @thetopofoff - re: MJ, you may be right however, "...Any coincidence we have built a winning team since he's been out..." - we had beaten SL in SL (Poms couldn't do that) & drew the Saffas in Saffaland. So I would argue we were on the improve. Anyways I am totally on the fence with MJ in regards Tests, I am not prepared to write him off, but he will need to show sustained results to get back into a starting XI, I would think he is currently not in our top 6 pace options. @featurewriter -I know there is the "small" matter of a test series against the Saffas & Lankans in between, but I am already getting pumped for the Ashes. I would be surprised if MJ & Cummins overtake Siddle & Hilfy for starting spots, bearing in mind those 2 performed better than MJ in the 09 Ashes. I don't agree with Clarke moving to #3 (lots of people favour it), but I have not seen a shred of evidence to suggest that Clarke is a genuine #3. Don't want to weaken a strength! For fairness I'll post a squad later!LOL!

  • Tlotoxl on April 26, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    @featurewriter: you seriously think Ponting will make it to the Ashes? he will be almost 39 by the time he gets to England and only has 2 centuries in the last 2 years and that's against a frankly rubbish Indian bowling attack, without them he averages barely 30.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on April 26, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    I will be interested to see Pattinson, Cummins & Starc as Australia A's attack here in England and I think they will eventually take over as (in order) Harris , Siddle & Hilfenhaus fade away. Johnson is gone forever as a Test bowler for me. Woefully inconsistent at first he has now regressed to where his Tests number 1 good and 9 abysmal in every 10. Move forward people.

  • popcorn on April 26, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Daniel Brettig insults my intellingence by trying to lead me to believe that Kemar Roach has a HOLD on Poting, just because he injured him at Perth.