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Ponting is not finished … just yet

Luke Doherty Roar Guru

By Luke Doherty, Luke Doherty is a Roar Guru

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    Australia's Ricky Ponting walks after losing his wicket. (AAP Image/James Elsby

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    Ricky Ponting’s dismissal against South Africa yesterday wouldn’t have looked out of place as the opening of the Benny Hill show.

    Jacques Kallis made the former Australian captain look ridiculous and it’s something he’ll be fairly keen to forget.

    Ponting copped a ball that angled in before it moved away and crashed into the off-stump.

    It was a good ball, but not one that was so unplayable that Ponting should’ve ended up almost flat on his face in the middle of the Adelaide Oval.

    His front foot, instead of going out to the pitch of the ball, just swivelled on the crease while his back foot came through, squared him up and sent him to his knees.

    It wasn’t the best look for a man who is trying to convince a skeptical public that father time hasn’t wearied him at all.

    It was also one of life’s strange co-incidences that the fixture list for the return Ashes series in Australia was unveiled the day he looked his most fragile.

    Whether he makes it to Trent Bridge for the first Test on the 10th of July or to the Gabba for the opening of the return bout on November 21 remains to be seen.

    What’s important, for now, is that his current struggles are kept in perspective.

    Ponting might’ve made a duck in Brisbane while pushing outside off at a Morne Morkel delivery and been left red-faced by Kallis yesterday, but his recent form hasn’t been disastrous.

    He played four Sheffield Shield games against Tasmania in the lead-up to the first Test and scored 355 runs at an average of 118.33, including one century and two half-centuries.

    The level of opposition might be completely different, but it still shows that he has been able to build an innings.

    His eye-sight, footwork and decision making hasn’t suddenly become so poor (removing yesterday from your memory if you can) that even state trundlers consider him easy pickings.

    At Test level in 2012, he has one double century and a century, both against India in January, and two half-centuries.

    It has also only been two Test innings since he made 57 against the West Indies in Roseau.

    The way in which he was dismissed yesterday was definitely concerning, especially given the performances of those who followed him to the crease, but he still has time to prove he isn’t a spent force.

    If Ponting was the manager of English Premier League club Chelsea then he’d already be on a plane back to Sydney, but John Inverarity and his selection panel need to give the 37-year-old the rest of the summer.

    If he continues to fail then his Ashes dream will remain just that, but for now, his axing would seem harsh.

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • November 23rd 2012 @ 3:06am
      Will said | November 23rd 2012 @ 3:06am | ! Report

      Agree, the great man simply hasn’t been at the crease to gauge any sense of his form, but in saying that, if Australia only bats once here at Adelaide, then it he most likely has one more hit to find form.

      But, often batsmen under pressure reach a point that they are willing to accept their fate, whether that be success or failure, free from the mental pressure that so characterizes the game.

      Peace of mind is followed by clear thoughts.

    • Roar Guru

      November 23rd 2012 @ 3:16am
      Cameron Kellett said | November 23rd 2012 @ 3:16am | ! Report

      As Clarke said in press conference tonight. You go threw tough times and you make no runs, right now I’m just cashing in. Punter couldn’t cash anymore if he tried. Prove me wrong, would love to see it cause you’re a legend but until you show something, take a walk.

    • November 23rd 2012 @ 3:54am
      ak said | November 23rd 2012 @ 3:54am | ! Report

      Ponting should retire. Great player. But retiring is better than being dropped.

    • November 23rd 2012 @ 8:13am
      jamesb said | November 23rd 2012 @ 8:13am | ! Report

      He has been a fantastic batsman, a legend of the game. But………

      Time for Punter to retire.

    • November 23rd 2012 @ 10:21am
      josh said | November 23rd 2012 @ 10:21am | ! Report

      Yes he is.

    • November 23rd 2012 @ 11:39am
      Timmuh said | November 23rd 2012 @ 11:39am | ! Report

      I really don’t know. His record against South Africa over the last year and a bit has been abysmal. With the hook having become a liability for him, I would be very reluctant to pick him for Perth.
      Unfortunately, he wouldn’t get a Shield game until the end of February – assuming he plays the limited overs internationals – due to the BBL. (Tasmania could start with ten men against WA beginning on the 5th day of this Test, hoping to field first, and Ponting join on day two after flying in overnight/that morning.)

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