Is it time for Ponting to call stumps?

CricketFanatic97 Roar Rookie

By CricketFanatic97, CricketFanatic97 is a Roar Rookie

24 Have your say

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

    It was only twelve months ago that Ricky Ponting’s position in the Australian Test team was under severe scrutiny.

    There were many cricket experts, commentators and former players calling for the former Australian Captain to retire or else be axed. Ponting responded by hammering 544 runs against India at an average of over 100.

    This changed the question from being “When will he be dropped?” to “How much longer can he go for?”

    That was way back in January. Since then Ponting has been dropped from the ODI side, averaged only 23 in the West Indies and started his off-season training.

    Ponting came into this series as the leading run scorer in the Sheffield Shield with 358 runs. But with scores of 0 and 4 so far in the South African series, the questions and criticism are starting to come back.

    On day one of the second Test, Ponting was literally knocked over by Jacques Kallis. The ball was full on off stump, swung away late and bowled Ponting. But the way Ponting played the ball (he ended up falling over on his knees) added to the insult and humiliation.

    Sure you can argue that Ponting was facing arguably the world’s best Test bowling attack but if you look at how South Africa bowled in the third, fourth and fifth day of the first Test and on day one of the second Test (so far they have conceded 1047 runs in an innings an a half), you could say Ponting could’ve easily avoided those two dismissals. At the Gabba he fended at a wide delivery, that he really should have left.

    This year Ponting has scored 568 runs at an average of 47 which is his best return since 2009. However he has only averaged over 50 in two of the last ten series and he is averaging just over 30 in his last 30 innings.

    Sure age can be a factor but players like Mark Taylor who averaged 53 in his last 30 innings, Steve Waugh who averaged 52 and even Matthew Hayden who averaged 43 have been able to perform reasonably well in their twilight years.

    Minus the series against India last summer, Ponting has averaged just over 25 in the last nine series and is averaging 2 this series.

    What might be keeping him in the side is the reluctancy of Michael Clarke, Mickey Arthur and John Inverarity to drop him, saying that he brings a load of experience to the younger players. Also, the fact that players looking to replace him like Peter Forrest, Phil Hughes, George Bailey are not performing.

    What also might keep Ponting for the third Test in Perth is that Rob Quiney is yet to make a decent score and if he fails to do so in the second innings in Adelaide, Ponting may just be safe for now.

    However there are players like Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson who have been heavy scorers in Shield (Ferguson having taken over Ponting) and the former captain’s spot may be under extreme pressure come the series against Sri Lanka, or the Ashes in eight months’ time.

    In my opinion, I’d like the selectors to give him another chance in Perth and possible in Hobart for the first Test against Sri Lanka and see how he goes. If Ponting does not register a big score in the next two or three tests, we may see the back of Australia’s greatest ever batsman since Bradman.

    If you look at the other 37-year-old in the side Michael Hussey, he has cemented his spot for at least the next Test series after back-to-back hundreds.

    I think Ponting will bounce back either in the second innings in Adelaide or in Perth for sure. You can never write off champions.

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    The Crowd Says (24)

    • Roar Guru

      November 24th 2012 @ 4:07am
      ak said | November 24th 2012 @ 4:07am | ! Report

      I have been a great fan of Ricky Ponting. But I believe that the bitter truth is that he needs to go. The series against Indian bowling helped him to extend his career. But everyone knows what a weak attack that was. Perhaps in his mind he also knew that the weak attack was a reason why he managed to score big runs against India. Infact he had a great chance to retire after that series. However now its going to be different. Now even if he scores big at Perth which seems to be a difficult proposition he should still retire. That way he can retire with grace.

      I would say the same thing about Sachin Tendulkar. The way he has been getting out just shows that age is not catching up with him but that it has actually caught up with him.

      Great players should know when to retire. Because people always remember a player for how he was as a player at the time when he quits. Warne and McGrath retired at the right time when both were at the top after a 5-0 Ashes whitewash. McGrath retired from ODIs after the 2007 WC win. Even Brian Lara retired on top. Today people often talk about the days when we had these two. People would have said the same thing about Ponting. But now they won’t. Because he has lost his aura.

      Today we actually need an opener like Hayden because he more often than not performed under pressure. He loved to talk challenges. He used to take the fight to the opposition. Very competitive player. But we never say that we miss Hayden. Why? Because he retired when everyone wanted him to go.

      And I am afraid the same thing will happen with Ricky & Sachin. They probably have missed that chance to retire on a high. Already Ricky has been dropped from ODIs and Sachin wasted the chance to retire from ODIs when India won the 2011 WC.

    • November 24th 2012 @ 4:07am
      Rhys said | November 24th 2012 @ 4:07am | ! Report

      It’s the nature of the beast. When champions begin to fade the question gets asked – is it time?

      The debate over Ponting’s future as a Test player has gone on for the last 3 summers. A string of low scores sharpens the knives. A couple of 50s, or a high yield series like India, offers a stay of execution.

      I strongly believed Ponting should have given up the captaincy, probably a year before he did, as he was clearly being affected both on and off field by the fading of Australia’s glory days. Clarke’s captaincy, and the resurgence of Australia’s Test fortunes, have proven it was the right move for Ponting to step aside.

      Can Ponting eek out another summer of Test cricket and a final stoush against the Poms? The signs aren’t good that he can. I’m a firm believer in the ‘better to burn out than fade away’ approach. He should set his sights on the Hobart Test against Sri Lanka. One final flurry to leave everyone with the memory of a champion bowing out on his home stage.

      • November 24th 2012 @ 7:33am
        josh said | November 24th 2012 @ 7:33am | ! Report

        His one last flurry should have been India last year. He missed the boat.

    • November 24th 2012 @ 7:00am
      James D said | November 24th 2012 @ 7:00am | ! Report

      Should he retire now. No.
      Will he retire after the back to back series against England. Yes

      He was one of the form batsmen in the state comp before the test series. He still has it. And he will retire after we beat England twice. He will go out on top and be remembered as he should. As the second best Aussie batsmen of all time.

      To all you Malcolm Conn’s out there he has proven you wrong many times. And will do so again. You are naught but armchair experts. his record internationally and domestically in the past 18 months speaks for itself.

      • November 24th 2012 @ 7:28am
        josh said | November 24th 2012 @ 7:28am | ! Report

        James, I’ll give you the past 2 years and his record is this: 1100 runs @ 35.48 with 2 hundreds, 7 50s and 4 ducks in 33 innings. I might be armchair, but at least I’ve watched him play in the past 2 years. 35.48 for our number 3? Khawaja could have managed that.

        Ponting needs to go. Thanks for the memories, you’ve been great for Australia, but its time to move on.

        • Roar Rookie

          November 24th 2012 @ 6:43pm
          CricketFanatic97 said | November 24th 2012 @ 6:43pm | ! Report

          josh you gotta give credit to Ponting for continuing to stay fit, training everyday and having that hunger to play. If the selectors have faith in him and if Ponting does not want to retire then he has every chance and right to stay in the team. He has shown this year, against India, some times in the West Indies and during the Shield games that he is getting back to his best and he can get those big scores.

          Unfortunately so far this series he has been getting out, and if you have a look at two of those dismissals, the one at the gabba and the second innings in adelaide, they were avoidable. The South Africans have not bowled like a number 1 team all series and Ponting is missing out. You can tell at how Clarke, Warner, Cowan and Hussey have slaughtered smashed them really. Since Quinney scored a pair in the 2nd innings of Adelaide, her is the most likely to be dropped for the WACA meaning Ponting stays for the final test of the series. I actually think he will be kept till the 1st test at Hobart against Sri Lanka and if he does not impact then, then it’s all over. His arrogance, competitiveness, hunger and fitness is why he is still in the team alongside his experience

          • November 24th 2012 @ 6:53pm
            Red Kev said | November 24th 2012 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

            There are 50 year old triathletes – staying fit is not the issue, it is eyesight and reflexes against top quality fast bowling. Simply put Ponting is no longer good enough. The only thing keeping him in the team is the India series. A weak attack that could have been used to settle a new batsman was squandered on an aging veteran. To compound matters Ponting didn’t do the right thing and retire after a last flourish (an Indian summer) he stayed on and is flailing as he has been for more than two years now.

            Ponting since the 2010/2011 Summer:
            v Eng in Aus = 113 runs in 8 innings, Avg = 16.1, HS = 51*
            v SL in SL = 124 runs in 4 innings, Avg = 31, HS = 48
            v SA in SA = 70 runs in 4 innings, Avg = 17.5, HS = 62
            v NZ in Aus = 99 runs in 3 innings, Avg = 33, HS = 78
            v Ind in Aus = 544 runs in 6 innings, Avg = 108.8, HS = 221
            v WI in WI = 146 runs in 6 innings, Avg = 24.3, HS = 57
            v SA in Aus = 20 runs in 3 innings, Avg = 6.7, HS = 16

            The Indian series is the only performance in the past two years that Ponting has put in that is worthy of a test batsman.

            • Roar Rookie

              November 24th 2012 @ 7:32pm
              CricketFanatic97 said | November 24th 2012 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

              he actually looked good against sri lanka at times, just couldnt get that bit score.

              • November 24th 2012 @ 8:02pm
                Rhys said | November 24th 2012 @ 8:02pm | ! Report

                Word has it he looks good in the nets too. Doesn’t count for much on the scoreboard though.

              • November 24th 2012 @ 8:09pm
                Red Kev said | November 24th 2012 @ 8:09pm | ! Report

                Meanwhile in the Shield competition Khawaja has 430 runs from 9 innings so far this season, and Hughes has 479 from 9 innings (still not out in his 9th) this season. That’s not just looking good, that’s putting runs on the board.

              • November 24th 2012 @ 8:22pm
                Jason said | November 24th 2012 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

                So they are doing almost as well as Ponting has done in the Sheffield Shield this season?

      • November 24th 2012 @ 9:38am
        Bayman said | November 24th 2012 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        James,

        It’s one thing to be making some runs against pop-gun Sheffield Shield attacks, another to do it on the big stage against Steyn and Morkel et al – even allowing for the fact that Steyn has been below his best so far.

        Nobody doubts Ponting’s competitive nature but, for a player of his stature, the last few years have produced far too many first, second, third ball dismissals. Even Bradman made ducks, in fact, ten percent of his completed innings in Test cricket were ducks. He did, however, realise he wasn’t the player at the end that he had been pre-war. As “Dirty Harry” once said, “A man’s got to know his limitations”.

        I’m sure Ponting is perfectly capable of going back to Shield cricket and belting young, inexperienced bowlers. His reactions for Test cricket, however, are a bit off the pace. He’ll make runs occasionally but he can no longer expect to do it regularly. Time waits for no man and Ponting is not doing himself any favours by hanging on.

      • Roar Rookie

        November 24th 2012 @ 6:46pm
        CricketFanatic97 said | November 24th 2012 @ 6:46pm | ! Report

        I have to agree with you there.

        Remeber in 2009 after that Ashes lost Ponting stated indefinitely that he wanted to come back 4 years later, and he knew he would be 38 by then and maybe not captain. What he said 3 and a half years ago may almost happen. He may go back to England, win an Ashes series in England for the first time since 2001 not as a captain.

        He just has to get through the first 5-10 overs of an innings, he looked good in that second innings at times against the spinner where he was really good on the front foot and leaving alot of wide balls confidently on the front foot, but that one mistaked costed him.

    • Roar Rookie

      November 24th 2012 @ 7:41am
      Neuen said | November 24th 2012 @ 7:41am | ! Report

      Move him down the order. Get him away from a new ball. Just saying

      • November 26th 2012 @ 9:58am
        jameswm said | November 26th 2012 @ 9:58am | ! Report

        So put the younger guys in front of Ponting to protect him, so he gets runs?

    • November 24th 2012 @ 8:03am
      mactheblack said | November 24th 2012 @ 8:03am | ! Report

      He (Punter) should go after this series so he gets a dignified exit from the game. Case closed. Hussey is a brilliant cricketer, but remember, the tracks have been leaning towards the benign; and he’s caught napping at times of late on the quicker wickets. Look at the ball that god rid of him from Morkel; pure lack of reflexes. Pity he came into test cricket at such a late stage of his cricketing life; but I reckon at 37, whether you die-hards like it or not – Hussey has got to go soon. Yes, sheer weight of runs might secure you a spot, but the shortcomings will show up despite. We just cannot be sentimental anymore, notwithstanding the greatness these cricketers exude. Look at Jacques Kallis, he seems to be breaking down with all types of injuries these days – but on greatness and sentiment will give him a place in the side. To top it all he is being overbowled too. Tendulkar despite the colossus he is, what more does the man want to achieve; if he know nothing else outside cricket and is hesitant to turn his back on the game – it’s his problem not ours. C’mon everyone has to make way for the next generation – we cannot get away from the facts. My bet is we are going to see a whole lot of Dad’s army retiring this season!!

    • November 24th 2012 @ 8:27am
      pope paul v11 said | November 24th 2012 @ 8:27am | ! Report

      The sychophancy of the selectors is deplorable. The selectors need to give him notice.

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