Ricky Ponting, eh? He’s not likeable, because of the face, the face and also the face. However, he is admirable as a batsman.
Look Ponting in the face and it’s tricky to know whether to sigh and hope he goes away or to start with the punching. Watch him bat and it’s all simpler. You just think to yourself: “Man, this guy can bat. Wish I could punch him in the face.”
While we’ve written before about how we think that several Australian batting averages have been inflated by the match situations that were created by their exceptional bowlers, we wouldn’t want to knock Ponting’s status as a batsman down more than a single rung. He’s extraordinarily good and it’s inappropriate that he’s often mentioned in the same breath as that gobshite, Hayden.
Ricky Ponting’s scored a hundred in India this year, when everyone thought that he suffered subcontinental spazzeritis. In this match, he helped pick Australia up after a dispiriting first Test loss by scoring 101. That should have been a vital innings.
His captaincy’s famously feeble and the more Australia slide, the more he’s under pressure. They’ve been making a bit of a bollocks of this match and as his batsmen struggled in the second innings, you could have forgiven Ponting for folding under the weight of it all.
But he didn’t. He top scored with 99, while the rest of the batsmen failed to get out of the twenties (runs that is – they weren’t smearing their hair into side partings and doing the Charleston).