This is a slightly weird feeling, but we really want Ricky Ponting to play at the MCG.
Much as we want England to win easily, beating a side captained by Michael Clarke just wouldn’t be right. Ricky Ponting is the most significant player on either side and it brings the occasion down a notch if he’s not there.
To be clear, this is nothing at all to do with the fact that we want Australia to have a number three batsman who was having trouble scoring runs even when his fingers were intact, because if he plays, we reckon Ricky’ll get runs.
When there’s a crowd the size of the one expected at the MCG, everything changes. Young pretenders go all wobbly and your old gnarl dogs take advantage. Compared to everyone else, Ricky Ponting will be largely unarsed by tens of thousands of people staring at him on Boxing Day.