What he said:
“The way you hit the ball, you’re wasting your time playing cricket.”
South African golfing great, Gary Player, to Ricky Ponting on watching him golf.
What he meant:
“You can drive even better on the golf course.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“Cricket’s for cows.”
“You’re the next Tiger Woods.”
Ricky Ponting finally gave in.
Hordes of critics baying for his blood would not be denied.
The World Cup loss to India, in the quarters, was the final straw.
Much as Ricky Ponting would have liked to take the terminal blow on his chin—like a man—he would be first to admit that multiple body blows over the past few months had left him with more than just a bloody, broken finger.
It made him vulnerable—never a happy state of affairs for an Australian captain.
It has been an exhilarating month-and-a-half for cricket aficionados. The two Test series in the antipodes, Australia and South Africa, witnessed enchanting, entertaining cricket from four sides.
The Ashes, whose history goes back over a hundred years, and the Sumo tie between the Goliaths of modern day cricket, India and South Africa, were a treat for the eyes. The Ashes more so for the excellent Hot Spot camera views. No complaints about umpiring decisions there.
Ricky Ponting feels that the Perth wicket will allow him the luxury of playing four fast bowlers. Horses for courses is the theory in play. It may well be a ploy that could backfire. The last time India played Australia in Australia, it was at Perth that the Indians pulled one back to make it 2-1 under the inspiring leadership of Anil Kumble. The Englishmen’s cause,however, is not helped by Stuart Broad’s injury and consequent absence.
Some ramblings,rumblings and grumblings on the current Ashes series :
There’s a lot of Strauss on Ricky Ponting to pull up his socks and make a contribution.
The press-hounds are Ponting out scapegoats — Ricky is first among equals.
“The tables have turned from four years ago when we were in disarray and our selections were poor. Now it is the Australians’ turn to take some pain and grief, because they have got some big question marks about a few of their players and whether they should be picked for the third Test in Perth.
Remember, they gave us plenty of stick four years ago, so don’t shed any tears for them.”
To put it succinctly: India won a match they should have lost. Australia lost a game they should have won.
Neither team deserved to lose and it was a great advertisement for Test cricket. That’s what Test cricket is all about. It’s not over until it’s truly over!
The difference was that man VVS Laxman, who reserves his best for the kangaroos.
The Aussies kept digging into their marsupial pockets for ways to counter the Hyderabadi’s merry march to victory but there were just no tricks up their sleeves.
Ricky Ponting, unlike his predecessor, Steve Waugh, seems to ,more often than not, let the game drift and that was to be the case once more when the Aussies, by rights, should have gone in for the kayo.
No discredit to the fighting qualities exhibited by Laxman, Sharma and Ojha but Ponting needs a new thinking cap and soon!
In the end, it was yet another famous victory for the No. 1 Test team and Dhoni must thank his stars that he can call upon players of the calibre of Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman to do yeoman service without throwing any starry tantrums.