Like Taylor and Waugh before him, Ponting deserves some time.

As Australia spiral towards another Test Match defeat at the hands of arch rivals England, speculation is rife about the future of Ricky Ponting, Australia’s gutsy leader since March 2004. His form, which has yielded just 593 runs at 31.21 since making 209 against Pakistan at Hobart in January this year, and position in the side is being questioned, which ultimately leads to issues regarding the captaincy.

However, this isn’t anything new for Australian cricket, with Ponting’s two predecessors, Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh, also suffering prolonged periods of poor form towards the end of their careers. In fact, these periods of poor form were far greater and more extreme than the one Ponting’s experiencing at the moment.

Between December 1995 and June 1997, Mark Taylor, one of Australia’s greatest captains, suffered a loss of form much worse than Ponting’s, however he was given more than his fair share of time to turn it around.

Since Taylor’s 96 against Sri Lanka at Perth in December 1995, he produced 367 runs at a paltry average of just 18.35 in an 18-month period, before turning it around with a career-saving 129 against England at Birmingham in June 1997. The headlines were similar to what we’re seeing currently with Ponting’s situation, however the only difference was that the Australian side was winning. Despite the los of form, the selectors retained faith in the opening batsman and it paid dividends, with Taylor amassing a further 1719 runs at 66.11 before his retirement in January 1999. This included his record-breaking 334 not out against Pakistan at Peshawar in October 1998.

Waugh, like Taylor, was experiencing a poor run of form just a few years prior to his retirement, with the period between August 2001 and October 2002 reaping just 345 runs at 21.56, before a career-saving century against Pakistan at Sharjah. Similar to Taylor’s situation, the Australian team was winning most of their games during this period, and despite calls for Waugh’s sacking, the media weren’t as harsh as what we’re seeing now with Ponting. In another similarity to Taylor, Waugh also repaid the selectors who showed faith in him, amassing 1296 runs at 68.21 before retiring in January 2004.

With these examples in mind, it’s dangerous to write off a champion, especially one who has scored in excess of 12,000 Test Match runs. There will be those in various forms of media claiming that the key difference is that the Australian’s are losing, unlike when Taylor and Waugh were in charge. The fact remains though, that despite being talented cricketers, the likes of Hughes, Haddin, Smith and Siddle are simply no match to the likes of Hayden, Gilchrist, Warne and McGrath.

Certainly, there is a concern about Ponting’s individual form, however his captaincy can’t be judged on the (lack of) performance of others.

DJC

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33 responses to “Like Taylor and Waugh before him, Ponting deserves some time.

  1. The difference is, Taylor and Waugh were good captains, in winning teams! Gotta sack him after this series, IMO.

  2. No. He needs to play till his average comes below 50.

  3. Why should he be dropped? He is doing so nicely. =S

  4. Oz can still draw the series 2-2, it is not as bad as it looks

  5. Not much point in dropping the guy with the best average in the team, he;s having a lean series though, and if the team would do better without him then maybe he should go, but there’s no obvious replacement for his #3 spot. Khawaja is a fine player but is no Ponting, he will need more tests to find his feet than we probably can afford to give him if he bats at 3.

  6. Its painful to c punter in a horrible form like dis……and its his current form isnt keepin him in good frame of mind and as such hez makin sum pathetic decisions out dere…….

  7. who said he is a champion?

  8. 12,000+ Test runs is a feat of a champion.

    If you even doubt this, you have absolutely no idea.

  9. “who said he is a champion?”

    More then those who say his not.

  10. Sydney test will be his farewell test, I feel.

    Either use that and retire gracefully or be dropped

  11. Time for retirement Punter your time is over

  12. Lets just settle the fact that Ponting is a champion, sitting 2nd in all time runs scored in tests and 2nd in centuries scored in tests kind of speaks for itself.

    This is one lean series out of 152 tests that Ponting has played and like the captains before him he deserves his chance. He is the first captain in 15 odd years to not be leading a side comprised of some of the worlds greatest players of the modern era.

  13. Ponting is one of the batting greats produced by Oz. Pretty saddening to see his career end in a Ashes series loss at home.

  14. Karma. Its the best and worst fact of life.

  15. Who can lead the side if not him? People crop up Haddins name

    Ferguson and Khwaja can be roped in for Clarke and Smith post Ashes possibly

  16. I honestly don’t know who could be given the captaincy.. It’s the big question really, the most obvious choice would be Clarke seeing as though he is One Day captain and has been vice captain in tests for a while too.. However, his form with the bat has been dodgy lately so his place in the side has come under threat.

    As for Ponting, the most obvious replacement for him once he retires or is dropped would be to bring Khawaja in. Ferguson has not done enough to warrant selection.

  17. Chappeli wants Haddin as captain

  18. If u want ponting to come back to form, ask chappal to write another mirrir on the wall article

  19. If you don’t think that Ponting is a champion batsman of our times then you are a class “A” moron. I don’t mean to be rude but these kind of statements just bring down the overall quality of this forum. I have watched ponting bat since he debuted in the mid 90s and he has demonstrated on innumerable occassions his greatness.

  20. The pull he plays, balancing on his back leg, was a sight to watch. The only flaw, in batting career , is his pretty average performance in india.

  21. Ponting learned his shots from Sachin so called pull shot was Sachin,s first.

  22. Did he also learn to wipe his ass from Sachin?

  23. yea sachin uses his right hand ponting uses his left hand

  24. Shakthi and other spuds questioning Ponting’s ability are simply making yourselves look like un-educated Indians, from the slums of Rajasthan…

    Oh wait…

  25. Haha. But lets not take away from Ponting what he’s achieved. We may hate Ponting the Captain, but Ponting the Player has been one of the gems of this generation and decade.

  26. Yeah exactly. I can see why people are happy to see him failing because they don’t like him and that’s fair enough, but to mock him is a bit much.

    I for one, really want to see another masterclass from Ponting.. I forget what they are like..

  27. No, keep him playing

  28. He is great batsman, but as a sportsperson he has brought himself and cricket in general to shame on numerous occassions – which is going to define who he is.

  29. he’ll pull a Ganguly I think…will disappear for a bit and then burst in all cylinders firing for one final scene

  30. I don’t see him retiring/being dropped for the simple reason that currently there’s nobody in the Aus team who can become a good long term replacement to Punter as captain.

  31. Irrespective of whether Aussies drop him or not but they are in deep sh*t for sure

  32. He has to lose his captaincy at the very least. He has lost 2 ashes , lost in India twice, lost at home against SA etc etc.

    He is a terrible captain in terms of his tactics, man mangt and selction ideas. I mean it was his idea to select dopey spinner after dopey spinner instead of Hauritz for example. His tactics are dreadful, to many to list. And the way he controls the team and runs it is abysmal. He seems to think by dominating his players, shouting a lot and rolling up your sleevs is how to do it. He needs to calm down and empower his team mates instead of trying to lead through forceful personality/dictaroship. He could learn fron Dhoni and Waugh in their quiet calm leadership.

    Amazing how has maged to hang on as captain till now!

  33. BTW, the “great” batsman, who is obviously better than SRT specially under pressure, has some inconsistent avg during McWarne era and after.

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