Ageing Ricky Ponting’s last chance of redemption

Location – Johannesburg, the World Cup final in the year 2003. The story – short balls from Zaheer, Nehra and Srinath humped imperiously over the fence by Ricky Ponting. The message – ‘don’t you dare bowl short to me.’ The outcome – A marvelous 100 in a World Cup final that successfully sealed the match and should rank among the finest ODI innings ever played. That was Ricky Ponting in 2003 when he was at his top. Anybody who attempted to bowl short into the body in an effort to intimidate would in turn had to deal with intimidation from Punter. He basically was the greatest in the business at pulling/hooking and usually the outcome would be carnage for the bowlers.

Fast forward to ’09. Location – Perth. The occasion – a dry rubber in the 3 game Test series between Aussie and West Indies. The story – a new upcoming pace tyro Kemar Roach hitting Ponting on the elbow and eventually pushing him to retire hurt. The message – Ponting’s self confidence had been ruined and the short ball could now be utilized as a tool against him. The outcome – Ponting’s self-confidence had taken a battering after that spell and he never was the similar once again. This is in ’09. 6 yrs can be a quite a while in cricket and with age catching up with Ponting. The word had spread all over the world and the bowlers now utilized it as a trick to get him out.

41, DNB. 22, 6. 26, 0. 6, 66. 71, 4. 77, 72. 10, 51*. 0, 9. 12, 1. 10, 20. 44, 4. 48, 28. 8, 0. 0, 62. 78, DNB. 5, 16. It’s been 16 test games and 31 innings since Ricky Ponting made his last century. In the similar phase he’s scored only 797 runs at a measly AVG of 27.48. They’re concerning periods if you are Ricky Ponting.

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