Three times three
Ricky Ponting's century in his 100th test
, following Inzamam's example against India last year
, made me wonder about the similarities between him, Dravid and Kallis.
I'd say that these three have been the most successful #3
batsmen in the last decade. They made their debuts in a span of six months and are in a similar age group. While Ponting and Kallis were fast-tracked into international cricket fairly soon, Dravid bided his time, playing a lot of domestic cricket
and getting into the test side only when he was past 23. They've all played a similar number of tests. Ponting has 8000+ runs at an average of 56, Dravid averages 57 while Kallis has around 7500 runs at an average of 56. Eerily similar!
Dravid has the highest %age of innings at #3 [80% or so] while Ponting has played around 70% of his innings in that position
. Kallis has played just less than 50% of his innings at #3, but strangely enough, he has been more successful at #4. I've always had this feeling he was more suited to a typical #3 role. Ponting is the counter-attacking #3 while the likes of Dravid and Kallis are the innings-building #3s.
It seems obvious to me that when Ponting retires, he will own the records for most runs
and most centuries. Even if he doesn't improve his record in India
, to me he will end up as an all-time great. For the same reasons that Warne is great
in spite of India's batsmen mauling him repeatedly.
Columns on Ponting (will be updated as and when I find content):Oliver Brett
, Peter English
, Chloe Saltau
& Jon Pierik