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    December 11, 2006

    Rod Marsh on Ricky Ponting

    In his column in 'The Observer', Rod Marsh, who was in charge of Australia's cricket academy in the 1990s, writes about when he first saw a 16-year old Ricky Ponting.
    I first came across Ricky Ponting in the summer of 1991-92 in Adelaide. He had come over on a scholarship from Launceston in Tasmania to spend a week at the Academy. He was 16 and I knew nothing about him.

    At the same time there was a 6ft 6in hulk, called Paul Wilson, who kept knocking on my door, telling me he should be on the Academy (he later played one Test and a dozen ODIs for Australia). He was a strapping 20-year-old, a pace bowler and, because I've always worked on the philosophy that you can never have enough fast men, I invited Wilson in for a net against this young lad from Tasmania.

    Wilson raced in, ran through the crease like most fast bowlers do, and hurled down a bouncer. Ricky hooked the ball in front of square-leg like a bullet. I turned to my colleague Richard Done and we looked at each other in sheer amazement. 'This bloke will play for Australia,' I said. The next ball, Wilson was still trying to impress me. He went through the crease again, bowled it faster and shorter and Ricky hit it further.
    Ricky Ponting, currently averages 59.99, holds two ICC Player of the Year trophies, is Australia's #1 century-maker in tests ahead of Steve Waugh & Sir Donald Bradman and is forever in a statistical race with Rahul Dravid.

    This is what their numbers look right now: Ponting 9239 runs from 107 tests (179 innings, 25 not outs), averaging 59.99, highest score 257, 33 centuries and 35 fifties. Dravid 9049 runs from 104 tests (176 innings, 22 not outs), averaging 58.75, highest score 270, 23 centuries and 46 fifties. Ponting clearly has the better conversion rate, but their numbers are staggeringly similar, and were even more so before the Ashes series started! And I haven't even mentioned the fact that both got 90s on test debut! While Dravid got a faint tickle and walked, Ponting got a horrible lbw!

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 4:26 PM |
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    6 sledge(s):

    And both are let down by their record in India - admittedly, in Dravid's case this is because you'd expect it to be higher, not because it's bad . Although interestingly, Ganguly, Laxman, and Tendulkar all average less at home than away. Sehwag averages 0.12 higher at home.

    By Blogger Geoff (11-Dec-2006, 5:29:00 PM)  

    Dravid's initial few years at home contribute to his lower (if an avg. of 51.5 is "low"). For quite a while, maybe 2-3 years after debut, he played second fiddle to Azhar, Tendulkar and Ganguly when it came to piling runs on turning tracks at home.

    By Blogger Jagadish (11-Dec-2006, 7:55:00 PM)  

    ponting is a machine...i think he'll break tendulkar's record of centuries by the end of the ashes...

    what do you guys think?

    By Anonymous Anonymous (12-Dec-2006, 7:09:00 AM)  

    ponting avg against india in india is very bad around 12.

    By Anonymous pamthree (12-Dec-2006, 9:53:00 AM)  

    Indeed. And 172 runs in 14 innings _includes_ a 60. His second highest is 18, and has 6 single digit scores! Dravid's bugbear side/country is a little tougher to find. The lowest he averages in a country is 42.11 (South Africa) and has a lot of scope to set things right now! To me, the best indicator of his value/ability as a batsman are his stats in New Zealand and England, where he's made runs in tough conditions, in both his tours there! In fact in 2002/3, he was #2 in the run getters list (131 runs from 4 innings) behind Richardson (144 runs from 4 knocks). Third was Tendulkar (100). After that, a _lot_ of daylight - Fleming with 78.

    By Blogger Jagadish (12-Dec-2006, 10:48:00 AM)  

    omar - Entirely possible, especially given the way England's bowling is performing. I'd pick Panesar _not_ because he was going to run through Australia, but because he deserves to play ahead of Giles. I really doubt if England will pick 2 spinners. Captaining a side with 2 spinners isn't easy!

    By Blogger Jagadish (12-Dec-2006, 10:52:00 AM)  

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