Monday, February 20, 2012

ODI axing may push Ponting towards retirement ...

Ricky Ponting, one of the greatest batsmen of the modern era, is likely to announce his retirement on Tuesday from One Day cricket after Cricket Australia's National Selection Panel dropped him from the tri-series squad on Monday.

For the past two years, Ponting has been under huge pressure to retain his place with slump in form and advancing years.

In the current tri-series he has scored mere 18 runs in five matches, which has prompted the selectors to axe the former Australian skipper. However, he had stepped into the captaincy role for two games in place of the injured Michael Clarke. In his last outing on Sunday, he led Australia to victory against India in Brisbane.

Ponting is meeting the media on Tuesday at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). The indications are that the 37-year-old might give up the shorter format of the game and keep himself available for Tests after re-discovering his lost touch in the five-day version against India. He hopes to feature in 2013 Ashes series and win back the urn against old foes England.

As soon as Australia opted to keep Ponting out of the squad for the next set of tri-series games, it became clear that he would not be considered again.With Shane Watson also returning from injury and Peter Forrest impressing in his debut series, it is definitely the end of Ponting who has been a prolific run-getter for Australia.Captaincy duties did not affect his batting much and he continued to blossom under leadership responsibilities.

In 375 ODI games, he has scored 13,704 runs at an average of 42.03 with 30 hundreds and 82 half centuries. He made his debut in 1995.

Ponting is second in the all-time highest scorers in ODI cricket with Sachin Tendulkar heading the list with 18,179 runs.

In his last World Cup innings, in Ahmedabad, last year, he scored one of the finest centuries in the 50-over showpiece event. However, that hundred ended in a losing cause against India in the quarter-finals.

That innings of 104 was his last ODI ton and since then he has played 16 matches with a highest score of 90 not out against Sri Lanka.

His numbers in Test cricket are also great. In 162 Tests, he has 13,200 runs at 53.44 with 41 hundreds and 61 fifties.

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