It seems that former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting’s ODI career in Australian cricket is almost over now. Given the news that he was dropped from the team squad for the next two matches to be played in the current tri-series with India and Sri Lanka, this is what we can all conclude!
The 37-year old player has been out of form for quite some time, having scored a mere 18 runs in five innings, with an average of just 3.6 runs. Moreover, the poor performance against India in the match at Gabba added to the string of failures. This made the selection committee to drop him from the team for the next two matches, and instead bring back injured players like Shane Watson, Michael Clarke and Ryan Harris to play.
John Inverarity, chairman of the selection committee said, “He (Ponting) has been dropped from the squad because of his poor performance and lack of form in the matches of the Commonwealth Bank Series till the ongoing tri-series.”
One cannot forget the brilliant performance Ponting has shown in the past. He made his ODI debut in the year 1995 against South Africa, and soon followed with his Test cricket debut in the same year, against Sri Lanka in Perth. He scored a massive 96 runs in the first Test innings. Although Ponting was dropped from the national team many a times before 1999, it was not before the year 2002 that he was made the ODI captain of the team. In 2004, he also became the skipper of the Test team.
Ponting has played over 370 ODIs and has scored more than 13,000 runs, his 164 runs against South Africa being the highest. He has successfully led the Australian team to 162 victories as the ODI captain, and won the World Cup twice in his captaincy span. There are several other records to his credit, such as the most ODI runs by an Australian, most ODI fifties by an Australian, most centuries in World Cups, and so on.
Despite such a fantastic past record, his performance has been declining in the last few years, resulting in his drop-out from the squad for the tri-series. John Inverarity further adds, “His records speak for him. He has been a truly great performer in the history of Australian limited overs batting. But it is inevitable that one has to move on from the omission of outstanding players.”