Ponting unfairly in the firing line once again

By Martin Smith, Yahoo!7 November 12, 2012, 11:04 am

There was a strong sense of déjà vu reading the papers and scouring social media this morning.

Just like this time last year, South Africa’s fast bowlers are dominant, Australia’s top order batting is insipid and Australian cricket is seemingly in a state of despair.

And once again the finger of blame seems to be pointing squarely at veteran Ricky Ponting.

"Ricky Ponting is suddenly under the spotlight again after his third duck in four innings against South Africa," a News Ltd article said.

The twittersphere was littered with similar sentiments

That is skewing statistics to suit an argument.

It is correct that Ponting’s recent record against the best fast bowling attack in the world is horrible.

But it was conveniently forgotten that:

• Ponting has scored 789 runs in his past nine Test matches at an average of 56.35.
• He has gone past 50 seven times in 15 innings in that period, including one century and one double century.
• He has made 355 runs in four Sheffield Shield matches so far this summer at an average of well over 100.

It seems that one low score has erased all that good work.

Ponting’s dismissal yesterday, poking at a ball he should have left alone, was disappointing given the state of the match.

But for him to shoulder all of the blame for Australia’s top-order frailties, which were papered over by his prolific run-scoring last summer, is unfair.

For his part, Ponting would have known these sorts of headlines were coming. He copped much worse from his critics during his well-publicised form slump last year. He will shrug them off as he has always done.

The veteran laid his cards on the table a long time ago by indicating he wants one more Ashes tour next year. He has put himself at the mercy of the selection panel and will live and die by his performances over the next 12 months.

With Shane Watson set to come back into the side and Usman Khawaja, Alex Doolan, Phil Hughes and Joe Burns all mounting a case, Ponting needs runs to assure his place on the plane to England next year.

Maybe he’ll get them, maybe he won’t. If he doesn’t, he knows better than most that his place in the side will be in serious jeopardy.

But just one innings into the summer is too early to judge.

Follow @martinsmith87 on Twitter

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  1. David06:15pm Monday 12th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    jones, how many times did u brits win the cricket world cup???? hmmmmm ahhhhhh creeeeeek ZERO TIMES. and ause 4 times. i mean do u know what 0 and 4 mean? ahhhhhhhhh

    1 Reply
  2. Wicked Wiz of the West05:06pm Monday 12th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Grandad Ponting should have gone when he was on top, 5 years ago.

    1 Reply
  3. Joan03:24pm Monday 12th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Cricket is a team sport but our own selectors and fans are putting pressure on our inividual players. Warner went early, new boy put in at first drop where the Captain should have been.....a day lost because of rain yet Pontings duck is the big news. South Africa are fielding like Dad's Army at the moment so with a bit of luck we may get a draw....you think?

  4. Daniel03:04pm Monday 12th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I like how people say you cant blame a player for 1 bad match and forget all the good ones. That is the same thinking of the selectors and the reason why Aussies have dropped down to D grade from Legendary. Ricky Ponting has has PLENTY of bad games lately, and very few decent ones, the only good game he has had was in a match against weak bowlers where all batsmen made plenty of runs, Clarke mark 300 and Ponting made 200 or something, you cant count that cause my 3yo son could of made runs in that game. You also cant count Pontings games years ago cause he was a good player back then, now is he rubbish and i could play better then him. The Aussie side has really improved just from Ponting leaving has captain, soon when he gets sacked the Aussie team will get back to Legendary status once again. Bring on Watson, Khawaja and hughes, Remove Ponting, warner, and quiney and bam we have a great batting line-up.

    1 Reply
  5. 03:02pm Monday 12th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Antisemitic, and cerebrally impaired rooster is at his inane and puerile game again. The word racism is the most over-used, and least understood word in the English language. Imbeciles like bantam brain needs to stop luxuriating in his own perverse morality and get a bit of perspective on the world. It is the intent of the joke not the joke, OK joker? In Rawanda the Hutu's and Tutsis practise genocide on each other, now that is racism not a harmless joke you complete gormless and humourless fool.

  6. Daniel02:54pm Monday 12th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    1. Ponting has been past his prim for awhile now and should of been dropped. 2. Hughes, and Khawaja are better then Ponting (now) and should be in. 3. Yes Taylor got 2 ducks in a row awhile back also, but Ponting got 3 ducks in a row, then 2 other ducks in like 5 other innings with an average in the single digits, thats the first time his head was on the chopping block and when he should of been gone, and now again he is getting more ducks, 3 in the past 4 innings what rubbish is that ? 4. I could bat better then Ponting, his time is gone, I loved Ponting he was a great batsmen, the key word there though is 'was'.

    5 Replies
  7. barbara02:35pm Monday 12th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Leave Ricky alone not his fault, Australia have done no good since he stood down as captain, maybe should be looking at the new captain if you want to blame someone!!!

    7 Replies
  8. robert02:33pm Monday 12th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I seem to recall "know it all" Taylor getting a series of ducks in a row in England a few years ago, and i don't recall anyone calling for his head at the time.I also remember them calling for Mike Husseys head not that long ago also. If there is anyone better i am sure they'll get a run.In the meantime, how about getting behind our legends instead of bagging them.

    1 Reply
  9. paulski02:10pm Monday 12th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    'Unfairly'? I've been a Ponting supporter but even I could tell that that was the shot of a player well past his best and struggling against real fast bowlers. He's got maybe two more matches to get it together, otherwise Ricky's time will be done.

  10. Nomi01:55pm Monday 12th November 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Sheffield shield is the the B game, the A game is what South Africa is all about and he failed miserably. I mean there was no footwork, eyes were somewhere else, bat was somewhere else. I mean how can an experienced player play like this? didn't he saw Amla and Kallis the whole game?