Ricky Ponting is unequivocally the smartest person in world cricket, and he showed that again on Thursday night with another piece of commentary wizardry. The Aussie legend was in commentary for Channel 7 on the opening day of the second Test between Australia and the West Indies at the Gabba.
Ponting is well-known for his ability to predict things before they happen and foreshadow exactly what is about to take place to TV viewers at home. In the final over of play on Thursday, he produced another moment of magic and prophesied what was about to take place.
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With Josh Hazlewood bowling the final over, Alzarri Joseph dropped the ball onto the leg side and set off for a single. But debutant Kevin Sinclair didn't want a bar of it and was happy to stay at the non-striker's end so he didn't have to face any more deliveries for the night.
Sinclair put up a big 'no' as Joseph came charging down the pitch, despite there being ample time for a run. “Sinclair was in no hurry,” James Brayshaw said in commentary. “He’s thinking to himself, ‘This is my first Test match, I like the view from here."
Ponting commented: “He actually had the stop sign up. The stop sign was up and he called out ‘no’ about eight times”. Ponting then produced his genius prediction, saying: “I don’t like saying it, for West Indies’ sake, but normally this game has a way of making things like that come unstuck."
No less than one delivery later, Ponting was proven exactly right. On the very next ball, Joseph edged a ball from Hazlewood to Steve Smith at second slip and he was on his way for an entertaining 32 off 22.
"I don't like saying it, for the West Indies' sake, but normally this game has a way of making things like that come unstuck", says Ricky Ponting...
And with the last ball of the day, West Indies lose a wicket!#AUSvWI pic.twitter.com/QB4m9CXHQS
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) January 25, 2024
Sinclair got his wish and didn't have to face another ball because stumps was called with the fall of the wicket. “Well, I didn’t want to say it, but I did - he (Joseph) should have been up the other end, there was a single there," Ponting said. “That’s actually the second time today that the West Indies, on the back of some slack running between the wickets, have lost a wicket.”
Fans were in awe of Ponting's latest masterstroke, which comes as the latest example of his nous and feel for the game. One fan wrote on social media: "How many times do you hear Ponting make an assessment that almost immediately comes true. One of the best cricket commentators at the moment." Another wrote: "Ponting can see into the future. This is incredible."
Ricky Ponting you can’t be serious 😂
— ᵀᵒᵐ ᶜˡᵃⁿᶜʸ'ˢ Jake Ryan (@dropkickjake) January 25, 2024
Ricky Ponting is better at his job than anyone on earth is at their own job 🔮 #AUSvWI
— Jack Molloy (@jackmolloy94) January 25, 2024
Ricky Ponting calls it spot on. Incredible sense for the game. #AUSVWI
— James Foster (@jfoster88) January 25, 2024
Ponting can see into the future. This is incredible. https://t.co/VAFTmGmDa7
— Patrick Gray (@PatrickM_Gray) January 25, 2024
He is the cricketing oracle is our Punter @RickyPonting 🙌🙌🙌🙌
— Shan Van (@Goose19PAFC) January 25, 2024
How many times do you hear Ponting make an assessment that almost immediately comes true. One of the best cricket commentators at the moment.
— Kevin (@kaddude) January 25, 2024
West Indies fight back to frustrate Australia in second Test
The Windies went to stumps at 8-266, a remarkable fightback considering they were 5-64 after a devastating opening session. Josh Da Silva (79) and second-gamer Kavem Hodge (71) produced the biggest partnership ever against Australia in a day-night Test, combining for 149 for the seventh wicket.
Mitchell Starc (4-68) had ripped through the visitors' top order early in the day, becoming just the third left-arm paceman - and fifth Australian in total - to take at least 350 Test wickets. But Da Silva and Hodge cashed in when the pink ball softened - as it so often does on abrasive pitches.
"We would have liked to finish the day maybe a bit better with one of us getting a hundred, or both of us," Da Silva said. "There is no way it was expected ... we are pretty happy. Against one of the best teams in the world we showed we are here to fight."
Starc said: "We know the pink ball gets soft at some point and I think with the firmness of this wicket it started to go soft in the 11th over. They applied themselves really well with Da Silva and Hodge then we got a couple of late (wickets). I'd say a pretty even day on that wicket."
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