Retire in Peace, Ricky Ponting
2012 – Dravid, Laxman, Strauss and now Ponting. Some big names have hung up their boots this year.
How to best describe Ricky Ponting? He was one the best batsmen in the last 2 decades and undoubtedly, one of the finest ever. But unlike his predecessors and contemporaries, one of the lesser liked big names on the cricket ground.
From an Indian fan’s perspective, I would describe him as a person who has caused a lot of pain to the us on many occasions, but seldom was the pain caused by his on-field performances with the bat. Barring, of course, the one glorious innings which took away the 2003 World Cup final from us. As a batsman, he mastered conditions everywhere except India. Probably India got the worst out of him, as a player and captain. He presided over the most acrimonious series in which India was involved in the last couple of decades. The 2007-08 tour of Australia was one of the most bitter cricket series ever witnessed. Even millions of dollars of IPL money has been unable to heal all the scars yet.
But Ricky Ponting was statistically the most successful cricketer ever. 108 Test wins and 3 World Cup wins. These numbers speak volumes about the Australian dominance, Ponting’s longevity as well as ability to be part of such a team for a long time. However, he has also had to witness the decline of the all-conquering team of Aussies. More than anything else, those 3 Ashes defeats must have really, really hurt. He certainly bears the scars of those battles:
He was never a favourite of mine (his habit of continuously spitting into his own hands was disgusting to watch) but his struggles over the later part of the career, for some odd reason, made him more likeable. A heavy defeat against South Africa wasn’t the way for a legendary career to end. But at least he got the satisfaction of calling time on his own career.
Farewell Ricky Ponting. May you retire in peace.