Ricky Ponting Biography
Ricky Ponting is an Australian former cricket team captain, and is considered as one of the best batsmen of the game. He has led Australia to two World Cup victories and is also their highest run scorer in ODIs and Tests. He is also the only player to win more than 100 Test matches.
‘Punter’, as he is called by his teammates, was born on 19 December 1974 in Tasmania. He made his First Class debut for Tasmania when he was 17-years old.
Australia’s former wicket-keeper Rod Marsh had seen him play there and considered him ‘best among the teens’. After playing there for three years, Ponting made his way into the national team.
Ponting made his international debut in 1995 in an ODI match against South Africa, and also made his Test debut the same year. He played alongside legends like Steve Waugh, Shane Warne, Brett Lee and Adam Gilchrist to name a few.
He kept on piling runs for Australia since his debut. His innings of 140* in the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup final is most renowned as the mighty Australians blasted India out of the final scoring a huge total of 359.
He was in top form and had scored 5115 runs in 71 Test matches at an average of 52.73 and 4800 runs in 131 ODIs at an average of 41.37. He already had 26 international hundreds by then.
He became Australia’s captain in the year 2002, as Steve Waugh was dropped from the captain’s role. His aggressive captaincy gained him many fans, but also was criticised for his hard play.
Ponting’s team was the best in the world for many years and he was rated as the best captain of his era. Australia had a 34 match winning streak in World Cups, which is the most for any team. In Tests, they had a 16 match winning streak. His team outplayed every nation in their home country except India.
Ponting’s captaincy record is quite staggering as Australia won 165 ODIs under him at a winning percentage of 76.14 and 48 Tests with a win percentage of 62.33.
Probably the best player of the pull shot, Ponting played almost all the textbook shots to perfection. He is renowned for the twin centuries in his 100th Test match which is a unique world record.
Ricky Ponting is the only Australian to score more than 12000 Test runs and also 10000 ODI runs. He is ranked third in most centuries in Tests as well as ODIs, but second if both the formats are combined.
Ponting has played the highest number of ODIs as captain. He also has most number of wins as captain in ODIs and both the formats combined with 165 and 213 wins respectively.
Ponting is Australia’s highest run scorer in both the formats and stands only behind Sachin Tendulkar in ODIs overall. He is also the third highest run getter in Tests.
The only parts of his career ‘Punter’ would not love to look at are his Ashes losses and his performance in India. In the subcontinent, he failed both as a captain and a batsman. His Test average in all the other nations is above 40, while it is only 26 in India.
He decided to call it a day in 2012, after a disastrous home series against South Africa.
Post international retirement
Ponting continued to play in the Indian Premier League for Mumbai Indians and in the Big Bash League for Hobart Hurricanes after his international retirement. Also, like many retired cricketers, he took up the commentary job and fared pretty well for Channel 9 and Ten Sports.
Along with Sachin Tendulkar, he played the mentor’s role for the Mumbai Indians in the ninth season of IPL and later on succeeded John Wright as their coach. It was under him that the Mumbai based franchise lifted their third IPL trophy.