Michael Clarke wants Ricky Ponting, not Sachin Tendulkar to score ton at SCG

Ricky Ponting scored two half-centuries in the first Test at Melbourne Getty Images

By Ashish Shukla

Sydney: Jan 2, 2012

The spotlight is firmly on Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar as he chases an elusive 100th international century, but Australian captain Michael Clarke on Monday said he won’t be surprised if Ricky Ponting is the one walking away with a ton during the second Test starting on Tuesday.

“The way Punter is batting at the moment, he is not far away from a big one. One thing I know about him is if he gets to 100, he won’t be stopping there so he’s got a very good record at the SCG. I know he loves playing here, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he walked out and made a 100 in this Test,” wished Clarke ahead of the second Test.

Ponting has hit 39 centuries in his 159-Test career but a three-figure knock has eluded him for the past 17 Tests and 33 innings so far. His last hundred was against Pakistan at Bellerive Oval, Hobart two years ago.

Ponting has a brilliant record at the SCG where he has scored 1346 runs from 15 Tests at an average of 64.10 with five centuries.

The former Australian captain gave a hint of the things to come with two half centuries in very demanding batting conditions at the MCG last week.

Clarke, inevitably, wished Tendulkar to get his hundred after the series and not while the contest is on in the present series.

“I hope his 100 doesn’t come until the next series because I’d love to watch it on television. But he’s been such a great player and certainly deserves all the credit he’s received,” he said.

While acknowledging Tendulkar’s mastery, Clarke believed the conditions at the SCG could test him out.

“I think there’s going to be enough in the wicket. There’s a tinge of green there; it’s a little bit tacky at the moment. I think it’s going to be quite tough to bat on day one but the sunshine obviously helps.” (PTI)