Ricky Ponting ready to move down the batting order

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting feels ready to bat at No 4 which will enable Shaun Marsh to bat at No. 3 position which is captain Michael Clarke’s long term plan Getty Images

Sydney: Oct 10, 2011

Ricky Ponting is fine with batting at number four in the Australian Test team and reveals that Shaun Marsh’s elevation to the number three spot was part of captain Michael Clarke’s “long-term plan”.

Ponting, who will make a rare appearance for Tasmania in their Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia Tuesday, said he was happy to move one place down the batting order as it is not a “big change” from his earlier position.

“It was a long-term plan of Michael’s to have Shaun move to No.3 and me move to No.4 and Michael move to five and Huss to six,” Ponting was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “So that wasn’t just something I don’t think as a one-off for that game. Michael sees that in the best interests of the team going forward for a period of time. So I will be three this week, probably three in the one-dayers in South Africa and then probably drop back to four for the Test matches.

Explaining on his batting position through out his illustrious career, Ponting said: “When I first came into the Australian side, batting at six was hard. Waiting that amount of time to bat for me was something that was very foreign to me. But three to four I don’t think is as big a change as three to six, or it certainly wasn’t in the last Test because I was in pretty early both times. Slight adjustment. It just gives me a little bit more time once our fielding’s over to get my head around what I have to do to bat.”

Clarke has been clear on his vision for the team since he took over the captaincy from Ponting. He had earlier made it clear that Shane Watson will continue to open the batting despite the all-rounder’s reluctance to it.(IANS)