Ricky Ponting to draw inspiration from former Australia Test cricketers

Ricky Ponting made the announcement a day after he was dropped from the squad for the ongoing tri-series Getty Images

Sydney: Feb 21, 2012

Ricky Ponting, who led Australia to two World Cup triumphs, on Tuesday said he will continue to play in Test matches, and will look to former cricketers such as Steve Waugh, David Boon, and Mark Taylor for inspiration.

“With no one-day international cricket obviously that makes it difficult for me. But there are those around Australia who only play Test cricket and I’ve seen it before with Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor and David Boon when they had retired from one-day cricket and still did well in Tests,” said Ponting.

Second only to Sachin Tendulkar in the number of ODI runs — in 275 ODIs he has accumulated 13,704 at an average of 42.03 — Ponting said at a press conference that he did not expect to play one-day cricket for Australia again.

“It’s a little bit hard to come here today and say I’m retiring when I’ve already been left out of the side. I don’t expect to play one-day international cricket for Australia any more and I’m pretty sure the selectors don’t expect to pick me either. I have no bitterness at all about what’s happened,” Ponting said stopping short of formally declaring an end to his ODI career.

“I totally understand the reasons why and the national selectors are looking forward to building a team for the next World Cup of which I am not part of their plans going forward,” he added.

The 37-year-old made the announcement a day after he was dropped from the squad for the ongoing tri-series but said he would continue to play in Tests.

“I will continue playing Test cricket and I’ll continue playing for Tasmania as well. I think I proved to everyone and myself that I am still capable of dominating Test cricket as I did in the last Test series against India,” Ponting said at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Ponting conceded that he had been informed by national selector John Inverarity that he did not fit into the selectors’ plans in the 50-over format as they build towards the 2015 World Cup.

“John (Inverarity) made it very clear to me yesterday the direction that they’re heading with the one-day team and that I’m not part of their plans,” said Ponting.

Ponting’s one-day sacking came less than a month after a superb performance in Australia’s 4-0 clean sweep of the home Test series against India, where he scored 544 runs at an average of 108.80 with two centuries and three fifties.

But the selection committee lost patience with his form in the tri-series as he scored just 18 runs from five innings at an average of 3.6.

“The passion for me in international cricket has not died or changed and I’ve made it clear right through this Australian summer that I still don’t see a finish line as far as my international career is concerned.

“Now that one-day cricket probably isn’t there any more and we all know that (retirement) day is coming closer and closer for me, but I am not the sort of person who will want a massive farewell series,” said Ponting.

“I’ll make a decision when I think that I can’t contribute to winning games of cricket for Australia and that’s all that has been motivating me for the last 12 months: to be the player I know I can be.”

Ponting said that he will finish his playing career on his own terms and not be discarded by selectors.

“I am backing myself to finish the game and finish on a high. I don’t want to finish on a low and I’ll make the right decision at the right time. There’s no doubt about that.

Ponting said he now wanted to focus completely on Tests and prepare himself for every Test match.

“The thing that I thought about most yesterday was how I was going to manage my time and to be well prepared for every Test match that I play for the remainder of my career.” (PTI)