Ponting: No longer part of Australia’s ODI plans

Ponting: No longer part of Australia’s ODI plans

Ex-Australia skipper Ricky Ponting accepts that he’s likely played his last limited-overs international but has vowed to continue in the test match arena.

By (AP)

Published: Tue 21 Feb 2012, 11:34 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:41 AM

The 37-year-old Ponting held a news conference Tuesday, the morning after he was dropped from Australia’s limited-overs squad for the ongoing tri-series against India and Sri Lanka.

A two-time World Cup-winning captain, he was dropped after a string of five consecutive single-digit scores — the worst sequence in a 375-game ODI career that stretches back to 1995 and includes five World Cup campaigns.

He didn’t specifically say he’d retired, but conceded chief selector John Inverarity had made it clear he was no longer part of their plans for the ODI squad as they build for the 2015 World Cup.

‘I don’t expect to be recalled into the one-day side,’ Ponting said. Inverarity, ‘made it pretty clear to me yesterday that he doesn’t expect for me to be playing one-day cricket again, so that’s where it is for me.

‘It would have to take four or five guys to go down in one game in Hobart on Friday for me to be even considered again, but I don’t think I’ll ever be considered and that’s the way I’m approaching it. That sits comfortably with me.’

Ponting’s immediate aim is selection for the three-test series in the West Indies in April, and he’s still hoping to be in contention for the 2013 Ashes series in England.

‘Now that international one-day cricket’s not there, what I have left is test match cricket and I’ll make sure that I’m as well-prepared as possible to play every game and make the most of every opportunity that I get,’ he said. ‘The passion for international cricket for me has not died or changed one little bit.’

Ponting quit as Australia captain after the World Cup quarterfinal loss to India last March but has remained in the ODI and test squads as a specialist batsman and still is one of the leading fielders in the country. He stopped playing Twenty20 cricket in 2009.

Critics and retired cricketers including Steve Waugh, his predecessor as captain, have suggested Ponting should quit while he’s on top. Ponting said he hadn’t spoken to any of the retired teammates from his era or others about retirement because he’s not ready for it.

‘It’s not about defying anybody. It’s about being the best that I can be and winning games of cricket for Australia,’ he said. ‘I think criticism is always going to come your way as an international player, everyone understands that and accepts that.’

‘I’ve never been too big for criticism and I guess over the last few years I’ve copped a little bit but I’ve always copped it on the chin and tried to make myself a lot better as a result.’

Ponting played his last ODI on Sunday, needing 13 balls to get off the mark and scoring a scratchy 7 from 26 balls as he deputized for injured Michael Clarke as captain in the 110-run win over World Cup champion India at Brisbane.

After that match, he said he wanted to bat his way into form, as he had done in the test arena this summer after criticism of his form and his continued selection in the Australian XI. He scored a double-century, a century and three half centuries and averaged 108 in the four-test sweep of India to silence his critics.

‘I got a lot of satisfaction out of this summer because I proved to myself and I proved to my teammates that I can (still) win games for Australia,’ he said. He has scored 13,200 runs in 162 tests at 53.44 and was the second-highest scorer in the last series against India behind only Clarke.

Ponting said that form didn’t transfer into the one-day arena, but he was confident he could revive his batting for the West Indies series. He plans to play domestic cricket for Tasmania to stay in shape.

Ponting said he wasn’t given any indication before Monday that he was surplus to Australia’s ODI requirements, but understood the selectors had to make a tough choice and wasn’t bitter about it.

‘From my point of view, of course I still felt there was still room in the team for me, but at the end of the day if I’d made runs, I’d have stayed in the team,’ he said. ‘When you don’t make runs in five consecutive games, you understand that there’s an opportunity there for selectors to leave you out.’

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the selectors had to make decisions ‘without fear or favour that is in the best interest of Australian cricket.’

‘They’ve made that decision. Not everyone will agree with that but they’ve made that decision and that’s their job to do that,’ Sutherland said before paying tribute to Ponting’s standing in the 50-over format. As captain, Ponting had more ODI victories than anyone.

‘I think his career is incomparable in one-day cricket: five World Cups, four finals, three championships and two as captain, plus all the runs and special feats in the field,’ he said. ‘I just can’t think of a player that has made a greater contribution and been a better one-day cricketer, particularly in the big moments.’

Ponting won three World Cups, leading Australia to the titles in 2003 and 2007. He scored 13,704 runs at 42.03 in ODIs. He still considers his imperious 140 in the 2003 final against India at Johannesburg as one of the highlights of his cricket career.

Ponting’s run tally, which includes 82 ODI 50s and 30 centuries, is the best at limited-overs international by an Australian and is second only all-time to India’s Sachin Tendulkar.

Australia plays Sri Lanka on Friday in Hobart, Ponting’s home state, and then India in Sydney on Sunday. Australia leads the competition with 14 points, four clear of India and seven ahead of Sri Lanka. India was playing Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

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