Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Farewell Ricky Ponting

2012 - Dravid, Laxman, Strauss & now Ponting... Some big names hanging up their bats. 

How to describe Ricky Ponting? He was one the best batsmen in the last 2 decades. And undoubtedly one of the finest ever. But unlike his predecessors & contemporaries one of the lesser liked big names on the cricket ground. 

From an Indian fan perspective, I would describe him as a person who has caused a lot of pain to the us on many an occasion, but very rarely was the pain caused by on-field performances with the bat. Barring, of course, the one glorious innings which took away the 2003 World Cup final away from us. As a batsman he mastered conditions everywhere except India. Probably India got the worst out of him, as a player and captain. He presided over the most acrimonious series in which India has involved in the last couple of decades. The 2007-08 tour of Australia was one of the most bitter ever witnessed. Even millions of dollars of IPL money has been unable to heal all the scars so far. 

But I digress. Ricky Ponting was statistically the most successful cricketer ever. 108 test wins and 3 world cup wins. These numbers speak volumes about the Australian dominance, Ponting's longevity as well as ability to be part of such a team for a long time. However he has also had to witness the decline of the Aussies from being an all-conquering team to one of the leading contenders. More than anything else those 3 Ashes defeats must have really, really hurt. He certainly bears the scars of those battles.

He was never a favorite of mine (his habit of continuously spitting into his own hands was disgusting to watch) but his struggles over the later part of the career, for some odd reason, made him more likable  A heavy defeat to South Africa wasn't the way for a legendary career to end. But at least he got the satisfaction of calling time on his own career.

Farewell Ricky Ponting. May you retire in peace. 

Nishant Kumar for DieHard Cricket Fans
Follow Nishant on Twitter @NishantSKumar

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