The ex-captain of Australia and one of the prominent batsmen in the game, Ricky Ponting anticipates a ton in the forthcoming Test against the visiting New Zealand at Hobart.
Ponting was a successful Captain of the Kangaroos until the Ashes 2010-11, where his own form and Captaincy was questioned. He was nearly at the bottom of the batting averages of the entire Australian squad. He played all four Tests, eight innings and scored mere 113 runs at an alarming average of 16.14 with the best of unbeaten 51 runs.
England humiliated them by 3-1 under the leadership of Andrew Srauss and the Australian batting has no answer to the lethal bowling attack of their arch rivals. The Aussie batting was under the mercy of the visitors who achieved all three victories by the margin of an innings plus.
Australia had a miserable ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, where they won four matches out of six, one was lost and the other ended with no result. They managed to qualify for the Quarter final stage but lost badly by five wickets by India on March 24, 2011.
There was a lot of pressure on Ponting to step down from Captaincy which he had to honour ultimately. He thought that was the right time to surrender the leadership and the decision was made in the larger interest of Cricket Australia for grooming new Captain. He said,
“I don’t have any regrets about standing down. I did it because I felt it was the right time and I did it to try and make myself the player that I wanted to be. By standing down after the World Cup and the Ashes, it gave the incoming captain a lot of time to get experience and knowledge.”
Ponting has appeared in 157 Tests, thrashed 12635 runs at a smart average of 52.64 with having the best of 257 runs comprising 39 centuries and 58 fifties.
Australia played three Tests against Sri Lanka in September, 2011, Ponting took part in two matches and scored 124 runs averaging 31.00 with the best of 48 runs.
He was a member of the squad which played two Tests against South Africa in November, 2011, he scored 70 runs at an average of 17.50 with the best of 62 runs.
The 36-year-old is trying to re-emerge in the ongoing two Test series against New Zealand and scored 78 runs in the first innings and was not required to bat in the second as the Kangaroos won the match convincingly by nine wickets.
Ponting thrashed 209 runs in the first innings of the third Test against Pakistan in January, 2010, at Hobart which was his 39th ton. Hobart is a hometown of Ponting and he feels enthusiastic playing another Test over there. He still has sweet memories of his previous double hundred and has contemplated to smash his 40th century against the Black Caps. He expressed his feelings as,
“[It’s] very rare that I get the chance to come back and play international games down here in front of my home crowd. I never had much success early on but the last couple of visits down here have been pretty good. I am looking forward to the week.”
The second and final Test against New Zealand will be played at Bellerive Oval, Hobart, from December 9, 2011, and Ponting will keep his fingers cross for another ton.