It is inevitable that several odes will be written for Ricky Ponting in the face of Australia’s free-fall to 4 in the ICC Rankings — a free fall that Ricky Ponting has overseen.
This piece below is from a regular reader Krishna Warrier.
I respect Ricky Ponting’s cricketing achievements.
- Despite the nightclub brawls he got into as a young cricketer and an impressionable young man.
- Despite the dubious distinction he has now acquired of becoming the first Australian captain to travel to England twice with the Ashes and return without them.
- Despite the chequered legacy he has as captain after inheriting the crown from greats like Allan Border, Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh, each of whom went on to be honoured as Australian of the Year.
- Despite his impressive achievements as captain of Australia.
- Despite his mediocre record as a batsman in India, with an unforgettable hat-trick of ducks in the epic 2001 series.
- Despite the fact that he is probably the only batsman in world cricket today who looks likely to overtake Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 42 Test centuries (not to mention run aggregate).
But I don’t like the man.
Because, every time fate presented him an opportunity to flirt with greatness, he disdainfully blew it away. Sydney 2008, where the cricketing world questioned his integrity, is just one example.
Tenacity and pugnacity are virtues a cricketer should be proud to possess. Provided he imbibes the spirit of the game, along with the laws that govern it.
— Krishna Warrier
Rahul Dravid has been included in the Indian team that will be playing in Sri Lanka and later on in South Africa in the Champions Trophy. His performances at the IPL seem to have paid off and he gets another life in the one day arena. Rohit Sharma is the player at the receiving end, unfortunately, in my opinion. I personally think that Rohit Sharma deserves another chance to prove his talent. He is certainly a future player for India and should have been retained in the side in place of Yusuf Pathan. Yusuf Pathan is a highly overrated player whose magic seems to work okay in the T20 form but is highly suspect in the one day version. If Rohit’s place was going to be uncertain, I would have thought he should have played in the Emerging Players tournament in Australia. That way, it would have given him an opportunity to prove to the selectors that he is still a worthy investment.
While Amit Mishra and Abhishek Nayar can credit their performances in Australia recently for their inclusion in the side, Virat Kohli may consider himself unlucky. He was by far the best player in the tournament and could have possibly taken Dinesh Karthik’s place. Clearly, politics has come into play with respect to the Dinesh Karthik/Pragyan Ojha situation, one sacrificed for the other
The rest of the side seems well balanced with Tendulkar coming back at the top and Raina possibly playing at #5 now with Dravid coming in at #3. I would think the playing XI would look something like:
1. Sachin Tendulkar
2. Gautam Gambhir
3. Rahul Dravid
4. Yuvraj Singh
5. Suresh Raina
6. M. S. Dhoni
7. Abhishek Nayar/Yusuf Pathan
8. Harbhajan Singh
9. Praveen Kumar
10. Ashish Nehra
11. RP Singh/Ishant Sharma
Let the games begin, I say.