Ricky Ponting could face England in Australian Ashes team
England thought they had seen the back of him, but Ricky Ponting will be ready to remind the old enemy why he's one of the all-time greats in next year's Ashes.
That warning comes from Australia coach Mickey Arthur, who has backed the former skipper to stay at the top of the game for at least another 18 months. And that means ‘Punter’ will be in England for the much-anticipated battle for the urn.
“I know there was a lot of media pressure and talk around Ricky, but Ricky’s not going anywhere,” Arthur said. “We hope Ricky’s scoring enough runs to go to the Ashes, most certainly, in England.
“Ricky’s still got a lot of Test runs in him, there’s no doubt about that.”
On the face of it, that the South African is backing a
player with 13,346 Test runs to his name seems a no-brainer.
However, up until the Baggy Greens’ 4-0 win over India in January Ponting had struggled for form and runs and many thought the axe was imminent for the 37-year-old. But 544 against Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men reminded everyone what a class act the Tasmanian is, and despite a less than successful tour of West Indies - he scored 146 runs at 24.3 - Arthur’s got no worries over his ability to stay at the top.
Having been dropped from the ODI side Ponting has to wait until Australia’s next Test match in November against South Africa to get back to the crease. And Arthur said: “I thought Ricky was very unlucky [in the West Indies] he was always bubbling away. His form was always good, so no worries about Ricky Ponting at all.
“Ricky is definitely no way considering retiring - I wouldn’t have thought from my conversations with him - and he’ll be fit and ready to go against South Africa. I think if we win the Ashes, then maybe he’ll go out on the top of his game.”
If the coach is right, and Ponting does stay in form and in the side then England may well have cause for worry. The all-time top Aussie run-scorer has hit 2,476 against Andrew Strauss’ side, notching up eight centuries in the process.
The man called ‘Punter’, however, is perhaps best known in England for being the losing skipper in three Ashes series since 2005.