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Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting, the most uncompromising player of his generation – is the highest run getter for Australia in both Tests and ODIs and only sits below Bradman in the country’s overall ratings. He is a specialist right-handed batsman, slips and close catching fielder and a very occasional bowler.

More popularly known among his teammates as Punter, he holds the incredible record of being the only cricketer in the history of Test cricket to be a part of 100 Test match wins. He led Australia to victory at the 2003 and 2007 Cricket World Cups and was also a member of the 1999 World Cup winning team. He is the most successful captain in Test history after passing Steve Waugh’s 41 wins in Boxing Day Test.

At a very young age, Ponting exhibited flair and a will for perfection which separated him from his peers. He made his first-class debut for Tasmania in November 1992, at the age of 17, becoming the youngest Tasmanian to play in a Sheffield Shield match. After a few consistent performances, he made his ODI debut for Australia in 1995 against South Africa.

His Test debut followed shortly after he was selected for the first Test of the 1995 home series against Sri Lanka in Perth where he fell four short of a maiden Test ton. Although, he was criticized for his inconsistent performances early in his career, but after redirecting himself to the sport, he became the key factor in Australia’s dominance in international cricket over the next decade.

After being involved in over 160 Tests and 370 ODIs, Ponting is Australia’s leading run-scorer in Test and ODI cricket. He stands third in the list of century makers in Tests, and is only behind Sachin Tendulkar when it comes to ODI Tons.

In 2002, he was rewarded with the captaincy of Australia’s one-day international side, and the next year he led the side to victory in the Cricket World Cup in South Africa. Ponting and controversies often came in one single package, but he was strong enough to let his performances overshadow his shortcomings in the field of discipline.

However, in spite of making into the record books on numerous occasions, Ponting shares a love-hate relationship with England that spans four series as captain. Although he led Australia to a record setting 5-0 whitewash in 2006, Ponting also became the first captain to lose three series to England.

In 2006, he was named the ICC Cricketer of the Year and the ICC Test Player of the year. Ponting captured the second ICC Cricketer of the Year award in 2007, after leading Australia to World Cup and Ashes victories that year. He was also named Player of the Decade by a panel of cricket players and writers of his stellar play between 2000 and 2009.

Ponting is Australia’s leading run scorer in Tests with 13,378, as well as in ODI cricket with 13,704. He also holds the record with most catches and has always had a lethal arm fielding at point.

After an unsuccessful World Cup campaign in 2011, Ponting quit both the ODI and Test captaincy, but still continues to be the nucleus of the Australian line up. Ponting also holds the world record of being part of a team in most ODI victories, with 262 wins. After his retirement from international cricket, Ponting continued to play the IPL and represented the Mumbai Indians in a few games.

Ricky Ponting is widely regarded as one of the greatest competitors the game has ever seen and this was testified by the South African former captain, Graeme Smith, describing Ricky Ponting as the toughest competitor he had ever played against.  

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