Posted by: nestaquin | July 9, 2009

2009 Ashes: XI Hasty Thoughts

Onya Hilfy!The Team Sheets

I suspect that there was relief in the English dressing sheds when Strauss returned with the Australian team sheet. Retaining Australia’s pace attack from South Africa was a no-brainer but choosing Hauritz instead of Clark would have brought a grin to many a face.

The Toss

When you select two spinners it is imperative that you win the toss and bat first. Strauss did exactly that and Australia will be under pressure for the rest of the Test as a consequence.

The Pitch

Fortunately for Australia the atmospheric conditions were conducive to swing otherwise the scorecard would have looked very ugly at day’s end. There was little lateral movement and the bounce is slow and predictable. For the patient batsman there are few demons and plenty of runs and Australia will be looking for Simon Katich to dig in and score an ugly, monotonous century on Day Two to haul them to a respectable position.

Ben Hilfenhaus

On the biggest stage showed the cricketing world why he is rated so highly at home. In only his fourth Test with very few competitive overs under his belt he troubled every batsman with several spells of polished and lively outswing. He was Australia’s best bowler by some distance and was the only one to continually trouble Kevin Pietersen.

Nathan Hauritz

His inclusion was forced on Ponting by the pitch conditions and he didn’t impress. A team is only as strong as its weakest member and Hauritz is clearly out of his depth. His bowling before the second new ball was insipid and allowed Flintoff and Prior to wrestle the initiative away from Australia after Hilfenhaus broke the Collingwood/Pietersen partnership.

Mitchell Johnson

Apart from a couple of explosive overs before lunch Mitch looked out of sorts. The uneven and shifting surface in delivery stride bothered him and he never really found rhythm. On the sunny side, he will probably not bowl any worse all tour.

Peter Siddle

The aggressive Victorian rescued Australia from a fast approaching abyss late in the day when he removed Flintoff and then produced an almost unplayable quick and late inswinger to send Prior on his way. Another who will improve with more competitive overs behind him.

Kevin Pietersen

England’s most damaging batsman had his foot on Australia’s throat before foolishly gifting his wicket to the least challenging of Australia’s bowlers. Curiously, after tea he became distracted and couldn’t keep concentration. Perhaps he was bothered by his tender achilles or the benign pitch but whatever it was his wicket a few overs after Collingwood’s dismissal allowed Australia back in the match.

Matt Prior

The ‘keeper played an excellent counter attacking innings late in the day that should see England post a respectable, and if things go well in the morning session, match-winning first innings total. He was helped by Hauritz’ wayward bowling but nonetheless he turned a precarious situation into a positive for his team.


In three decades of watching and playing cricket it was the first time I’ve ever seen a nightwatchman to protect a No. 8. It was a maniacally defensive tactic and probably was a factor in Prior losing his wicket as Australia were encouraged by the decision. It was curious indeed for Swann will now be entering late in the innings with only Monty Panesar as insurance.

Day Two

England are in a sound position yet Australia will be very pleased with their initial efforts. Obviously, England will be looking at batting as long as they are able but you can be assured that Australia will lift their intensity and throw everything at them in the first hour. If the ball doesn’t swing like it did on Day One England will be chasing leather for much of the afternoon as there will be little else for the bowlers except some slow turn. It will be interesting, hard fought and nailbiting and you wouldn’t expect anything else.



  1. Pretty much what I think, except that I’d have Aus slightly better placed (say 52 / 48 in England’s favour) and I don’t think this pitch is as easy as you claim. English conditions (unless it’s 25C+ and it seldom is) always combine the atmosphere and the pitch to nibble it around for those with the skill and will to bend the back and spin the ball.

    The one thing that stops me being convinced that this is a 350 pitch is the foolishness with which England squandered wickets. That’s partly down to the bowling and fielding, but only Hilfy presented a consistent threat, so it’s more batting profligacy than bowling parsimony. Great heart from Siddle at the end of the day – still not sure that he has enough tricks in his box though.

  2. I’m feeling in a pedantic mood.

    A team is only as strong as its weakest member

    This looks to me like lazy writing. It sounds nice, but replace one of the batsmen with Bradman and the team is stronger, even though Hauritz is still there.

  3. Perhaps a little hasty Dave. Teams have carried weak batsmen, but I’m not sure that over a series, a weak bowler can be carried, particularly when one of a four man attack. I expect Clark back for Lord’s, but , in back-to-back Tests, will Ronald get a go too? Lord’s is a bowlers’ graveyard since the drainage was sorted out, so Punter will need options.

  4. Tooting, you are starting to sound like Roy BEFORE rehab.

  5. It was great to see Flintoff batting with a bit of freedom and quality again, it was like turning the clock back four years but taking away Australia’s best bowlers.

    As for KP he remains as infuriating as ever. I can’t work out what annoys me more, his irresponsible dismissals or his “that’s just the way I play” line. Of course he’ll rightly point to the fact that he’s top scored in the innings, but there’s still no excuse for such a shot, and when he stops scoring so consistantly then there’ll be no well of good will to guarantee his place. What I don’t understand is if it’s an inability to read and react to a game situatioon, or if he just doesn’t believe that game situation matters.

    Finely poised test though.

  6. Very finely poised, but I’d put England ahead by a nose. The pitch doesn’t look great for batting, and Katich and Ponting apart, Australia’s batting is no great shakes.

    One of Katich or Ponting will have to anchor the innings. You suspect Hussey’s cussedness will come through somehow, and Hughes is too unknown to be predictable. I think Clarke’s become a bit of a show pony – he scores too many runs in lost causes and manages to look elegant while being dismissed at crucial junctures a la Mohd Yousuf.

    Am very impressed by Hilfenhaus – I wanted him to play the test, as I think he’s perfetc for English conditions, and was pleasantly surprised when he did.

    I think the selection of Hauritz is an indictment of Ponting’s failings as a captain – he can’t seem to come up with a rabbit out of the hat, ever. Just because a spinner needs balance doesn’t mean you select any purveyor of filth, which Hauritz certainly is. Clark any day ahead of H.

    That said, Ricky certainly can paper over his captaincy failings with his batting brilliance. Can’t wait for day 2.

  7. with regards to the KP debate, i think if he was batting in an australian side he would have cut out those dismissals by now. the fact that even despite these things he is by far and away the best batsman england has means that he gets bored, or distracted, and certainly feels he doens’t need to answer to anyone. if he had several batsmen chomping away at his ankles for a test side, which everyone in the aussie line up other than ponting (probably) has to deal with, he would certainly have cut out all the bullshit dismissals by now.

    • I reckon you are right KK, however, if KP was lucky enough to be Australian those types of dismissals would have prevented him establishing a regular First Class place. Throwing away good starts when you have the opposition on the ropes is the most mortal of sins in Australian cricket philosophy. It isn’t tolerated for very long and all of us learn that, usually the hard way, as teenagers.

      There was some dialogue on here the other day about KP being a great. Obviously premature and somewhat misplaced at this stage of his career in my opinion. When greats get the opposition’s measure they make them pay more often than not and rarely do they give their wicket away before three figures.

      In this era the batting greats are Tendulkar and Lara and I don’t think Pietersen is anywhere near either of them in terms of cricketing intelligence, self respect or batting craft.

      Saying that, he is a very talented batsman who is exciting to watch and Australia will need to get him cheaply more often than not to retain the Ashes.

  8. Matt Prior was the only one yesterday to lose his wicket to a great delivery.Okay, I would add Colly to the list too, half-heartedly.

    Strauss and Bopara – got fooled by the slower ones; credit to Mitch, but No.1 and No.3 are expected to read’em slow’uns.

    Cook-should have left that widish delivery

    KP- enough said..

    Colly – Even though Haddin made a simple catch look difficult, Colly was well set, and I put it down to momentary loss of concentration. He gets the benefit of doubt.

    Freddie – Dragging a widish ball on to his stumps; has to be construed as a gift.

    With the exception of Cook, all Eng batsmen got starts, and were looking reasonably set when they got out.If one among Katich/Hussey/Clarke go on to make a big ton, Eng will rue the profligacy of their batsmen.

    Aussie bowlers were good in patches; but they are bound to get better as the tour progresses, as long as their fitness levels keep up.

    Note to self: On India’s last tour of Eng, none of the big batsmen scored a century, but the team managed to post competitive totals through some dogged partnerships (much like the KP-Colly show yesterday).A century was scored by an Indian only in their final innings of the series, and that too by Anil Kumble. So, all is not lost for Eng yet, if they consistently produce 3-4 half centuries and get close to 350-400.

    Will Australia play ball and manage to throw their wickets away to end up 50 ahead or behind?I doubt it.

    • Obviously, batting will become more difficult as the match progresses and my guess is that Australia will dig in using as much time as possible and make England earn their scalps. They defeated South Africa playing patient attritional cricket and that is the path Australia have chosen post Hayden.

      Batting still looks very easy.

      Johnson just bowled Broad around his legs. Not a great ball, the batsman just played down the wrong line. 355/8 (94)

      • Agree that batting looks easy.
        In fact, the whole of Day 2 would probably be the best for batsmen on this pitch.

  9. KP is a great batsman who makes mistakes. I know that is a contradiction, but many batsman really only solve this once they are thirty or so – KP is 29.

    The Lara comparison is interesting. BCL averaged 52.88 ay 60.51 sr: KP averages 50.70 at 63.05. Of course, KP hasn’t played many of those innings that win or save Tests yet, but I think they will come.

  10. be nice for England if they came this series, ay, Toots?? 29.. you know.. you can only have so much unrealised potential then it becomes stuff that’s based on hopes and dreams..

    • Averaging 50 is hardly unrealised potential. It’s the step from being a great batsman to an All-Time Great that KP needs to make.

      • He’s easy to hate but he’s a gun. Wonderful player. Agreed on the transition he is facing.

  11. Most captains these days don’t have a fielder at Third man, even for left armers who don’t bring it in.And the runs keep leaking there.

    I wonder why.

    • I’ve been screaming for one all morning Kumar. Why they don’t have a third man is a mystery.

      I’m afraid I must go and play some reggae for the fans of Jah Work. I’ll be watching on the phone and the TV at the back of the venue. So I’ll catch up with everyone around tea.

      Poor Hilfy. I just hope Doctrove is consistent when England appeal for plum LBWs!

  12. Anderson was plumb there !

    • Been unlucky Hilf.

      Excellent morning for England………

  13. Bringing Hauritz on so early – Is this Ponting’s strategy of showing up Hilditch’s erroneous ways of selection?

  14. Heartening stuff this!

    • SHIT!

      (my first tepid test of the swear filter on this site)

  15. Marvellous morning so far! Good to see the slow-bowler turning it as well, heartening for the England spinners.

    Regarding KP, I think the transition needed is from a great batsman to a Great Batsman. You have to earn those capital letters in order to make it into the pantheon, and the stupid dismissals are, in my view, preventing just that. As regads the game-saving/winning innings, let’s not forget the Oval in ’05.

  16. Don’t say you weren’t warned ––20.html

  17. And this –

  18. I’m a little torn looking at the England scorecard. It’s churlish to complain about a score of 435 but so many starts and not a score above seventy. Without this morning’s fireworks it would probably class as a missed opportunity, but if offered 435 at the toss I think most would have taken it.

  19. 435 is a substantial 1st Innings score, and would give the bowlers a lot to play with. This innings has been built on three partnerships.68 runs for the 9th wicket is great stuff irrespective of the pitch conditions.

    I don’t think one can blame the Aus bowlers much (yes, they did bowl atleast 1 four ball an over), but I see it as proof (once again) that Mr.Ricky Ponting is quite an ordinary captain when it comes to field placings.He now has to lead his batsmen and get a score closer to 450, than the par score of 350.Aus can have any thoughts of a lead only if they end Day 2 at 250+/3 or 4.

    Very important for Anderson & Co to find the right line.

  20. I think 435’s a winning score, even if Aus eke out a 50 run lead. The fact that it’s come in good time is even better. Great start from Aus but they have to carry on for a while.

    Pepp goes silent when Aus takes the slightest battering, eh? Should awaken when Ricky comes in though

  21. Good start from the kid. Amazing eye.

    • Yea..but they are feeding him in his areas too.Strauss would do well to ask Flintoff do some back-of-the-length stuff for a couple of overs.

      But OTOH, I would love to see the Kid play for a loong time too.

      It is difficult to be neutral :)

  22. Its incredible where he can work it from. Been asked a thousand questions in his very young career already – by everyone who thinks they can get him. Hasn’t failed too many times.

  23. Not a single chance created by the Eng bowlers in the 8 overs till lunch.I think Strauss missed a trick here by not letting Flintoff unleash one over of fury.Would have made things a bit interesting !

    • Agree he surely has the best chance to cramp Hughes up. Broad was bowling absolute vanilla……

      • Katich and Hughes sure make for a strange pair to bowl too don;t they?! One shuffling across and the other trying to cut off middle stump :)

  24. Flintoff v Hughes, could be one of the great battles of these Ashes

  25. Rajesh??? is AU taking a battering?? I hadn’t noticed, actually.. please enlighten

    • 100 added in 90 mins by Anderson/Swann etc in 20 overs ring a bell?

  26. I just dont think Flintoff will last the distance, Pete.. much as I would like to see it. …

  27. Interesting that no one will bag Stauss for basically giving Australia an eight over/39 run start by not bowling Flintoff until after lunch.

  28. What do you guys think of Broad? He’s just shown 92mph on the gun and, having seen him, I can confirm that he is that quick. He’s not far off being a taller version of Flintoff now and immensely strong looking. he’ll be the quickest bowler in the series I feel.

    • I’ve seen him play a fair bit in the last 18 months and if I was ranking on bowling alone I’d choose Flintoff, Anderson and Swann before Broad. He is a trier and gives his all but the best cricketers have intelligence to go with their talent. I have the impression that he is a few balls short of an over.

  29. Jim, bagging Strauss is a waste of time for AU’s.. the man doesn’t have it, will never have it, it’s a given.

    I just hope I won’t be subjected to Broad screeching at Monty, a more revolting sight would be hard to drag up.

    • But such a call by Ponting would have been another stick to beat him with.

  30. Broad’s improved a hell lot. But I think Johnson’s gotta be the quickest in this series, though ironically, it’d probably help him if he didn’t bowl as quick as he can, and concentrated on reversing and swinging the ball accurately.

  31. My 2-bits on KP:

    He is an ugly batsman.. but he’s effective.. he plays swipes, he slogs, he plays across the line, he does everything unconventionally, but he manages to score…

    When one plays like that, one will also get out in the ugliest ways..

    On another day, that shot would have gone for 4 or maybe 6.. he would have been a hero then.. but he got out on it, hence he’s the villian…

    If a Sachin or a Strauss get out that way then its a bigger crime, cos that is against their natural run of play.. if KP does, there is nothing wrong with it cos that is how he plays.

    • Could Katich be deemed the anti-KP?
      If so, what odds he’ll end the series with more runs and a better average?

      Interesting KP stat: He has a 50% ratio of turning 50s into 100’s, but is only 2 from 9 against Australia. Surely he is not bored that much by these Ashes contests!

      At the moment the only things KP has in common with Sachin is an ability to get out to the 4th or 5th string bowlers. (Am I right in recalling Sachin was both White’s and McDonald’s first test scalp?)

      • Nice to have you joining in Jim. If memory serves me correct I don’t think McDonald went to India but he sure did a good job against the Africans and I wouldn’t mind him getting a game at some stage during this series. To be completely honest, anyone but Hauritz would suit me fine!

        • Ah yes, my bad – wrong Victorian! He was Siddle’s first and White’s first not McDonalds.

  32. That’s a cruel thing for TMS to inflict Howard on their unsuspecting listeners. Nasty and unfair. Just like Howard really.

  33. Pete, my little dog Mango has sicked up on her spare rug, which has taken up a bit of my horrid late night time to clear up because of Howard’s dribbling. She began the retching when his face loomed on the TV, I screamed and shot backwards, how bloody awful. They should have given a warning.

    • I hope Mango recovers Pepp and I’m glad I missed it. Very impressed with Katich. I’d much prefer him to captain than Clarke if Ricky was ill. And speaking of Ricky he is batting exactly like you would expect of a man with unfinished business. Still, a long, long, long way to parity let alone a position of strength.

  34. Looking at Ricky, Nesta.. today.. I thought he would just go for retaining the urn, but I wouldnt be surprised if Ricky tried to pull off a 0-5 thing in England.. he has that half Chinese half Tasmanian tenacity about him today.

    Katich is the man, nesta.. the cricketers cricketer, for sure.

    • I think a draw would be a decent result from here but if Clarke, North and Haddin chip in, Hussey reverts to type and Mitch dazzles then a score of 650 is not beyond them. Dreamy stuff but at 191/1 at 2am imagination runs wild!

  35. Nathan has a Warne aura about him in comparison to poor bloody Monty and Swanny.. if ever the word trundler could be applied correctly it’s on those two.

  36. I got a bit jack of the usual blither on the radio and the TV, so I have those blokes from the Yardley Dogs from Stanjames .. broadcasting all the ashes, audio, in perfect synch with the TV .

    • The Yorkies wouldn’t be enjoying this partnership! Usually when things go pear shaped they blame Kev! I think I’ll email them and stir them up. They’ve never failed to take the bait yet!

  37. Nesta./ .send a greeting… they are their usual astute and nutty selves.. quite my favourite commentators..

  38. Drinks 195/1 (54) Katich and Ponting are in control and giving the England batsmen a lesson in Test match batting.

    They’ll be looking to bat out the next 15 overs and start fresh in the morning. It won’t be easy and I hope Katich can get the 19 he needs for a redemptive and very important century.

    A wicket could lead to two or three as Clarke isn’t too confident towards the end of a day and when big partnerships are broken one batsman can sometimes follow the other into the showers very quickly.

  39. They were quite calm about Kev’s craziness yesterday.. they expected it, they expected Collingwood to be run out by Kev before he fell on his own sword..

  40. I dont know why Strauss doesn’t give Kev a bowl.. .. I see Kev nagging a bit there, maybe that’s what he’s demanding..

  41. yup.. I want the Punter and Katich to hang in there.

    • Katich is showing signs of weariness. The poor sod has been on the paddock for two days without a break. It will be a massive effort if he makes it to stumps.


  43. Aus has done extremely well to get to 208/1, but it would have been better to have scored another 40 runs by now.250/1 by stumps would be a great platform, and should get Aus to 500 at the very least.

    On the evidence till now, the SA-Aus series saw better quality cricket.Eng needs to bowl better.

    -Broad has miles to go, wherever he is going.And I wonder why Anderson’s bowled only 8 overs till now.

    I wish Ricky doesn’t get ton No.38 though :)

    • Considering the match situation when he arrived and the way he has gone about it Ricky deserves a ton. I haven’t seen him this focused for quite some time. Perhaps Brisbane 2006. On the evidence so far Australia’s quicks, Hilfenhaus in particular, bowled very well yesterday. Luckily for England there are only two Tasmanians in a BaggyGreen!

      • Ricky deserves the ton, and most likely will get by stumps, Nesta.

        But that doesn’t stop me from wishing he gets out in the 90s. Please don’t mind :)

        Ah..that throw should’ve been a few yards quicker.

        • I won’t mind too much if he gets out in 190s.

  44. I dont think Strauss knows what to do.. or.. how to do it..

    • With a half hour to stumps I reckon bowling Flintoff would be a good start.

      Both men on 88. Very exciting and totally nerve jangling. No matter what happens I’m pleased and proud.

      Siddle is padded up! Not impressed with that decision. Only reinforces my view that Neilsen is an idiot and that Clarke is soft.

  45. me either nesta!!!…. no.. I dont agree with it at all.

    it’s a bit disgusting really.. this ENG X1 has now decided not to bother fielding.

    I do so hate the giver uppers.

    • Given how many tons Ponting has scored of late, I’d expect he would be looking to get there tonight. Surprised England haven’t tried to exploit this.
      As for Katich, I doubt he cares about getting there tonight as it looks like he expects to be out there still this time tomorrow.

  46. If Ricky falls now, (I also wish for a Katich 200 tomorrow), they should at least send Mitch in and not Siddle.Or better still Hussey if Pup is soft.

    Strauss – I am surprised he hasn’t tried KP or Ravi till now. But one can’t do much if Anderson can’t swing and Broad gets awed by the occassion.

    Only a Freddie special can get a wicket now or some outrageous piece of luck.

    Great exhibition of test match batting by these two.Rare to see such discipline these days.

    • Kumar, the batting reminds me of a famous match in Adelaide where Laxman and Dravid turned certain defeat into a glorious victory.

      • Dravid and Laxman faced a much better attack than today’s Eng attack, Nesta.

        For me, the defining match-turning partnerships are two:

        1.Dravid+Laxman-Eden Gardens, Calcutta, 2001.
        2.Gilchrist-Langer-Hobart, 2000.

        I remember that was Gilly’s debut series and he put on over 250 runs with Langer, against Akram, Waqar, Shoaib Akhtar, and Saqlain Mushtaq.

        I wouldn’t even dream of comparing those attacks with Eng. Flintoff (when he gets fired up, that is) is the only one worth mentioning.

  47. We have known for 12 months now that the Australian bowling attack is young and can be patchy, but is it too early to say that today the English have been shown a few home truths about their own team?
    Maybe those West Indian pitches were not as flat and lifeless as they seemed.

    • I think that is a fair call Jim and even before this match, Flintoff apart, I wouldn’t swap Hilfy, Mitch or Sids for any of them. It should also be noted that Australia have formidable batsman and it takes some very fine bowling and fielding to remove them when they are set.

  48. Far too early, Jim.

    those kind of things are unable to be heard..

    which is fine by me!!

  49. Half the fun of playing ENgland is their delusions.

    I wouldnt want it to change one iota.

  50. bloody beautiful, Nesta..

    worth every eye glazing moment.

    catch you tomorrow, same time, same place.

  51. that Ricky got the ton, I don’t care if he gets 200 even.

    (Hate the BCCI for not scheduling enough tests for India.)

    Well done Australia !

    May be Eng were so overjoyed with their batting performance, that they expected Aus to gift some wickets as well?

    I am sure Andrew Strauss will talk about ‘character’ now.

    Good night folks !

  52. urg. That was a tough day’s cricket to watch. Great batting, exactly what is needed in a test match. Lack of inspiration by Strauss, would like to have seen a bit of bits and pieces to change things up a bit, give the batsmen something different to look at now and again. Overall though you just have to give the credit to Ponting and Katich.

  53. STUMPS 249/1 (71)

    Katich and Ponting both scored excellent centuries to give Australia a chance of an unlikely victory. Still plenty of work to do but with lots of batting and time left they are looking in control.

    Some more thoughts before play begins tomorrow.

    And lastly, for those who were discussing greatness, the Australian captain displayed the standard required to join that club with his batting and temperament today.

    • He was already there Nesta.

  54. Pitch has now been classified as benign!
    They should just admit that Swan looked a better batter than a bowler today. Maybe KP wasn’t foxing in his assesment of Hauritz last night.

    praying it stays dry for Saturday….or else I’ll have nothing to do!

    • Jim I called the pitch dead after two overs! At this stage Australia bowled better and they have also batted better. They’ll have a plan tomorrow and if England fail to swing it again Australia will have every opportunity to implement it. More on that tomorrow. Thanks again for the company mate.

  55. Oh, one last thing.
    The Billy Doctrove count.

    I make it 3-1 to England at the end of day two

  56. Agreed Nesta on the quicks too. Freddie & MJ (allowing huge room for improvement) are world class quicks. But l wouldn’t give up either of our boys for the next 10 years for Broad or Anderson. Wasn;t overly impressed by either although missed last session for a very early start at work…..

  57. Glorious from the skipper and we all know how much Kat has improved. There was plenty of chat about how Punter was out of touch and would struggle etc (even from our Toots l fear?) :). Respect. He is a Great batsman and should get his dues in his first dig of a huge series. l hope to see English column inches devoted to this fact when l check at lunch but probably expecting too much.

    What an annoying (Aus) first hour that was in context now.

  58. A chanceless century by Ponting.

    Just thought I’ll cross-post a comment I made at Jrod’s a while ago on the matter of Ponting and greatness:

    Ricky Ponting is an extremely good batsman, sorry, a very Great Batsman.And most likely will end up with max centuries and max runs in test cricket when he retires.He will fully deserve that honor.

    But I would still rate him behind Sachin, Lara, and Inzamam.

    Ponting is Australia’s Rahul Dravid. People say the Kiwis are over achievers as a team.I feel some of the Aussies we have seen over the years are overachievers as individuals.Ponting is the best among such over achievers.And his centuries are proof of that attribute.

    Truly among the greatest players.But I wonder how many Aussies would pick him at No.3/4 spot in the All Time Aussie XI.

    • l think nearly all would Kumar, albeit we have another bloke penciled in at 3. For me it is line ball between Punter and GChappell for the best Aus bat l have ever seen. As a bat decent step ahead of Swaugh, AB etc and you won;t find a bigger AB fan than me. The vitriol for the man, the captain gets in the way of Punter the bat l find. He played absolutely brilliantly for years and years which is where all those 11,000 runs came from (yes India*).

      fyi l have Lara ahead, then Sachin then l’d take Punter over Inzy and the rest following a fair bit behind. l think KP has the talent to be anything but…we will see.

      Marto my favourite bat of all time but thats a personal thing…..

      • Ponting’s greatest attribute is to deliver in the big matches. I’ve lost count of the times he scores big in the first innings of the first Test of a series and his century in the 2003 World Cup final is one of the best innings I’ve ever seen.

        I think over-achievers score when the pressure is off, for example, dead rubbers, but Ponting almost always comes good when you need him most.

        In my time, 1974/75 to the present, he with Allan Border are the most prolific Australian batsman without question. As for the best batsman, well that’s an entirely different question that needs a definitive criteria.

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