Cricket, the Brilliant Game!

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Player Profile(#25)…Ricky Ponting (Australia)

Posted by wildkiwi25 on June 21, 2008

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Ricky Thomas Ponting (born December 19, 1974, in Launceston, Tasmania) is a professional Australian cricketer and current captain of the Australian cricket team in One Day International, Twenty20 International and Test cricket. Ponting also represents the Tasmanian Tigers in Australian Domestic cricket, a side he plays for intermittently due to international commitments. He is a specialist right-handed batsman, slips and close catching fielder, as well as a very occasional right-arm medium pace bowler.

Ponting reached international standards at a young age for a batsman, making his One Day International and Test debuts in 1995 at the age of 20. However, his progress was not unhindered. He lost his place in the team several times due to lack of form and discipline issues, before rising to the One Day International captaincy in early 2002 and becoming Test captain in early 2004. As of March 2008, he is the third highest ranked batsman in both One Day International cricket and Test matches in the official ICC ratings.

Ricky Ponting is considered one of the best cricketers in modern cricket, and is ranked 3rd, Graeme Smith and Sachin Tendulkar are the only ones to lead him at the moment, in the One-Day International Batting chart and only Kumar Sangakkara, team mate Michael Hussey and Jacques Kallis ahead in the test rankings. He has scored over 10,000 Test runs at an average near 59, but since the February 2002 tour of South Africa (when he was elevated to the ODI team captaincy) he has scored 24 of his Test centuries and averaged above 74, leading to comparisons with Sir Donald Bradman.

Ponting is also Australia’s leading ODI run-scorer and century maker he has the second most centuries ever, behind only Tendulkar. His century against the West Indies in Jaipur at the 1996 Cricket World Cup made him the youngest ever World Cup centurion, and his unbeaten 140 against India in the 2003 Cricket World Cup final was the highest by a captain in a World Cup final. In 2007 Cricket World Cup match against South Africa at St Kitts, Ponting became the first Australian to reach 10,000 runs in ODI Cricket and the 7th in world cricket to achieve this distinction.

Like many Australian batsmen, Ricky Ponting is particularly strong against pace bowling, with the full array of back foot shots, including the pull, hook, and square cut. Early on, he was regarded as a near-compulsive hooker, but he has lately moderated this tendency. He tends to move across his off stump, and has therefore been regarded as vulnerable to LBW early in his innings. He is less adept against spin bowling, particularly on very helpful spinning pitches such as those in India where his average is just 12.28.

After his first 30 Tests in just under four years his average was 38.62, and after rising into the mid-40s had dipped again to 40.50 after 45 Tests. Since that time his average has consistently risen; his averages in recent calendar years are 70.93 in 2002, 100.20 in 2003, 41.00 in 2004, 67.13 in 2005 and 88.86 in 2006.[5]

Ponting occasionally bowls medium pace, and has also experimented with off-spin. He is an outstanding fieldsman square of the wicket or at silly point, with fast reactions and hand-eye coordination and (especially in the one-day game) a reputation for hitting the stumps to run out opposition batsmen. In a test against West Indies in 2008, Ricky Ponting scored his 10000th run.

CAREER RECORDS:

Batting Records-

  • Most Test runs in a calendar year by an Australian: 1,544 in 2005. Ponting has passed 1,000 test runs in a calendar year on four separate occasions, in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006.
  • Most Test centuries in a calendar year by an Australian: 7 in 2006
  • Most Test centuries by an Australian: 34
  • Most ODI runs by an Australian: 11,594
  • Most ODI centuries by an Australian: 26
  • Most ODI fifties by an Australian: 63
  • Most runs by an Australian in World Cups: 1,537
  • Most sixes in a World Cup innings: 8, shared with Imran Nazir and Yuvraj Singh
  • Most centuries in World Cups: 4, equal with Mark Waugh, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar
  • Most Test runs on Australian soil: surpassing Allan Border during the Third Test in Perth against India, 16-19 Jan 2008.

    Captaincy Records-

  • Most victories as ODI captain: 122
  • Highest victory rate as ODI captain in more than 20 matches: 77.90%
  • Highest victory rate as Test captain in more than 20 matches: 77.14%
  • Most Cricket World Cup victories as captain: 22
  • Most Cricket World Cups won as captain: 2, shared with Clive Lloyd
  • Most consecutive Test victories won as captain: 16, shared with Steve Waugh

    INDIVIDUAL HONOURS:

  • Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World: 2003
  • Wisden Cricketer of the Year: 2006
  • Allan Border Medal: 2004, 2006, 2007
  • Australian Test Player of the Year: 2003, 2004, 2007
  • Australian ODI Player of the Year: 2002, 2007
  • ICC Player of the Year: 2006, 2007
  • ICC Captain of the Year: 2007
  • ICC Test Player of the Year: 2006
  • ICC World Test XI: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
  • ICC World ODI XI: 2004, 2006, 2007
  • Cricket World Cup winner: 1999, 2003, 2007
  • Ponting had earned 14 “Man of the Match” awards in 110 Tests; he also has 25 such awards in 285 One-Day Internationals (including the joint award which he had declined from the Johannesburg match).
  • Named Vice-Captain in Australia’s greatest ever ODI team.

    PERSONAL LIFE:

    With the large financial rewards of international cricket, Ponting is a full-time professional cricketer, although he is involved with Stride Sports, a sports management business which is well-known for managing some of the biggest names in the AFL – including Glenn Archer and Cameron Mooney.

    A well-known off-field interest of Ponting’s is betting on horse and greyhound races, revealed by his nickname, “Punter”. Ponting is a talented golfer, playing off a handicap of 1.7.

    Ricky married his long-time girlfriend, law student Rianna Jennifer Cantor, in June 2002. He has himself credited her as a reason for the maturity evident in his game in recent years. Ponting is a keen supporter – and number one ticket holder – of the North Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League. On 9 August 2007, Ponting appeared on The AFL Footy Show where he talked about his desire to become a Kangaroos board member.

    Ricky and wife Rianna have a superstitious liking for the number 14. On 26 February 2008, Ponting and his wife Rianna announced that they expecting their first child.

    He also has a fanclub website dedicated to him, it is http://www.rickyponting.net.

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    *Acknowledgements to Wikipedia.com, Cricinfo.com and the owners of the two pictures used.

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