Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ashes 4.3: It Should not be about Ponting

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If the Ashes were a movie, now would be a good time to walk away from the theater without losing much of the plot and getting the gist of it all.

If you are English you can sit through the remaining scenes and celebrate.

If you are Australian you can hope the plot calls for a Sydney upset. Then claim that the ending is intentionally left open to interpretation by the director

For most however the character that will capture all imagination will be the most unlikely of villians Ricky Ponting.

The winningest Test Player ever. A captain that outdid Clive Lloyd and Steve Waugh. A batsman as good as the best ever of his era. A fierce fierce competitor.

He doesn't exactly fit the role of a villian. But he is being made out to be one.

Who knows what Ricky Ponting's destiny has in store for him. I hope he weathers the storm. I hope the director has something up his sleeve and that Ponting is really one of the good guys. That there is some as yet unfathomable "greater good" in his deeds. That behind the veil of his pride, seeming arrogance and astounding and foolhardy stubbornness is a much misunderstood man.

Its tough.

His team, his skills and his leadership have underperformed consistently against a centuries old enemy. Three battles lost is three to many for most Australians.

He could well come to take the fall for what seems like a collective failure in the making. If Australia make Ricky Ponting into a symbol of their recent failures that would indeed be most unfortunate.

If the Ashes were a movie and if the script does not call for a final twist, then I would say Ricky Ponting was horribly miscast as a villian.

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Unknown said...

You know what Gol, having disliked Ponting so much for a lot of his past misdemeanours and hypocrisies, I feel strange to say that even I am feeling sorry for the fellow.

If I were to look at the entire situation objectively, there is no denying that Ponting is a batsman par excellence. His strokes had an attractive elegance about them and more often than not, he was authoritative.

However, the current lack of performers in his side is weighing him down... and he's coming to realise that he could go great guns with the bat when he had others to cover up his failures... but now, with all the additional pressures, he is falling...

It is a little sad to see such a great batsman of our era go down this way. May be, if the burden of captaincy is taken off his shoulders (and thrust upon the shoulders of God-Knows-Who), then he might have another purple patch coming up...

Golandaaz said...

Agree with you SJ but Australian Cricket may not allow him the liberties that sub continental cricket affords its batsmen.

A role for Ponting just as a batsman may not be what's in store.

Who knows. I think what happens to Ponting will be the story in the coming days.

It was excruciating to see his innings today

Vidooshak said...

Gol - There is precedent. Kim Hughes played under Border for a few tests. But I think Ponting will benefit from the TINA factor. I had hoped that he would turn in a performance today even though there is no way Aus can win from here. Unfortunately, right around the time he played a couple of good drives and pulls, he succumbed. He's struggling to "construct" innings. Maybe he needs to talk to Sachin for some advice. How to play your game (and succeed) in complete oblivion of the match situation?

Golandaaz said...

Yes, but Kim Hughes was Kim Hughes and that was a different Australia. I doubt Ponting's pride will allow him to do that...to play under Clarke.

And if Clarke is not the new captain, then it will be a damning verdict on the succession plan executed by Ponting. In which case Ponting will also be dropped and Ausralia will embark on a new side.

BTW I think Steve Smith has a bright future. He seems natural, unfinished and hungry

Vidooshak said...

That's my point, the TINA (there is no alternative) factor will work for Ponting and he will not lose his job. Mainly because Clarke is clearly not ready.

Steve Smith has heart, but he seems too predictable at this time. He'll have to really work. At this point, he bowls more like Tendulkar.