Friday, October 10, 2008

Ponting Leads Aussie Charge

I was privileged to witness Ricky Ponting’s thirty sixth test match century yesterday at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore and I must say it was a knock which was filled more with substance than style. Ponting has erased all the demons of his past with this fighting knock and has more than set the tone for what should be an extremely fascinating series. He is usually an instinctive batsman who plays his shots when the ball is there to be hit, but yesterday he showcased a different aspect to his game and personality, one that is packed with grit, determination and commitment. After having lost Hayden to a poor umpiring decision in the first over of play, Ponting provided his country with just the kind of knock that was required of him. He saw off the new ball with untypical circumspection and then handled Harbhajan Singh in a manner which far from suggested the fact that Harbhajan had scalped him on eight occasions before the start of the first test match.

There is no doubt that Harbhajan's and Kumble's innocuous bowling made it rather simple for Ponting to get his first test match ton on Indian soil, but Ponting’s approach clearly suggested that he had come to India with a specific game plan on how to handle the spinners. He refrained from lunging outside the off stump and consciously played the ball as late as possible and most importantly as he himself pointed out in an interview at the end of the day, he trusted his technique which had got him thirty five test match centuries prior to the commencement of the ongoing test match. Once he had settled down, the crowd got to witness some gorgeous extra cover drives of the back foot and a couple of majestically executed lofted flick shots of Harbhajan. With Hussey taking off from where Ponting left off and considering the surprisingly slow pace of the Australian innings, India have their task cut out, if they want to get anything out of this match.


Rahul Saha said...

waiting for a post on ganguly's retirement.

A Couch-side View said...

coming soon! cannot let the 'prince' go just like that.