Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The electric genius is back.

Not too far down in this space, have I put a piece written almost two years ago in defence of Ricky Ponting the leader, the cricketer without delving into the batsman that he is, much. He faced criticism and "boos" then and just a few days back he still was facing the criticism and the occasional "boo-ing" but also a danger to his place in the Test side. I was for one never convinced of the noises. Various reasons accounted. First and foremost, there was no replacement. Had there been a barrage of young upcoming batsmen who had proved the mettle and were out of the team for just want of a place, we would have had a serious debate and a possible ousting of Ponting at some point. That was not the case apparent in the most overt and lucid fashion. I do not comprehend who gave this argument to oust him. A look at the starting lineup against India in the MCG confirms the situation. An opener without first class experience, another in all fairness solid but yet to prove he belonged to the highest level and a number three who repeatedly got out to typical limited overs shots. There is plenty in the plate for the selectors to sorth these slots first and leave Ponting alone till it is all sorted out. Even apart from the above, he might just hold his place on pure merit. The two innings he played in the MCG are proof enough to the suspicious and fickle minded. He played with flair and confidence there. After the initial jitters of a two-paced track, he found his repertoire of shots flowing out like in his pinnacle. The pulling and cutting resumed normal service and the feet moved with electric pace. The "style" resumed and the straight drive put a final confirm. But that is not the issue. The point is why is he supposed to be put through this acid test unnecessarily. He could have done if anything, a little better without the added pressure. The people who wished his ouster should decipher and savor the taste of the dish of humble-pie for goodness' sake. Then there is the case of a side rebuilding itself where experience is a most valuable commodity to be had and also some knowledge and ideas disseminated to build a culture and a new "brand" as they say of playing. Also, if not for any other reason, hisefforts in Johannesburg should have earned him some respite. But then, may be all this talk was actually from the quarters which mattered the least and in an extent just regular media stories. The team management had continiously backed him and also rightly another champion cricket in Mike Hussey. For the moment however, the case is rested so we can focus on more real and substantial issues. If Australia win the MCG test which is the most likely result now, India will have reasons to fear more than those at the start of the tour as Ponting would most certainly be back to his confident self after the match saving and who knows career saving as well, two innings.
Ricky Ponting was fluent amid trying conditions and majestic among cricketing adversity in Melbourne at the start of the summer and did best what he has done all along his glittering career, delivered under pressure with electric flair.

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