Official Player Websites Subscribe - Free Newsletter

Sports News First

Proteas attack fresh, warns Ponting

By Kim Hagdorn
28 November 2012 01:26PM EST

BESIEGED batting great Ricky Ponting has predicted that South Africa’s bowlers could have a slight physical edge over a battle weary Australian attack in the crucial Third Test in Perth starting on Friday.

And the champion Test star gave no hint of when any announcement could come on his plans to retire or keep playing.

Ponting declared bluntly in a television interview in Adelaide on the fourth morning of the Second Test that he expects to front Australia's chairman of selectors John Inverarity for a discussion on his plans to play on or end his distinguished career ahead of an anticipated Ashes showdown next year.

In the interim, Australia’s most decorated international batsman has a rejuvenation of his batting form as a priority.

Ponting has made just 20 runs from three innings in the first two Tests of the summer.

He has averaged over 30 only once in his last seven Test series and that was a massive 108.8 from the 544 runs the accomplished right-hander plundered against India in four matches last summer.

“I will continue to keep working hard and keep doing what i know has worked for me in the past,” is all Ponting would say of his immediate future.

The former Australian captain and record-breaking batsman pointed to South Africa’s lighter bowling loads in the energy-sapping Adelaide clash which ended in a thrilling draw on Monday after five gruelling days.

Ponting analysed that South Africa’s pace battery of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Rory Kleinveldt bowled up to 35 percent less than Australia’s speed men Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and the injured James Pattinson.

Ponting also expects the tourists to recall dangerous seamer Vernon Philander for the series decider on what could be a green and fiery WACA pitch.

Perth is engulfed in unseasonal wintry conditions just two days ahead of the final Test that can decide world number ranking.

Ponting found a bright side in the unexpected cool conditions to keep the pitch well bound going into the fourth and fifth days, rather than crack and dry out and be even more awkward for batting survival against fiery pacemen on both sides.

“Cool weather going into the game might be just what this wicket needs,” he told a large corporate breakfast ahead of an indoors training session.

“It could give it a chance to hold together well.”

Ponting declared Perth’s series deciding Test as a “grand final” to both sides.

“This is like a grand final,” he said.

“That’s what is exciting for cricket loving fans around Australia.”

Your view first

Add your comment... Comments (0)