As the World Cup approaches, Third Umpire will be selecting a ODI World 11, with one player featuring every day. We continue with our number three, Australia's Ricky Ponting.
Ricky Ponting’s place amongst the pantheon of the world’s greats is now beyond doubt; he has 30 Test hundreds and averages an amazing 72 over his last 54 Tests. Having regained the Ashes in spectacular fashion, Australia suffered an uncharacteristic slump in form, losing six out of seven ODIs and, perhaps crucially, Brett Lee to injury. But they rightly remain favourites: and Ponting's quite brilliant batting has a huge part to play in that.
Ponting is an enforcer with the bat, capable of playing every shot to perfection; but he is also a supreme technican able to adapt his game on the more testing tracks we may see in the Caribbean. Add in his exemplary fielding and increasingly impressive captaincy and there is a huge case for arguing that he is the world's best player. His task in the Caribbean is simple: to retain the World Cup, as his phenomenal 140* against India in the final of 2003 helped so much to do. Few would bet against him doing so.
Any thoughts on our World 11? Leave a comment.