I’m not finished yet, says 13,000-run Ponting

I’m not finished yet, says 13,000-run Ponting

ADELAIDE - Reuters
I’m not finished yet, says 13,000-run Ponting

Ricky Ponting (2nd L) of Australia runs as Ravichandran Ashwin of India (R) reacts to a missed run-out opportunity during the first day of the fourth test match in Adelaide. REUTERS photo

Australia’s Ricky Ponting hit his second century in three matches and became the third batsmen to score 13,000 test runs before laughing off suggestions he might be about to retire yesterday. 

The 37-year-old was unbeaten on 137 at the close on the first day of the fourth test against India having rescued Australia’s innings with a stand of 251 for the fourth wicket with his successor as captain Michael Clarke. 

His effusive celebration of the century sparked conjecture that he might be about to retire, but the gritty Tasmanian dismissed the idea with a wry smile. 

“How did I know I’d come here and get asked questions about retirement?” he told a news conference. “It was a celebration mate, I usually do a similar celebration when I score a test match hundred. I won’t be retiring at the end of this test match.” 

Ponting has revived his career in the India series, scoring his first century in two years in the second test in Sydney, where he shared a 288-run stand with Clarke, before his more fluent effort at the Adelaide Oval. 
“I felt I played better today than I did in Sydney, it was probably a better wicket to bat on today, there wasn’t much in it for any of the Indian bowlers,” he said. 

“It’s Michael and my responsibility to make sure we start well tomorrow and see where that takes us. 
“But I’m not going to be satisfied with where I am at. You go through too many ups and downs in your career to let moments like this slip.” 

Ponting’s century was his fourth in four test matches against India at Adelaide, including a 242 in a losing cause in 2003. Before notching up his 41st test century, the former Australian captain who made his debut against Sri Lanka at Perth in 1995, hit his 13,000th run. 

The only two men to have scored more test runs than Ponting, India’s Sachin Tendulkar (15,432) and Rahul Dravid (13,262), were both fielding yesterday. 

Despite his long career, Ponting said he was as motivated - and as nervous - as he had always been. 
“It’s never been about making 13,000 runs or 14,000 runs,” he said. 

“It’s about doing what I can when it’s required of me to get my team through a certain situation in a game. That’s what motivates me. 

“Winning test matches and winning games of cricket for Australia is what motivates me to keep playing. 

“I still get nervous before every innings. If the day comes when I’m sitting in the dressing room and haven’t got sweaty palms, it probably means that it doesn’t mean enough to me.”