Ricky Ponting’s Greatest Hits

Yesterday Ricky Ponting announced his retirement after wowing cricket fans across the world for the past 17 years. Along with Sachin Tandulker, Brian Lara, and Jacques Kallis, Ponting will be remembered as one of the best batsmen of the modern era. Barring a dashing double ton, Ponting will retire the world’s number 2 leading run scorer.  In honour of Punter the Great, we’ve compiled a list of Ricky Ponting’s Top 5 Moments

96 On Debut vs Sri Lanka – WACA, 1995
At 20 years of age, Ponting had already been on the scene for a while, having starred for Australia A in the previous summer’s one-day competition before being rewarded with a spot in the Australian team. He’d have to wait until the start of the next summer to make his Test debut. Walking out onto the WACA for his first Test Innings, the typically nervous starter came out with his Kookaburra ‘Bubble’, nicked his first ball, was dropped in the slips, and watched the ball rolled away for 4.

What followed was a free flowing and assured innings as Ponting whipped the hapless Sri Lankan attack to all parts of the ground. Ricky Ponting , the Test cricket prodigy, had arrived.Then on 96, on the verge of becoming the 16th Australian to score a ton on debut, Ponting was dubiously given out LBW to a Chaminda Vaas bouncer that seemed set to sail over the stumps. Boooo!

Interesting to note. By the time Ponting had made it onto the field, Michael Slater had already slapped 219, Mark Taylor 96, and Mark Waugh was about to notch up a hundred. Ponting also debuted with Stuart Law, the unluckiest player in Test cricket history who scored 54* and then never played for Australia again. And check out Punter’s very 90’s goatee. Yessss!

Ricky Ponting Bowls Brian Lara – Gabba, 2001
Is there anything Punter couldn’t do? Sure he’s only taken 5 Test wickets and 3 ODI wickets but the prize scalp of Brian Lara is coveted by any bowler, no matter their pedigree. Maybe Lara dozed off between the time the ball left Punter’s hand and when it nicked the bat or perhaps he was just so dumbfounded that Ponting got some movement off the seam but the rest is history. Bowled Ponting, caught Gilchrist. Australia would go on to win by 9 wickets.


140* vs India In The World Cup Final – South Africa, 2003
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Having lost Shane Warne pre-Cup after testing positive to a banned diuretic (prescribed Mrs Warne to get rid of Warnie’s double chin), Punter’s galvanized team went through the entire championship undefeated. Ponting played his most decisive role in the final where he bludgeoned the Indian attack into submission, scoring his 140 off 121 balls with four 4’s and eight 6’s. Australia scored a mammoth 359. From that point, India were never in the game and were bowled out 125 runs shy of the Aussie’s total. A true captains knock. 

257 vs India – MCG, 2003
2003 was a stellar year for Ponting where he plundered 1503 runs at an average of 100.2. And Ponting had essentially made India his bitch; following the World Cup shellacking, Ponting had preempted his career high 257 with two 50’s and a 242 in the two test prior. His 257 set up the Test with Australia going on to win by 9 wickets in one of the great Boxing Day Test performances. 


134 vs India – SCG, 2012
Punter definitely had plenty of prettier and higher scoring innings but few came at a better time than his SCG career saver. Coming in at 2/20-odd with Zaheer Khan on a hat-trick, Ponting fought tooth and nail for every run. Sure, the knock will be forever overshadowed by Michael Clarke’s career defining 329, but Ponting’s ton was the first time he had made triple figures in nearly two years. Full of confidence he would go on to match it with Clarke two Tests later in Adelaide with a 221. At 37, Ponting proved that he was still a force to be reckoned with on the international stage. He retires on top.   


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Hamish Blair/Getty Images