Surely Ponting is The Best

Being captain, main batsman and having to deal with being the first captain in almost 20 years to lose the Ashes cannot be easy. But Ricky Ponting is one guy who seems torevel in this. Except probably the Ashes part! Since taking over as captain, Punter has been in the form of his life. Forget Tendulkar, Lara and even Inzamam… it's Punter who's burning up the pitches and bowling attacks around the world. If you ask me, it all started with his dazzling innings in the 2003 World up final against India. And it's not stopped yet.

Sure he is leading an ageing side and his deputy Gilchrist has been in the worst form of his life for over a year now. But with experience on his team's side, he is making the most of it. That the job for his successor will be a doubly difficult one given this teams age is another story. To be honest, Ponting is leading a team where only one player is in the early 20s. Michael Clarke is the youngest at 24. Even debutante fast bowler Stuart Clark is 30! Warnie is 36, McGrath 36, Langer and Hayden in their mid-30s and Punter himself 34. Martyn is 35 as are most of the other stalwarts including Gilly (35). This is a team with an average of 31! And if you thought the newest sensation Michael Hussey was 25, here's a surprise: he is 30!

But this is about Punter and how he is simply murdering attacks around the world. There are some records he has now equalled that even Sachin or Lara cannot. Like the three Tests when he scored a 100 in both innings. Only Sunil Gavaskar had done that before him. And there is a good chance he may surpass him too… The way he batted in South Africa in the ODIs and more importantly in the second Test is a true testament of his character and skill. And his energy just seems endless. Always bouncing around on the field and egging his team on. He is also the only captain I have seen who stands at Silly Mid Off… and that too, without a helmet. Either he is very brave, or totally insane. Either way, he is a master at what he does.

The series victories that he has achieved including 'the final frontier' of India, are a reflection on how he has grown from being the bad boy of Australian cricket to the enigmatic leader that he is. Sadly, Warne never grew up.

A look at his record shows that he also now has 30 centuries and it would really not be surprising if he surpasses Tendulkar's 35. But whether he does or not, the fact remains that he is the best batsman around today in both forms of the game and deserves to be counted among the all-time greats. For it's not just batting, but also his leadership that needs to be lauded. Unlike some other players we know.

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