Australia in SA

Ponting close to peak form

2011-11-08 12:04
Ricky Ponting (AFP)
Cape Town - Australia's most prolific batsman, Ricky Ponting, says he is in peak condition and working hard in preparation for the first of two Tests against South Africa starting in Cape Town on Wednesday.

"I honestly don't think I'm far away from my best," Ponting said.

"I had one of my best training sessions in Potchefstroom last week and it's the best I've batted in a game, or out of a game, for a couple of years."

At 36, Ponting has scored 12 487 Test runs, at an average of 53. He needs 343 runs to overtake Rahul Dravid and move into second place behind the leading run-scorer in the world, Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar.

Ponting admitted he had left a couple of opportunities slip past him on Australia's recent tour of Sri Lanka, when he twice failed to convert his 40-odd runs into centuries.

"At the end of the day, we're judged on our performances out in the middle," he said.

"If you convert those scores into big scores, not only do you feel a lot better about yourself, but you also get a few other people off your back."

Taking over from Steve Waugh in 2004, Ponting captained Australia in 77 Tests - 48 of which were victorious outings for his team, the most for any captain.

He handed over the reins to Michael Clarke after Australia's quarter-final exit from this year's cricket World Cup, but he said it had not been an easy choice to make.

"It's one of the best sporting jobs in the world probably," he said of the Australian captaincy.

"It was a very tough decision for me to make just to stand down and I thought of all different scenarios, but the timing was right to give Michael a good run at it before the next Ashes series and the next World Cup.

"We're on the right track to getting our cricket back to where we want it to be and over the next couple of weeks we'll have a much clearer picture of where we're at in cricketing terms."

After batting at number three for most of his career, Ponting was demoted down the order, but he said he still prepared for each game in exactly the same way.

"I like to be in the nets early and face our bowlers with the new balls, which is what I've done for the 15 years of my career.

"I've always prided myself on my work ethic and I'll be in the nets giving it as much as anybody and hopefully the rewards will come for me."

Read more on:    australia in sa  |  ricky ponting
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Cobras bat first at Newlands

2014-10-22 15:20

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running
Fixtures
23 October 2014
New Zealand v South Africa, Mount Maunganui 23:30
26 October 2014
New Zealand v South Africa, Hamilton 23:30
05 November 2014
Australia v South Africa, Adelaide Oval 10:35
Previous Results

Date Match Result
Vote

Graeme Smith's shock decision to retire is...

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.