Cricket

Pace won't 'worry' Ponting

2012-10-31 09:02
Ricky Ponting (AFP)
Sydney - The 37-year-old reflexes of Ricky Ponting will need to cope with variety more than outright pace in the test series against South Africa, says former Proteas all-rounder Johan Botha.

According to stuff.co.nz website, Botha, as captain of South Australia, will come up against Ponting in the Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania starting on Thursday and is convinced the former test skipper is as good against sheer speed as ever.

But he says the fearsome trio of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander will offer more than a workout for the speed gun in the much-anticipated series beginning at the Gabba on Friday week.

"He's always played pace bowling really well," Botha told AAP.

"The three (South African) quicks are all different. That's a challenge within itself.

"Steyn swings it at good pace, Morkel gets a lot of bounce and Philander's got a lot of skill - he moves the ball around both ways.

"I think that's the biggest challenge for him - not so much out-and-out pace."

Ponting's start to 2012/13, his first season as a test-only international player, has made plenty sit up and take notice.

He is the Sheffield Shield's top scorer with 350 runs from three matches at an average of 175.

That kind of preparation can only have the Proteas wary after Ponting's major role in knocking India from their perch last summer, including a double century in Adelaide.

It will be welcome in the Australian camp after Ponting passed 50 just once in six innings in the West Indies.

"The way he's playing now, you can't count him out and you can't look past him," Botha said.

"He's obviously putting in big runs and that's great to see.

"It's great to see the hunger that he's got at his age with everything he's done in his career."

Ponting will turn 38 in December and Tasmanian coach Tim Coyle said the end of his career was not yet in sight.

"As long as he's scoring runs," Coyle said.

"That's the bottom line - that's what he'll say: 'As long as I'm scoring runs, pick me'.

"He's invested a huge amount of time over the last two months to get himself to where he is now which is a great thing for Australian cricket.

"(His form is) no surprise to me.

"He's actually getting younger I reckon - that's the way I look at him. He seems to be going back the other other way."

Read more on:    australia  |  johan botha  |  ricky ponting  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

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
23 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Big month in the world of golf as the FedEx Cup concludes on the PGA Tour, the Race to Dubai gathers steam on the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour offers local golfers the chance to bank some cash. Oh, and not forgetting the USA v Europe Ryder Cup showdown at Hazeltine!

Latest blogs
Vote

Under fire Proteas coach Russell Domingo has blamed player workloads and fatigue as the reason for the national team's woeful showing in the Tri Series in the Caribbean. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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