Cricket

Ponting to bat on in Tests

2012-02-21 07:47
Ricky Ponting (AFP)

Sydney - Cricket World Cup-winning skipper Ricky Ponting said on Tuesday he intended to continue playing Test cricket for Australia despite being told he had no future in the national one-day team.

Ponting said he had been informed by selectors that he did not fit into their future plans for the one-day team, but despite speculation about his future, stressed that he would not be retiring from the five-day game.

"I will continue playing Test cricket and I'll continue playing for Tasmania as well," Ponting told a news conference at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

"I think I proved to everyone and myself that I am still capable of dominating Test cricket as I did in the last Test series against India."

Ponting's ODI sacking comes less than a month after his commanding role in Australia's 4-0 clean sweep of the home Test series against India, when he scored 544 runs at 108.80 with two centuries and three 50s.

His dumping also came just a day after he led Australia to a crushing 110-run ODI win over India in Brisbane as stand-in captain for the injured Michael Clarke.

The 37-year-old veteran of 375 ODIs spread over 17 years said even though he was no longer being considered for one-day selection, he would look to extend his 162-Test career in the West Indies in April.

Chief selector John Inverarity on Monday said Ponting, the second all-time leading run-scorer in ODIs, had been dropped because of a lack of form after just 18 runs in five knocks in the tri-series against India and Sri Lanka.

"John made it very clear to me yesterday the direction they are heading with the one-day team and that I am not part of their plans," he said.

"Look, it's hard to say I am retiring the day after I've already been left out of the side, so I don't expect to play one-day cricket for Australia any more and I am pretty sure the selectors don't have to be pick me either.

"I have no bitterness at all about what's happened. I totally understand the reasons why and the national selectors are looking forward to building a team for the next World Cup of which I am not part of their plans going forward."

Ponting, who ranks second only to India's Sachin Tendulkar with most ODI runs (13 704), said he remained highly motivated.

"The passion for me in international cricket has not died or changed and I've made it clear right through this Australian summer that I still don't see a finish line as far as my international career is concerned," he said.

"Now that one-day cricket probably isn't there any more and we all know that (retirement) day is coming closer and closer for me, but I am not the sort of person who will want a massive farewell series.

"I'll make a decision when I think that I can't contribute to winning games of cricket for Australia and that's all that has been motivating me for the last 12 months: to be the player I know I can be."

Ponting was defiant that he will finish his illustrious playing career on his own terms and not be discarded by selectors.

"I am backing myself to finish the game and finish on a high," he said.

"I don't want to finish on a low and I'll make the right decision at the right time. There's no doubt about that."

Ponting's big task now will be to adequately prepare himself for Test cricket, with international one-dayers no longer an option.

"The thing that I thought about most on Monday was how I was going to manage my time and to be well prepared for every Test match that I play for the remainder of my career," he said.

"With no one-day international cricket obviously that makes it difficult for me. But there are those around Australia who only play Test cricket and I've seen it before with Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor and David Boon when they had retired from one-day cricket and still did well in Tests."

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