Ponting warms up for Proteas
Sydney - Veteran Australian batsman Ricky Ponting smashed an unbeaten 162 on Wednesday in the Sheffield Shield as his fine form continued ahead of the first Test against South Africa.
The 37-year-old, who was dumped from the one-day and Twenty20 international squads, has not played a Test since the West Indies last April but has put himself through a gruelling training regime to be ready for the Proteas.
Ponting hit 20 boundaries and one six in a superb display that lasted eight minutes shy of six hours for Tasmania against Victoria at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, to follow his unbeaten 85 against South Australia.
Victoria coach Greg Shipperd said Test cricket's second-leading run scorer was in fantastic touch.
"We needed to zero in on tougher, tighter areas for longer periods of time, but certainly Ricky looks in terrific form and that's a great and healthy place for Australia if he's in form," he said.
The first of three Tests against South Africa gets underway in Brisbane on November 9 before three Tests with Sri Lanka, also at home.
The former skipper, who has played 165 Tests, could break Steve Waugh's record as Australia's most-capped cricketer in the first match of a Sri Lanka series, with his eye on making the 2013 team to tour England.