Proteas in Australia

Selectors back Ponting: Arthur

2012-11-27 10:03
Mickey Arthur (AFP)

Adelaide - Ricky Ponting has the unanimous backing of selectors as he searches for runs to save his Test career and will play in the series decider against South Africa, coach Mickey Arthur said on Tuesday.

The former Australia skipper, who turns 38 next month, has failed in three innings against the Proteas during draws in Brisbane and Adelaide and pressure is building on the 167-Test veteran ahead of Friday's third Test in Perth.

Ponting admitted in Adelaide that he was a realist and knew that if he did not start scoring runs then he "definitely" would not be in England for the Ashes in July and August next year.

Australia v South Africa 2nd Test Day 5 Highlights

Arthur, who is also on the selection panel, told reporters that Ponting's future had not been discussed by selectors.

"We unanimously back Ricky Ponting to get us some runs. By his own admission Perth is a big test for him, but Ricky has prepared brilliantly, he's really given us everything we could probably have asked," Arthur said.

"He'll leave no stone unturned in his preparation for Perth and I'm backing him for a big score in Perth, no doubt about that."

"Inside the dressing room and privately we've all backed Ricky Ponting," he added. "If Ricky's scoring runs then we definitely want him around for the next six months. We want Ricky Ponting to go to the Ashes, there's no doubt about that."

Ponting has spoken in the past about his burning motivation to keep on playing after leading Australia to back-to-back Ashes series defeats before Michael Clarke took over the captaincy.

Skipper Clarke has called for calm heads about the future of Australia's top Test run-scorer, who is behind only India's Sachin Tendulkar on the all-time Test list, with 13 366 runs.

"The one thing we need to keep in mind was he was the leading run-scorer in Sheffield Shield cricket leading up to the start of this (Test) summer, so he is batting well," Clarke said.

"We can all get out early in our innings, every single one of us. Once he gets in I have no doubt at all he will go on and make a big score, he knows how to make big hundreds."

Arthur also hinted that unpredictable paceman Mitchell Johnson is in line to bowl in Perth after he was one of three fresh fast bowlers named in a 14-man squad amid doubts over pace pair Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus following Monday's bowling exertions in the draining Adelaide Test.

"I thought Mitchell was outstanding for us in the one-day series against Pakistan. He bowled superbly and arguably was one of our best bowlers there during that one-day series," Arthur said.

"These two guys (Siddle and Hilfenhaus) gave it their all on the last day of the Adelaide Test and we can look how everyone comes up and we can make a really concerted and good decision for Friday."

Arthur said it was possible that both Siddle and Hilfenhaus would not play in Perth given their tiredness after bowling for the last day and a half in the heat at Adelaide.

"We've got a couple of days and I can't see them bowling any balls at training so we've just got to see how they pull up, hence we've given ourselves the cover in case they don't pull up well," he said.

"We're in a position where we could go in with a totally different attack in Perth."



Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Most Read


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Habana believes in younger Boks
All Blacks ready for a 'hell of a battle'
Barnes to ref Boks, Wales clash
Brave Blossoms: 'Sport heroes of Japan'
14 October 2015
India v South Africa, Indore 10:00
18 October 2015
India v South Africa, Rajkot 10:00
22 October 2015
India v South Africa, Chennai 10:00
Previous Results

Date Match Result

The Proteas have wrapped up their Test series against Australia with a 1-0 victory. Which international opponent gives you greatest pleasure in beating?

Love 2 Meet

Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

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

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

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