Cricket World Cup 2011

'Devastated' Ponting no hero

2011-03-25 08:39
Ricky Ponting reacts to a misfield. (AFP)

Ahmedabad - Australia captain Ricky Ponting was devastated by the end of his side's 12-year reign as world champions, but found comfort in making a century in his World Cup swansong.

Ponting's 104 was the cornerstone of Australia's 260 for six, an innings that also featured 53 from opener Brad Haddin and a brisk unbeaten 38 from the recalled David Hussey.

But it was not enough with India, roared on by a capacity crowd of more than 42,000, making 261 for five thanks mainly to an unbeaten 57 from Yuvraj Singh that set up a semi-final against arch-rivals Pakistan in Mohali on March 30.

The 36-year-old Ponting, a three-time World Cup winner, conceded he probably would not be playing in another edition of the showpiece event, especially as his immediate future in the team is already in doubt.

"If I end up having made a hundred in my last World Cup game, then I guess I can be pretty happy at the end of the day," said Ponting, who made a superb 140 not out when Australia beat India in the 2003 World Cup final.

"I've never really been a stats man. What motivates me is winning games, and doing the best I can to try and win games for Australia."

Ponting said Australia had been "15 or 20 runs short", but that what had done for them was a bowling effort symbolised by erratic speedster Shaun Tait, whose seven overs cost 52 runs, including two no-balls and six wides.

The only consolation for the paceman was having India star Sachin Tendulkar caught behind for 53.

India won with 14 balls to spare, thanks to an unbeaten partnership of 74 by Yuvraj and fellow left-hander Suresh Raina, who made 34 not out.

"I'm devastated. We came here with high expectations and had come off a good series (a 6-1 win) of one-day cricket against England."

Ponting said a schedule that left Australia without a full game for a fortnight, after their clash with co-hosts Sri Lanka was washed out, hadn't helped.

"We found it difficult at times getting a bit of momentum and continuity with the way our programme was set out, but that was no excuse," he said.

"We weren't far off, but just little critical moments are what cost us the game. We didn't have enough high quality partnerships, and not enough pressure with the ball."

Ponting also praised longstanding opponent Tendulkar for an innings that left the 'Little Master' still one shy of his hundredth international hundred.

"He's playing as well as I've ever seen him play at the moment."

Ponting re-iterated he would not be retiring as an international cricketer, although his future as captain has been clouded, and possibly put on hold, by the wholesale review of the Australian game currently being undertaken, following the 3-1 Ashes series defeat at home to England.

Asked if he was a "tragic hero", a perplexed Ponting replied: "I don't feel like much of a hero at the moment."


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
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Cricket World Cup 2011

The day Aussies went 'soft'?

2011-04-01 07:37

Newly appointed Michael Clarke seems to represent a seismic change to Australian cricket captaincy characteristics. Read More


Who would you like to see named as the next Proteas' coach?


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.