Pace won't 'worry' Ponting

2012-10-31 09:02

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 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."


  • jasper.benadie - 2012-10-31 10:05

    See mnr Big mouth is at it again!!!

      Jimmy NZ - 2012-10-31 10:09

      That's rich coming from a Saffa cricket supporter!

      stephen.axtell.7 - 2012-10-31 10:17

      Ah Jimmy the fake Kiwi. And you are wrong there, Australians are big mouths. But you cant resist trolling can you.

      david.s.duncan.1 - 2012-10-31 10:33

      Who exactly is 'mnr Big mouth'? You do know this is Johan Botha being interviewed

      jasper.benadie - 2012-10-31 10:37

      I only read the headings, and then make my own assumption, that works!!!!

      darren.peach - 2012-11-01 10:26

      @ Jimmy NZ. Why the hell are the All Blacks so good at Rugby ?

  • jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-31 10:09

    The team I hope to see!! 1. Biff 2. Alviro 3. Hash 4. Kallis 5. AB 6. JP/Rudolph (think JP should get the nod) 7. Thami 8. Vern 9. Steyn 10. Morkel 11. Imran

      jasper.benadie - 2012-10-31 10:27

      No way man, Rudolph at 6 JP at 7 and AB to KEEP!!!

      jaco.groenewald.731 - 2012-10-31 10:42

      Jasper, if the top 6 don’t make runs an extra ‘Specialist batsmen” @7 won’t help you, AB MUST NOT KEEP IN TEST CRICKET!!!!

      david.s.duncan.1 - 2012-10-31 10:49

      We need a specialist keeper, let AB focus on his batting. Thami can do the job, no point taking him Down Under if he just going to watch the game.

      grant.callaway.50 - 2012-10-31 13:08

      @Jaco - if the top six dont score, you NEED 7 to get some runs! I think what you mean is that the top six SHOULD score. Having said that, if you can afford to field an extra bowler or batsman, you'd be stupid not to! In AB's case, we dont really want to shorten his career via injury, but then lets blood an up-and-coming talent rather than select a short-term average keeper.

      jasper.benadie - 2012-10-31 15:28

      grantcallaway = CHOP!!!!

  • daleinn - 2012-10-31 10:12

    then surprise him, with a double spin duo attack.. instead.. be innovative.. who knows what the wickets offer.. it could be a flat batting wicket, or one where the bowlers hit the deck hard and create somethin, in which case Oz bowlers can create that element of surprise in the first 20 overs. Pontings career is on the line , so too is Tendulkar.. at their age its either perform or make way.. at the end of the day , they are human when at the crease..

      jasper.benadie - 2012-10-31 10:27

      With what spinners????

      grant.callaway.50 - 2012-10-31 13:09

      Plus, we can open the batting with two guys who average over 100!

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-10-31 19:04

      This is Test cricket, not T20. You don't open with spin. The only teams who go into Tests with two spinners are subcontinent sides who thrive on spinning tracks. If Robin P was drafted into the team to add a second spin option, either a batsman or Dale/Vern/Morne/JK would have to sit out. Not gonna happen.

      Jacques - 2012-11-01 07:06

      Yeah I must admit, having two spinners is ludicrous. Bring Petersen in for who? Kallis? Duminy? Tahir's place in the side at grounds like Perth isn't even guaranteed, so it's quite a naieve plan to have a 'double spin duo surprise attack'.

  • tlethwane - 2012-10-31 17:08

    can't wait 4 this series to get underway... I jst hope micheal clarke and ricky pointing don't end up retiring from all formats of international crickt like the english captains....

  • darren.peach - 2012-11-01 10:24

    I hate you Ponting but it comes with GREAT RESPECT man !

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