Ponting reached international standards at a young age for a batsman, making his One Day International and Test debuts in 1995 at the age of 20. However, his progress was not unhindered. He lost his place in the team several times due to lack of form and discipline issues, before rising to the One Day International captaincy in early 2002 and becoming Test captain in early 2004. As of July 2008, he is the equal-fourth highest ranked batsman in both One Day International cricket and Test matches in the official ICC ratings.
Ricky Ponting is considered one of the best batsmen in the history of the modern game, and is ranked 4th; Graeme Smith, Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Yousuf are the only ones that lead him in the One-Day International Batting chart and only Kumar Sangakkara, team mate Michael Hussey and Shivnarine Chanderpaul are ahead in the test rankings. He is the only cricketer to have twice scored more than 1500 runs in Test matches in a calendar year (2003 and 2005) and on 3 December 2006 overtook Steve Waugh as the leading Australian century maker with 33 Test centuries. He now has 36 and lies second in highest number of Test centuries in the history of cricket, three behind world leader Sachin Tendulkar. He is also the third fastest batsmen ever too reach 10,000 runs in Test matches. 1000 Runs in a Calendar Year. matches. "Ponting alone at the top". ABC News Online, . He has scored over 10,000 Test runs at an average near 59, but since the February 2002 tour of South Africa (when he was elevated to the ODI team captaincy) he has scored 24 of his Test centuries and averaged above 74, leading to comparisons with Sir Donald Bradman.
Ponting is also Australia's leading ODI run-scorer and century maker. He has the second most test centuries ever, behind only Tendulkar. His century against the West Indies in Jaipur at the 1996 Cricket World Cup made him the youngest ever World Cup centurion, and his unbeaten 140 against India in the 2003 Cricket World Cup final was the highest by a captain in a World Cup final. In 2007 Cricket World Cup match against South Africa at St Kitts, Ponting became the first Australian to reach 10,000 runs in ODI Cricket and the 7th in world cricket to achieve this distinction. He recently reached 10000 test runs against the West Indies in June 2008 and crossed 11000 ODI runs in the Commonwealth Bank series in 2008.
Like many Australian batsmen, Ricky Ponting is particularly strong against pace bowling, with the full array of back foot shots, including the pull, hook, and square cut. Early on, he was regarded as a near-compulsive hooker, but he has lately moderated this tendency. He tends to move across his off stump, and has therefore been regarded as vulnerable to LBW early in his innings. He is less adept against spin bowling, particularly on very helpful spinning pitches such as those in India where his average is just 12.28.
After his first 30 Tests in just under four years his average was 38.62, and after rising into the mid-40s had dipped again to 40.50 after 45 Tests. Since that time his average has consistently risen; his averages in recent calendar years are 70.93 in 2002, 100.20 in 2003, 41.00 in 2004, 67.13 in 2005 and 88.86 in 2006.
Ponting occasionally bowls medium pace, and has also experimented with off-spin. He is an outstanding fieldsman square of the wicket or at silly point, with fast reactions and hand-eye coordination and (especially in the one-day game) a reputation for hitting the stumps to run out opposition batsmen. A report prepared by Cricinfo in late 2005 showing that since the 1999 Cricket World Cup, he had effected the second highest number of run-outs in ODI cricket of any fieldsman, with the sixth highest success rate.
In a test against West Indies in 2008, Ricky Ponting scored his 10000th run, becoming the third fastest to do so. In October 2008 with another century, he passed Sunil Gavaskar,with his 10,222nd test run. He is the sixth highest run maker of all time.
Ponting played his junior cricket for Mowbray Cricket Club and attracted attention at an early age. Nicknamed Punter by Shane Warne for his love of greyhound-racing, he left school at 16 to attend the Australian Cricket Academy in Adelaide. After impressing head coach Rod Marsh, Ponting made his Sheffield Shield debut at the age of 17, in the 1992/93 season. He was immediately productive, scoring 782 runs at 46 for the season. He was the youngest Tasmanian to score a first-class century, and the youngest to score centuries in each innings of a match on Australian soil. This put him in contention for selection for the 1993 Ashes tour, and despite being overlooked, he continued his heavy scoring in his second domestic season, scoring 965 at 48.25 to propel the Tasmanians into the Shield final. His form the following year in 1994/95 led to his selection in the Australian XI to play in a four-day match against England, as well as selection for Australia A in the ODI tournament.
Ponting's domestic performances were rewarded when he was selected for the Australian ODI team to play in a quadrangular tournament in New Zealand in early 1995. He played in all of Australia's matches, aggregating 80 runs at 40, highlighted by a 62 against India in Dunedin. He was selected for the subsequent tour of the West Indies, and although he played in two more ODIs, he watched from the dressing room as his teammates reclaimed the Frank Worrell Trophy.
He made his Test debut in the 1st Test against Sri Lanka in December 1995 at Perth, replacing Greg Blewett although due to Steve Waugh's absence through injury Ponting batted at 5. He was out for 96, lbw to Chaminda Vaas. He combined with Stuart Law, also playing on debut, for a partnership of 121. This was only the ninth ever century partnership by debutants in test cricket.
He also featured that season in the ODI team, and attended the 1996 Cricket World Cup, where he batted in the No.3 position, and became the youngest batsman to score a World Cup century, when he achieved the feat in a group match against the West Indies.
With the retirement of fellow Tasmanian David Boon, Ponting was elevated to the No.3 position in the Test team for the series against the West Indies in 1996-97 in Australia. After two Test matches and three scores under 10, he was replaced by Justin Langer and was out of the team for six months. Returning at Leeds in July 1997 he scored his first Test century (127, batting at No.6) but in 1998-99 again failed to hold his place consistently, being dropped in favour of Darren Lehmann on the tour of Pakistan and again in the home series against England. He had played 22 Tests at the end of 1998, with 1209 runs at an average of 36.63. He was a permanent fixture in the ODI team throughout this period.
Ponting was in the squad for the 1999 tour of the West Indies, and scored 104 batting at No.6 when recalled to the starting XI for the 3rd Test. Injury aside (he missed a tour of New Zealand after hurting his ankle in a fielding mishap in an ODI Final at Sydney), his position was now secure in spite of a run of poor form in 2001 - this included 17 runs at an average of 3.4 in three Tests in India, dismissed all five times by Harbhajan Singh. Despite this recent run of poor scores, Ponting was promoted to the key No.3 position in the Australian batting order at the expense of Justin Langer, while Damien Martyn took Ponting's former spot at No.6. Ponting began the series poorly, scoring 11, 14, 4 ,14 and 17 - the first four dismissals all to Darren Gough - before returning to form at Leeds, scoring 144 and 72 in a dead-rubber. Starting with that 2001 Ashes series he has batted No.3 in all but four of his Test innings. Despite his initial failure, Ponting has averaged 68.76 since his promotion, scoring 26 of his 33 centuries (as of March 2007).
In late 2003, Ponting scored double-centuries in back-to-back Tests against India, at Adelaide (242) and at Melbourne (257, his career high). Having also scored 206 at Port-of-Spain earlier in the year, he became only the second player (Sir Donald Bradman the other) to hit three double-centuries in a calendar year.
Although the Test team had continued to perform well, sweeping South Africa 3-0 in the home series in 2001-02, the One-Day International (ODI) team suffered a slump, failing to qualify for the finals of the triangular tournament, leading to the dropping of Steve Waugh from the one-day team in February 2002. Ponting was elevated to the captaincy, ahead of then vice-captain Adam Gilchrist. The fortunes of the ODI team revived and Ponting led his team to a dominant, undefeated, performance in the 2003 Cricket World Cup. The Final, in which India were defeated by a record (for World Cup Final matches) 125 runs, featured Ponting's brilliant 140 from 121 balls.
On 12 March 2006, Ponting scored 164 in only 105 balls in the 5th ODI against South Africa in Johannesburg, as Australia made a record total of 434 for 4, only to be beaten by South Africa's 438 for 9. At the end of the match Ponting was jointly awarded Man of the Match with Herschelle Gibbs.
Ponting has captained Australia 169 times in ODIs for 128 wins and two ties. Winning 76% of matches captained, the best of any captain of any country to have captained more than 20 matches. He has captained Australia in 22 World Cup matches without defeat.
After Steve Waugh's retirement at the beginning of 2004, Ponting assumed the Test captaincy. Since 1997 the Australian team has not always had the same captain for Tests and for ODIs, with Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh being dropped from the ODI team whilst still the Test captain. Ponting is expected to hold his place in both teams for several years to come.
Following the 2008 Frank Worrell Trophy series against the West Indies, Ponting's captaincy record is 33 wins from 44 matches, a better ratio of success than any previous Australian captain with more than 10 matches captained (Warwick Armstrong won 8 of 10). He is now second (behind Steve Waugh with 41) for total wins by Australian captains. He is seventh for wins amongst all Test captains (record also held by Waugh).
Australia lost to England 2–1 after starting the series as favourites. Ponting thus became the first Australian captain since Allan Border in 1986–87 to lose an Ashes series. The 2005 series was hailed as one of the great Test series, but Ponting faced significant criticism afterwards and his tenure as captain was questioned. In his defence, Ponting said that Australia had simply been outplayed and had not stepped up at crucial moments in the matches. He rejected suggestions that Shane Warne should be captain in his stead.
The series began with a big win to Australia at Lord's, but in the pre-match warm up before the next Test at Edgbaston, an accidental injury to Glenn McGrath led to his late withdrawal from the match. Ponting sent England in to bat after winning the toss, a decision widely criticised. England posted a big first innings total and won the game by 2 runs after a near-successful run chase by bowlers Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz on the final day. England had the upper hand throughout the third Test at Old Trafford, where Australia needed to bat through the last day to force a draw. Ponting scored 156, the first Australian century of the series, and was dismissed only four overs from the end of the day. In the fourth Test at Trent Bridge, Australia again batted poorly and was forced to follow-on. In the second innings, Ponting (on a score of 48) was run out by the substitute fielder (Gary Pratt). Ponting reacted angrily, directing a tirade at the English support team in the pavilion concerning the liberal use of substitutes; he was later fined by the match referee. Australia went on to lose the match, despite of a spirited fightback with the ball on the last day, and when the weather-affected fifth Test at The Oval was drawn, the Ashes were officially lost.
The setback to Australia, and to Ponting as Australian captain, of the 2005 Ashes defeat, was to prove a strong motivation for the Australian camp to improve their standards and overcome any complacency that may have arisen from Australia's being the world's premier cricketing nation for a decade or so. In November 2006, the England cricket team again took on Australia in the first test of a five test series that was widely expected to be a tremendous contest between Australia, the top team on the world cricket rankings, and the England team, whose aggregated results over the last few years had it standing second in the rankings. Despite Australia this time having the advantage of playing on its own soil, the England team that had wrested the Ashes from the Australians was expected to be highly competitive.
In the First Test in Brisbane, Ponting top-scored in Australia's first innings with 196 runs, and he followed this up with 60 not out in the second.
In the Second Test in Adelaide, Ponting top-scored with 142, and helping Australia to a total of 513 in response to England's 6/551. Australia went on to win the match by six wickets.
The third Test played at the WACA Ground saw another win to Australia by 206 runs to reclaim the Ashes. The 15 months they had been in English hands was the shortest period either nation had held the urn. Further wins in Melbourne and Sydney, made Ponting's team the second team (after Warwick Armstrong's Australian team in 1920-21) to win an Ashes series 5-0, and that against what had been thought to be a formidable enemy, the second strongest cricketing team in the world. Under Ponting's leadership, the Australians have equalled the longest winning streak of 16 games held also by Australia, under the captaincy of Steve Waugh.
Ricky Ponting was awarded Man of the Series for the 2006-07 Ashes series after scoring 576 runs at an average of 82.29 including 2 centuries and 2 half centuries.
Following the England tour, Ponting retained the captaincy and began a rich run of batting form. In the 2005-06 season, he scored a century in both innings of a Test match three times and became the first player to score a century in each innings of his 100th Test match. He is only the second player (after Sunil Gavaskar) to score centuries in both innings of a Test match 3 times and the first to do so in a single season. Across 12 matches in Australia, South Africa and Bangladesh in that season, Ponting scored 1483 runs at an average of 78.05 with 8 centuries. In the first game of the 2007 World cup he made 113 runs against Scotland. He started the 07/08 series well but in the CB series until Australia's last match against India where he and another poor performing Australian batsmen, Andrew Symonds put on a 100 run partnership with Ponting making a hundred and Symonds making 50.
He began the 2006-07 Ashes series in Australia with scores of 196 and 60 not out at Brisbane and 142 and 49 at Adelaide. These two centuries took him past Steve Waugh for the Australian record for Test centuries and raised his career average above 60.. He ended the year with over 1000 runs in a calendar year for the fourth time with a total of 1333 runs at an average of 88.86. In a match against South Africa, at the 2007 Cricket World Cup, Ponting became the seventh batsman to cross 10,000 runs in ODIs and the first Australian to do so.
Ricky Ponting is the nephew of Tasmanian Test cricketer and fast bowler Greg Campbell.
With the large financial rewards of international cricket, Ponting is a full-time professional cricketer, although he is involved with Stride Sports, a sports management business which is well-known for managing some of the biggest names in the AFL - including Glenn Archer and Cameron Mooney. A well-known off-field interest of Ponting's is betting on horse and greyhound races, revealed by his nickname, "Punter". Ponting is a talented golfer, playing off a handicap of 1.7.
Ricky married his long-time girlfriend, law student Rianna Jennifer Cantor, in June 2002. He has himself credited her as a reason for the maturity evident in his game in recent years. On 26 February 2008, Ponting and his wife Rianna announced that they were expecting their first child. Daughter Emmy Charlotte was born in Sydney, Australia on 26 July 2008.
Ponting is a keen supporter - and number one ticket holder - of the North Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League. On 9 August 2007, Ponting appeared on The AFL Footy Show where he talked about his desire to become a Kangaroos board member.
Ricky and wife Rianna have a superstitious liking for the number 14.
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