Ricky Ponting coy on possible replacement

BEN HORNE
Last updated 05:00 04/12/2012
Ricky Ponting
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FINAL FAREWELL: Ricky Ponting addresses a press conference with his daughter Emmy after retiring from international cricket.

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Ricky Ponting says the race to replace him in the Australian batting line-up will come down to the four obvious candidates.

The retiring test great believes Rob Quiney, Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja deserve to be leading the pack, but also gives fellow Tasmanian Alex Doolan a hope.

But Ponting refused to give his opinion on who should get the nod, conceding there's an argument to be made for all four.

Hughes, Quiney and Khawaja have all had a taste at test level, but have failed to take their opportunity.

Hughes shapes as the favourite given he already has three test hundreds to his name and is the leading run-scorer in Sheffield Shield this season for South Australia.

However, Ponting said Khawaja is in the form of his life after moving to Queensland and argued Quiney might be foremost in selectors' minds because he played Tests one and two against South Africa.

"Rob Quiney didn't perform the way he would have liked, but he was first choice batsman going into Brisbane," Ponting said.

"I know Hughes and Khawaja are out there scoring runs nearly every game they play now.

"It's really good to see those guys putting their hand up for selection.

"Maybe Alex Doolan for the big hundred he scored against South Africa (for Australia A).

"Whichever way they go you can guarantee they'll have a good replacement for me."

Whoever Australia select as Ponting's replacement is likely to form part of a reshuffled batting order.

Ponting said he would most likely make the trip to Hobart to farewell his home-state fans for the first Test against Sri Lanka in two weeks time.

The ultra-competitive former skipper joked he might even attempt an immediate comeback.

"I'll watch because I'll miss not being out there and I'll be interested in who comes in and slots into my No.4 spot," Ponting said.

"I'll probably be down there anyway (training for Hobart Hurricanes) ... and maybe I'll be there for the first day of the game.

"I might even join in the warm-up with the boys and see if there's just one more chance."

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