Waugh tips his caps to Ponting's test feat

DANIEL LANE
Last updated 09:59 28/11/2012
Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh
Getty Images
IN THEIR PRIME: Ricky Ponting (L) and his predecessor as Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh experience another test win in 2003.

Relevant offers

Cricket

Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill named players of the year at cricket awards The bargain buys and big-money flops of IPL 2016 Alastair Cook milestone as England win to clinch Sri Lanka series Alastair Cook becomes first Englishman to hit 10,000 test runs Adam Zampa wants to impress selectors on his own merit Kane Williamson carries the drinks as David Warner blasts Sunrisers Hyderabad to IPL title Sri Lanka's Mathews leads from front to frustrate England in second test Black Caps all-rounder Mitchell Santner breaks finger playing for Worcestershire Kane Williamson and David Warner star in a cringeworthy TV ad England on course to crush Sri Lanka in second test

Former test captain Steve Waugh says he would be ''honoured'' to share his record as Australia's most capped test player with Ricky Ponting.

The knives were drawn by critics and pointed squarely in 37-year-old Ponting's direction after he scored just 20 runs - 0, 4, 16 - in three innings against the world's No 1 bowling attack. However, Waugh, who represented Australia in 168 tests between 1985 and 2004, said he admired Ponting's longevity and tenacity.

Waugh said knowing everything Ponting, the nation's most prolific run-scorer with 167 test appearances, had gone through - and was enduring as he fought to retain his place in the Australian team - was the reason why he would be proud to share the mantle as ''most capped'' with him.

''I [couldn't] see why he wouldn't be [playing] in Perth,'' Waugh said. ''Obviously, he'd like some more runs, but when you play that amount of tests you realise how much goes into it; the time, the training sessions, the time you spend away [from family] ... it is a huge commitment. So, it'd be an honour to share the same amount of tests with Ricky when he gets to 168 ... being the only Australians to do it would be fantastic.''

Ponting conceded after his cheap dismissals in Brisbane and Adelaide a ''hard'' conversation with the selectors was imminent. However, while his torment was widely documented, Waugh said neither the scrutiny nor calls for Ponting to be axed should have shocked the gritty Tasmanian.

Indeed, Waugh, who experienced much of the same treatment towards the end of his career, said

Ponting should have expected it. ''That's only natural,'' Waugh said. ''He'd expect that, I expected it and anyone who plays the game realises you're judged by your performances, and that is only fair.

''It doesn't matter what's being written in the newspapers or what the journalists are saying, you know yourself how you're going, and I think Ricky - after 15-or-so years of playing for Australia - knows exactly what he has to do.''

There had been a suggestion next month's first test in his native Hobart against Sri Lanka - the nation he made his debut against in 1995 - should be orchestrated to be his farewell, but Glenn McGrath argued Ponting was only one decent innings away from top form.

''Before the test series started he was the in-form batsman in the Shield,'' McGrath said. ''A big hundred isn't that far off and once he gets that he'll be right ... I'd pick Ricky in any team of mine.''

Ad Feedback

- Sydney Morning Herald

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content