Ricky Ponting is one of the most decorated players to ever don the Baggy Green. Boasting more records than any other player in Australian history, Ponting has scored the most Test and ODI runs for his country, has had the most wins as a player, a captain and has taken the most catches by a non-wicket-keeper.
With 13,346 runs in his 165 Tests, it is hard to believe that there are still a host of critics who want the former skipper out of the national side.
As a captain, Ponting led the Australian side to back to back World Cup wins in the ODI format; winning a record 34 matches in a row. His own form during that time was monumental, especially his 140* against India in the Final against India in 2003.
The Tasmanian continued his rich vein of form, when he belted three double centuries in the 2004 season, including back to back matches against India. His 257 against India at the MCG remains his highest score, and will go down as one of the best innings ever played in Australia.
After being made captain in 2004, Ponting had to endure several setbacks on the field. In 2010/11, he became the first Australian captain to lose three Ashes series, which eventually saw him relinquish the role.
The former captain has had to go through periods of uncertainty ever since, but has always come through the other side stronger than before. At first, he lost the ability to play his beloved pull shot. Now it’s working better than ever. Then, against tight swing bowling, he was falling across the crease, exposing himself to LBW decisions. Now, he is driving the ball with perfection.
Any doubts over his form were quashed in the 2011/12 series at home against India. Ponting averaged 108 for the series, scoring 221 in Adelaide, as well as 134 in Sydney.
Putting his batting aside, Ponting is one of the greatest fielders of all time. He started his career at point, running out batsmen at will. He has now become safe as houses in the slip cordon, and has taken some out of this world screamers.
A great start to the domestic season has him poised for another big year against the best bowling attack in the world.