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Top Five Test Innings From Ponting

Last updated on: November 29, 2012 20:44 IST

Top Five Test Innings From Ponting

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Australia's Ricky Ponting announced his retirement from international cricket on Thursday, telling a stunned news conference he would be calling time on his glittering 17-year career after this week's third Test against South Africa.

The former Australia captain has scored 13,366 runs in 167 Tests - the second highest aggregate in the long history of the game - and stands behind only the great Don Bradman in the ranks of Australian batsmen.

"A few hours ago I let the boys know of my decision to make this Test my last," Ponting, who turns 38 next month, told reporters.

"It's a decision I thought long and hard about. It was based on my output and my results in this series so far. It hasn't been what I expect of myself and certainly not the level required of a batsman in the Australia team.

"I've said all along that I would continue to play as long as I could continue to make a contribution to wins, and I think over the last couple of weeks my performance has not been good enough to do that.

"I've given cricket my all, it's been my life for 20 years, there's not much more I can give."


Image: Ricky Ponting looks on during an Australian training session at WACA
Photographs: Paul Kane/Getty Images

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Ponting, who stood down from the Test captaincy last year and retired from one-day cricket in February, has scored nought, four and 16 in his three innings so far in the series against South Africa.

He stressed the decision had not been prompted by the selectors and said it was not hard to miss out on one final Ashes contest next year because he realised he was not good enough to get there.

Rediff.com looks the batting ace's top five of his 41 Test centuries, which has had a big impact on his career.

257 vs India (Melbourne 2003)

It was a series in which Ricky Ponting couldn't put a foot wrong. Scoring back-to-back centuries is in itself a phenomenal achievement, but scoring back-to-back double tons is masterclass.

India won the toss in the third Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test and elected to bat. Riding high on Virender Sehwag's 195, India put on 366 in the first innings.

Australia, though, lost Justin Langer early, but Matthew Hayden and Ponting demoralized the visitors with a 234-run stand for the second wicket.

Along the way Hayden smashed 136, while Ponting walloped 257, which also happens to be his highest Test score. India failed to put up a fight in the second innings and the hosts won by nine wickets.


Image: Australia's Ricky Ponting waves to the crowd with teammate Matthew Hayden after winning the third Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
Photographs: David Gray/Reuters

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156 vs England (Manchester 2005)

A gem of an innings from then Aussie skipper, who led from the front when the chips were down.

The third Ashes Test had its share of ups and downs. England would have taken the lead in the series but for Ponting's brilliant knock.

England won the toss and elected to bat under good batting conditions in Manchester. His opposite number, Michael Vaughan, smashed a delightful 166, and a late flourish from the tail ensured the hosts put up a competitive 444 in their first innings.

The Aussies could only manage 302, courtesy Shane Warne's 90, as the visitors conceded a massive 142-run lead.

Andrew Strauss came good for England with a century as they set Australia a target of 422 runs.

The Aussies were off to a horrible start, losing Langer early again. Hayden too departed soon enough and the hosts were struggling against the likes of Steven Harmison and Andrew Flintoff.

But Ponting stood there like a rock. While rest of the batsmen rallied around him, Punter scored a memorable 272-ball 156.

The Aussies played out some tough overs from the English bowlers as the Test ended in a draw.


Image: Australian captain Ricky Ponting hits out watched by Geraint Jones of England during day five of the Third npower Ashes Test match
Photographs: Tom Shaw/Getty Images

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196 vs England (Brisbane 2006)

Another Ashes delight from Ponting, as he almost scored a double ton against arch-rivals. This innings displayed Ponting's greatest quality: sheer, bloody-minded determination.

After Australia's 2005 Ashes loss, the skipper was determined to not let it happen again. His hundred at the Gabba paved the way for a 5-0 series whitewash. It's a match where Australia walloped the visitors by 277 runs.

Riding high on Ponting's 196, the Aussies scored a massive 602. Glen McGrath took over from Ponting and picked six wickets for 50 runs as the visitors were shot out for 157.

Australia decided not to enforce the follow-on and scored 202-1, courtesy a hundred from Justin Langer.

England put up a better fight in their second essay, thanks to Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood, but didn't have enough firepower to stave off defeat.


Image: Ricky Ponting of Australia celebrates reaching his century during day one of the first Ashes Test
Photographs: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

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143 vs South Africa (Sydney 2006)

Playing his 100th Test Ricky Ponting hit an aggressive century to guide the team to victory and take a 2-0 lead in the series. South Africa, batting first amassed 451, courtesy twin centuries from Jacques Kallis (111) and Ashwell Prince (119).

Australia, though, fell short of the target, but Ponting's century ensured that the hosts did not fall short of the follow-on mark.

South Africa, in their second essay, scored quickly and made a sporting declaration, leaving Australia to score 288 runs with two session remaining.

Again, the Hayden-Ponting combo ensured that the hosts were in the hunt with quick fire innings. Hayden fell 10 runs short of his century, while Ponting went on to smash an unbeaten 143 to guide the team home and win by eight wickets.


Image: Ricky Ponting of Australia celebrates the winning runs during day five of the Third Test between Australia and South Africa
Photographs: Hamish Blair/Getty Images

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206 vs West Indies (Port-of-Spain, 2003)

Another dream run for Ricky Ponting as he flourished on a batman's paradise in the Windies, registering scores of 117, 42 not out, 206, 45 and 113.

Darren Ganga flourished for the Windies with a 117 in the first essay as the hosts put on 408. Brett Lee ripped through the West Indies with figures of 4-69.

Australia, riding high on three centuries, including one double ton, romped home with 576.

Brian Lara did put up a good fight for the hosts, but Australia cruised past the West Indies' target of 238, losing just three wickets.


Image: Ricky Ponting of Australia reaches 200 during day two of the Second Test between the West Indies and Australia
Photographs: Hamish Blair/Getty Images

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