Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has cheekily admitted that his innings of 62 in the second Test against South Africa may have gone a long way to saving his career.
Ponting has been under fire after failing to register a Test century in almost two years, but diverted some of the scrutiny with a well-made half-century in Johannesburg.
Upon arriving home at Sydney Airport, Ponting gave a refreshingly honest answer when asked if he would pick himself for the first Test in New Zealand if he was a selector.
“If I was a selector would I pick myself?” Ponting mused with a smile on his face.
“After last week, maybe yeah.”
The former skipper has not scored a Test century since January 2010 but his gritty knock in Australia’s record-breaking chase convinced the 36-year-old he deserves his spot in the Test team.
“When you know that you can contribute to wins, that’s what it’s all about, I guess,” he said.
“I felt I had a part to play in the second game.
“Of course I want to keep playing. I really enjoy it and always
have,” he said.
“It’s a great team to be a part of at the moment. I want to be around and hopefully be able to have some sort of impact on the way the team plays.
“… If I keep doing my job, then hopefully I keep getting picked.”
Captain Michael Clarke backed Ponting to keep his spot in the team, saying he still has a lot to offer Australian cricket if he can build on his most
recent Test innings.
“If I thought that Ricky Ponting or Mitchell Johnson couldn’t perform at this level, I wouldn’t be supporting them as I have done,” Clarke said.
“I’ve been watching Ricky bat in the nets – I know he’s in good nick.
“Under pressure the other night, he did that but the reality is that he needs to perform better than he has done of late to stay in the team.”
Ponting was pleased to hear he had the support of the skipper.
“It’s nice to know the guys that you go into battle with every week are looking out for you,” he added.
Meanwhile, Black Caps captain Ross Taylor expects Ponting to be picked, describing him as a world class batsman.
“There’s been a lot made of his form in recent times but any guy who is averaging more than 52 will be making most teams around the world,” Taylor said.
by Buford Balony