Australianism, means single-minded determination to win - to win within the laws but, if necessary, to the last limit within them. It means where the 'impossible' is within the realm of what the human body can do, there are Australians who believe that they can do it - and who have succeeded often enough to make us wonder if anything is impossible to them. It means they have never lost a match - particularly a Test match - until the last run is scored or their last wicket down. - Arlott
Never have i hated a player more than this guy. Especially when he played against India. More so for his audacious innings in the 2003 final when he cartered Zaheer for sixes as if a school kid was bowling to him. I still could recollect the shock with which we came out of our friend's house after the Aussie innings got over. Though there were brave talks that if sachin and sehwag can go blazing from start we could have a match on our hands but still couldnt quite come out of the shock and impact of that innings. Could very well understand the impact on the Indian players for all of whom it was their first major appearance on a major tournament final. He destroyed our dreams of India lifting the cup that day singlehandedly and we had to wait for almost a decade to see it happen. Till that innings Ponting was just another bully blessed with the best of class calibre cricketers ever to have been assembled in a single team. The "Invincibles" of my time i guess. After that match, he became the indelible tormentor who had to be avenged match after match and yet remained unconquered.
After the "Sydneygate" fiasco i began to hate him even more. His unsportsman like conduct and his constant arguing with batsmen when appeals for wicket got turned down and down right sledging made him a poster boy for dartboards. Though that test match would be more remembered for the monkey sledge by Bajji and Kumble's comment on the Aussie attitude towards that match, it would also be remembered as the first major push from the test cricket summit, that the aussies had ruled for so long. Guess, the post match criticism mellowed Ponting a bit and he became less controversial. Maybe that robbed him off some more years of cricket from him for his scores began to dwindle. As he grew in stature as a person and a leader and a mentor to his mates, his scoreline subsided and bowlers world over began to breath easy. Injury scare at a crucial stage of his career didnt help either. When the call for his ouster grew he answered that with another flurry of centuries and the victims this time again were the visiting Indian team. That became his last major hurrah and after the twin failures in the first two tests against SA in the ongoing series, he has decided to hang his boots.
Many feel that Sachin is a statistician's nightmare, for he churns up record after record every passing year. If at all there ever was a player who could give stiff competition for Sachin in this aspect and in every aspect of the wonderful sport called cricket, that would be this man. He was forever in waiting for Sachin to retire so that he can scale down some of his summits. But our own lil big man has managed to outlive him, though may not be for long i guess. The one legacy of Ponting that no player from current crop can manage to overcome would be the sheer number of victories he had been part of. He has lead his team undefeated, read UNDEFEATED, in two consecutive world cups and has been part of 100 test victories. To even play 100 matches is considered a tremendous achievement, a glorious example of the amazing stamina and patience and perseverance. But to be part of 100 victories, many of them being epics etched on the great hall of fame of cricket is something that would be unrivalled. Yes, he was blessed with the best of the world bowlers and fielders and support staff. But him being at the crux of them all, shouldering the burden of the limelight and brickbats, protecting his fellow mates and yet marshaling them to victory after victory...hmmm..that would be quite a journey i guess. We are all blessed to have witnessed an assembly line of superstar cricketers. Be it our own bunch of Kumble,Dravid,Laxman,Saurav,Sachin or Warne,McGrath, the Wow Waugh's, Lara, Kallis, Murali ..the list is endless but is incomplete without Ponting on it. The name Ponting was, is and would always be synonymous with victory and if he manages to win his final match at Perth, the place where he began his career, he would see his beloved team back at the test summit again. That would be a fitting tribute to his glorious career and for once, just this once alone, i would be rooting for an Aussie victory. Go Aussie Go.