After failing to reach double figures for the fifth consecutive time, Ricky Ponting has just been dropped from the Australian ODI team. It looks like his swan song has been sung and recorded. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that he went out as captain.
There is no doubting Ponting’s position in the pantheon of Australian cricketers. He is amongst their very greatest – the last truly great player from the Waugh/ Warne/ McGrath/ Gilchrist era – when Australia was the indisputable champion of the world in all formats. As great a Test player Ponting has been (and that story will hopefully be told later), his position in ODI cricket is quite extraordinary too. Conventional stats cannot bring out his real place; we attempt to do so using the tools at our disposal.
This is a table of Australia’s 10 highest impact ODI batsmen in their history.
Here are some facts about Ricky Ponting – the ODI player, which you cannot get anywhere else.
Ponting is 5th on a list of highest impact ODI batsmen from Australia. Since there are 6 Australians in the top 10 highest impact batsmen of all time from all countries, that also makes him the 8th highest impact batsman to play ODI cricket.
As a player, Ponting is Australia’s tenth-highest-impact player (after Dean Jones, Brett Lee, Warne, McGrath, Mark Waugh, Gilchrist, Border, Symonds and Watson) and the 26th highest impact ODI player of all time.
Leading his country to two World Cup wins, he is Australia’s highest impact ODI captain in its history. And the third-highest impact captain in all of ODI history after Clive Lloyd and Hansie Cronje.
A great deal of Ponting’s legacy comes from his 8 Series/Tournament Defining performances. No one in Australian ODI cricket has achieved more than that. And even on a world stage, he is sixth on that list (after Jayasuriya, Akram, Shaun Pollock, Tendulkar and Viv Richards). Ponting was a big match player and his last innings in the World Cup (a magnificent 104 in the quarter-final against India last year will remain a poignant swan song on that stage).
When it comes to Fielding IMPACT (catches and run outs in the context of matches played), Ponting stands heads-and-shoulders over all Australians – the best Australian fielder bar none in ODI cricket. On a world level too, he is amongst the best (only Ross Taylor, Richie Richardson, Younis Khan and Brian McMillan are ahead of him). The likes of Jonty Rhodes, Roshan Mahanama, Jayawardene and Graeme Smith (along with a few others) are on par with him.
It is as a batsman, of course, that he ruled ODI cricket. Here are some notable facts if you break some batting aspects down.
Only Michael Bevan absorbed more pressure than Ponting in the history of ODI cricket for Australia. However, Ponting came under pressure more often than any Australian batsman (160 times) and he had a healthy 53% success rate (meaning he dealt with the pressure successfully 53% of the time – amongst the best of his time for a batsman who played as much as he did).
When it comes to chasing a target, only Shane Watson has had greater success than Ponting in all of Australian ODI cricket. On a world stage, he is amongst the 15 highest impact chasers in ODI history.
Ponting registered a “5” - the highest on the IMPACT scale 23 times as a batsman – more than anyone else from his country in ODI cricket. His tally of 29 ODI centuries also remains the highest for his country in ODI cricket – which also gives a pointer to that, even though it has no co-relation with calculating impact.
Ponting’s failure rate (when he registered an impact of less than 1 in a match) as a batsman was 46% - putting him amongst his country’s top ten batsmen on that count too (most of them are on the list above). This is particularly remarkable for someone who played a neat 375 ODI matches – by a distance, the most by an Australian.
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