The day Ricky Ponting retired from ODI cricket there was discussion on Indian news TV channels whether Sachin Tendulkar should retire. Before that during the Test series there was talk whether senior cricketers should retire.
It is for cricketers to decide when they want to retire and for selectors to decide who should be in the team. A cricketer does not retire does not mean he continues in the team. Selectors have dropped players who did not perform well. Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh have been in and out of the team. Rahul Dravid was dropped from ODIs. Sourav Ganguly was dropped as captain and player after winning Test series in Zimbabwe. It is wrong to say Kapil Dev by not retiring two years early delayed Srinathâ€™s entry. If Kapil Dev was not good selectors would have dropped him. The argument that senior cricketers by not retiring block chances of young cricketers is not correct.
India lost eight Tests in succession abroad and some talk how after Sourav Ganguly there has been no proper No. 6 batsman or how Anil Kumble used to tie up one end.
Ricky Ponting was dropped from ODI team after he scored 18 runs in five ODIs and it was made clear he will not be selected to ODIs so he retired. Sachin Tendulkar is not dropped. He has scored 87 runs in four ODIs. Rahul Dravid and V. V. S. Laxman are not in ODI team. It is for them to decide when they want to retire from Tests. Selectors will do their job.
Ricky Ponting was dropped from Australian ODI team on 20/2/2012. He was captain in the previous match which Australia had won by 110 runs against India. He had hoped to continue in ODI team. John Inverarity, chief selector, said Rick Ponting would not be considered for future ODIs. He said â€œRicky Ponting has been dropped from the squad due to lack of form. The team will not seem the same without him. But moving on from the omission of players who have been outstanding over a long period of time is the nature of elite sport.â€
Ricky Ponting was captain of the Australian team that won World Cups in 2003 and 2007. After Australiaâ€™s defeat against India in World Cup 2011 he stepped down from captaincy. Ricky Pontingâ€™s predecessors had ceased to be team members when they ceased to be captains. Australian policy was not to have former captains in teams. In Ricky Pontingâ€™s case an exception was made and he continued in Test and ODI teams.
Ricky Ponting was successful against India in the Test series. He had a double century, century, three fifties, total of 544 runs and the average of 108.8. In ODI series he did not score many runs. He scored 2, 1, 6, 2 and 7, a total of 18 runs in five matches. There was criticism when he was made captain for two matches when Michael Clarke could not play due to injury. The critics felt David Warner who was vice captain should have been made captain. About his poor form Ricky Ponting had said â€œPeople asked me similar questions before the Test series against India, and during it as well. I had a lot of questions asked.â€ Selectors thought he did not deserve to be in ODI team.
Ricky Ponting retired from ODIs on 21/2/2012. A great ODI career came to an end.
India lost Melbourne Test by 122 runs and Sydney Test by an Innings and 68 runs after Australia had declared 659/4. Both Tests ended in four days. In Melbourne Indian batsmen had to score 292 runs to win and they were all out for 169. Indian bowlers took 20 wickets.
Someone said this is the greatest bowling attack India ever had. That attack could take only four wickets in Sydney. Umesh Yadav and R. Ashwin conceded 123 and 157 runs respectively and went wicketless. India were 191 and 400.
Some say Indians are lions at home, lambs abroad. India did well against England and West Indies at home. India did well against West Indies in West Indies. India did badly against England in England and have now lost two Tests in succession in Australia.
No Indian scored a century in Australia. In Sydney, Michael Clarke remained 329 not out, Michael Hussey remained 150 not out and Ricky Ponting scored 134. Indiaâ€™s batting failed in both Tests. Indiaâ€™s bowling failed in second Test.
Mahendra Singh Dhoniâ€™s captaincy is under question. Some say his tactics are negative, he allowed tailenders to score runs. His supporters say he has done well, he won T20 World Cup, ODI World Cup and attained No. 1 Test ranking. A captain is as good as his team and should not be blamed for failure.
Dhoni won T20 World Cup in 2007, did not win in 2009 and 2010. No. 1 Test ranking was partly due to him and mainly due to his predecessors. If he is as good as his team and should not be blamed for failure he should not get credit for success.
Some spectators uttered expletives against Virat Kohli. When it became unbearable he showed them middle finger for which he was fined. There should have been action against spectators. They do not have the right to utter expletives. They should have been thrown out of the stadium. In football, action is taken against troublemakers.
Australian bowlers did well. One view is that to win matches abroad India should have three fast bowlers who can consistently bowl at 90 miles per hour. India has seen many fast bowlers come and go. Some feel Anil Kumble would have made a difference. He has retired. Someone said Harbhajan Singh should have been there. Selectors did not pick him.
Two more Tests to go. The best India can hope is to win them and level the series. In 1977-78 India lost first two Tests and won next two Tests. That was a five Tests series. India lost the fifth Test and series. Bishen Singh Bedi was Indiaâ€™s Captain. Bobby Simpson was Australiaâ€™s captain. India have not won a Test series in Australia and South Africa. When the tour began there was talk of India winning in Australia for the first time. That was not to be.