Ricky Ponting has shared his list of Eleven 'talents' that kept him very busy on the field.This gives an idea of his mind and what he thinks about his opponents.
Some interesting names there in the list which contains players from different countries:
- 2 Indians
- 3 South Africans
- 2 Sri Lankans
- 2 West Indians
- 1 Pakistani
- 1 English
Ponting in his words describes Sehwag as having an unique ability to change the course of a match in very short time. He agrees that he can bat as well as anyone in the game while being bad on his down days. But, having made centuries overseas, he reckons that Viru can make runs anywhere in the world.
High praise from Ponting on his selection of Greame Smith, probably because of both being captains. An average of 50 for more than 150 innings is what Ponting considers as impressive, considering that Smith opens the innings. Unorthodox and strong on the leg side are qualities that he enjoys watching.
Jacques Kallis occupies the No.3 slot, just like Ponting. He regards him highly, no wonder, for his batting average of 55 (over 140+ matches), 35 centuries, 250+ wickets. The consistency and his mental strength are major plus-points, as per Ricky.
Though he feels that Sachin Tendulkar is not as good as he was in 1990s, he agrees that he is still a fantastic player. He gives proof as the innings in Hyderabad ODI last year, for his genius work.
Brian Lara - Ponting feels that Lara had greater pressure than Sachin to score runs since SRT always had a good array of batsmen to support him. Ricky thought that there used to be a possibility of dismissing Lara early in his innings but if Brian managed to stay after, it used to be tough for bowlers.
Ponting selects Kumar Sangakkara as the wicketkeeper, even though he thinks that Kumar deserves to make the line-up for his batting alone.He feels that Kumar is not far behind Gilchrist (great praise from the captain).On basis of wicket-keeping alone, he feels Mark Boucher might have made it but Kumar is good as well for Ponting. Also, the fact that Murali is in his eleven, he feels that Kumar will augur well.
According to Ponting, Freddie Flintoff was one of the most talented cricketers he saw during the past 10 years but feels that he could have achieved more than what he did.
His exploits in the 2005 series was folk-lore whereas his impact on the 2009 series was very striking when he was available on the field.
According to Ponting, Wasim Akram's ability to swing the ball at high speed was second to none. Ponting explained that with the short run-up and rapid-fire arm action, he was always under pressure against Akram irrespective of his score.
Ponting thought that the pressure Curtly exerted was different than Wasim Akram, but just as unrelenting.One could not be sure where the next run was coming from. He mentioned that there were times when he used to wait for the spell to end. To Ponting, Ambrose was Glenn McGrath, only taller and a few kilometres quicker.
Ponting always took some satisfaction from surviving a spell from either Curtly or Wasim.
Shaun Pollock got the nod from Ricky Ponting because he was a fractionally better all-round player than Chaminda Vaas. 421 Test wickets for Shaun (Chaminda took 355) & an average of more than 30 with the bat in Tests
Ricky Ponting selected Murali as the lone spinner because of his ability to spins the ball both ways. Ponting conceded that like many other batsmen across the planet, he has rarely been able to pick the difference out of his hand.