The match was eventually drawn, partly due to poor weather. [127][128] Ponting scored his first double century (206) in the Second Test, as he and Darren Lehmann shared an Australian third-wicket partnership record of 315 against a weak bowling attack. [69] In the midst of the lack of public attention and poor crowds, Ponting wrote how he was unsure whether Bangladesh and Zimbabwe should be playing Test cricket. They opened their campaign on 26 October against India in Gwalior, but were defeated by 37 runs, as Ponting was dismissed for two. He was questioned, particularly on Australia's recent habit of often not playing a specialist/regular spinner. [285] His fourth-wicket partnership of 288 runs with Clarke, who went on to make 329 not out, set a new record for the biggest partnership by an Australian pair of batsmen against India. He was unable to pass fifty in the final two Tests and ended the series with 417 runs at 52.12. He struck 89 in the Third Test and ended the series with 308 runs at 77.25 with a strike rate of 76.48. [157][158] He hit 31 not out in the second innings in Melbourne as Australia levelled the series 1–1 and scored 25 and 47 in the drawn Fourth Test in Sydney to end as the leading run-scorer for the series, with 706 runs at 100.85. In a match spread out over two days, Australia comfortably defeated the home side by 103 runs. His highest series score came in the third International where Australia lost to India in Dunedin. Ponting struck 169 and 53 not out, and passed 5,000 Test runs during his first innings century. [55][71] Perhaps more importantly, Ponting was selected as temporary vice-captain when Shane Warne was unavailable through injury, strengthening his claim for future higher honours. The following morning saw local newspaper The Examiner headline: "He's Ricky Ponting, he's ours ... and he's made it! With his men now firm favourites for the tournament, they again came up against South Africa in the semi-final. [125] The first Test was not the first time Ponting had been vice-captain of the Australian Test team however, as he was thrust into the role against the West Indies in 2000 and England in 2001—because of injuries to Steve Waugh. His form continued against the touring Sri Lankans in a one-day game in Devonport, scoring 99. [37] In November 1992, with Ponting just 17 years and 337 days, he went to the crease at number four against South Australia at the Adelaide Oval. [250], Australia proceeded to tour India for seven ODIs starting in mid-October and ending in early November. [149][150][151] Ponting struggled to come to terms with the pitch early, reaching his 50 in 69 balls, before scoring his next 50 in 31 deliveries. [32][33] The two weeks turned into a full two-year sponsorship as he was said to be the best 17-year-old batsman Academy coach Rod Marsh had ever seen. Australia went on to crush the visitors by over 400 runs. However, his competitive attitudes could be overly aggressive, pushing the boundaries of cricket etiquette. [69][70], Though Ponting's appearances for Tasmania continued to be limited, he was still able to top the 1995–96 season averages with 59.50. [14] Later that month it was revealed by Ponting that this would be his last season playing cricket, as at the end of the competition he would be retiring from all forms of the game. By this time, Australia had taken an unassailable 2–0 series lead, his deputy Gilchrist leading the tourists to their first Test series win in India since 1969–70. He followed this up with 25 against Western Australia in a narrow loss. [260] Matters got worse for Ponting, as former Australian fast-bowler Rodney Hogg voiced that he should be sacked as captain and replaced with New South Wales leader Simon Katich.

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