A master motivator
Ponting looks to Tendulkar to inspire his renaissance
L AS T n i g h t ’ s d o - o r - d i e clash was almost certainly their final duel in a World Cup. And Ricky Ponting has vowed to use the batting renaissance of Indian genius Sachin Tendulkar as inspiration as the besieged A u s t r a l i a n s k i p p e r a t - tempts to bat on into his late 30s.
Alongside West I ndian great Brian Lara, Ponting and Tendulkar have been the three finest bats of their generation, with the holy trinity having amassed a staggering 39008 Test runs a n d 2 2 0 i n t e r n a t i o n a l centuries between them.
Lara quit four years ago, but after quashing retirement speculation on Wednesday, Ponting must now walk the walk and prove he is not a spent force in the international arena.
Ironically, his role model, his paragon of hope, is Tendulkar. The Little Master appeared to be on the slide as he battled an elbow problem i n 2005-06, but Tendulkar has enjoyed a remarkable second coming.
In 2005, he managed just 412 runs at 27.47 in the oneday arena. The following year, he averaged 24.27 at Test level. At 33, Tendulkar was flatlining. He looked as dusty as an Indian alleyway. Then came the stunning rebirth. Last year, he pounded 1562 Test runs in the calendar year at 78.10 with seven centuries, the most tons he has posted in a 12-month period.
A t t h i s W o r l d C u p , Tendulkar compiled 326 runs at 54.33 in the group phase. This from a man four