A mas­ter mo­ti­va­tor

Ponting looks to Ten­dulkar to in­spire his re­nais­sance

Townsville Bulletin - - The Form -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.