Want to make it big: Ponting
Adelaide, Jan 24: Ricky Ponting sure knows how to keep his critics under check. His unbeaten 137 on Day 1 of the fourth and final Test against India was a testament to his class, despite the struggles with form in the recent past. In the end of day press conference, Ponting dismissed rumours of impending retirement and discussed his role in the team.
On his retirement plans
It was a celebration. I'd just made a Test-match hundred so I was pretty excited about that. I haven't scored a lot of those in the last couple of years which I've read a lot about lately as well. It is always nice to make a hundred, especially today when we didn't get off to the ideal start. Pup [Michael Clarke] and I had to play a certain way and get us back into the game, so it was a good celebration. But I generally do a similar one most times.
On his innings
I felt I played better today than I did in Sydney as well, [this was] probably a better wicket to bat on than the one at Sydney. There wasn't much in it for the Indian bowlers, no sideways movement for the quicks, not a lot of spin, a little bit of reverse swing during the middle of the day; but we've had a pretty good day. To be three for 330-odd after being two for 30 is a really good day for us. We have to win the first hour tomorrow and make sure this first innings is a big one.
On the opportunity to score big on Day 2
I’ll see how I wake up in the morning. I said that in Sydney as well – I probably let a big one get away there. Our intentions tomorrow are to bat on and to make a big first-innings [total]. It’s our responsibility to start well tomorrow and see where it takes us. I am not going to be satisfied with where I am at. As a player you go through too many ups and downs in your career to let moments like this one slip. So hopefully I can do things well again tomorrow morning.
On the score Australia are looking to put up in the first innings
You have to be careful that you don’t bat too long as well. It looks like a tough wicket to take 20 wickets on if you want to win this game. Our intention is to get bowled out or declare without killing too much time in the game. So we’ll be nice and positive tomorrow and hopefully score our runs at a reasonable clip and see how we go.
On his role in the team in relation to Michael Clarke
We are both grown-ups. I know my place in the team and Michael [Clarke] is the leader now. I’ve stepped back from all that responsibility that I once had. I said when I first did it that I'm used to sitting back in the corner and being told what to do anyway and it's been no different over the last few months.
I know there was some negativity around from people on the outside but I don't think anyone within Australian cricket or the team had any doubts about the way we'd work together at all. I'm around to try to help the younger guys at the moment and hand any advice to Michael if he needs it. But I don't ever go and impress myself upon him; he's the leader and I'm the No. 4 batsman and second-slip fielder at the moment and I'm quite enjoying that role.
On the Indian bowling attack
I don’t think this is a bad attack at all. Zaheer [Khan] is one of the premier fast bowlers in the world – has been for a while. He has probably been a little bit down on match fitness and match practice before the series started but he has still had an impact on the series. Ishant [Sharma] is someone who has troubled me a lot throughout my career; he has gotten me out a lot of times in Test-match cricket. And [Umesh] Yadav is an up-and-coming [bowler], someone who should be stuck with. I think he has a fair bit to offer as far as pace and swing of the ball is concerned. [Ravichandran] Ashwin, as we saw this morning, has the capability to take early wickets in the morning. There is not much on offer for the bowlers; I don’t think this is a bad attack at all. I just think our batsmen in this series have played particularly well; most of the guys have put their hands up and scored big runs when they needed to. When you are putting that sort of pressure back on the bowling attacks then every attack can look ordinary. So full credit to our batsmen for the way they’ve handled them.