Setbacks help you reassess: Ponting
Adelaide, Jan 28: Ricky Ponting was faced with some tough questions coming into the crucial Test series against India after a string of poor performances. But a lot has changed for the former Australia skipper since then. His impressive form for the home side saw him amass 544 runs, making him the second-highest run-getter in the series.
Ponting talked about the pressure going into the series, and revealed what helped change his batting performance, in a brief interview at the end of the fourth Test in Adelaide.
On replying to criticism with good performances
There was a fair bit of pressure on me coming into the series and for all the right reasons. There was a long time between consistent series for me and a long time between Test-match hundreds. There is a lot of pressure on me from external influences; obviously I was putting a lot of pressure on myself because I am a very proud man and I want to do the best I can to win games for Australia. I felt the last few months I hadn’t been doing that. It’s nice to have turned a corner.
On being under pressure when the series began
I probably was, because there was a long time between big series for me. I’ve worked hard over the last six or seven months and I’ve got to be thankful for the coaches and the selectors for sticking with me. [Batting coach] Justin Langer and I did a lot of work together and we talked a lot. More importantly, we hit a lot of balls together in the nets.
On the pressures of being captain
There was no doubt it was getting harder and harder for me; we weren’t getting the results that we wanted. With the captain being the No. 3 batter, there was no chance to get a break at all. And the fact that I wasn’t making runs on top of that was more difficult. So I felt it was right to stand down after the World Cup; I wanted to give Michael [Clarke] the best possible opportunity before a series like this comes around. And Michael has done a great job leading the team so far.
On bouncing back from tough times
I think all great players go through that, a couple of years ago Sachin [Tendulkar] was going through that. And twelve months ago Rahul [Dravid] was going through that as well and we saw how he bounced back in England. A setback really doesn’t hurt. It makes you go back and reassess where you are as a player. I certainly had to do that.