For many in Australia, it was the end of an era. The journey began in 1995 with a young lad batting at Perth without a helmet and it lasted 168 matches, 13,378 runs and a whole gamut of emotions.
Here’s how the Australian papers reacted to Punter’s farewell:
Ponting ended it like Bradman – Daily Telegraph
AUSTRALIA’S best after Bradman went in much the same way as the great man himself.
Ricky Ponting’s last Test innings was ended by a non-descript spinner in Perth yesterday, 64 years after Don Bradman was bowled by England’s Eric Hollies for a duck.
That famous failure to score left Bradman just four runs short of 7000 and his average fractionally under the magical 100 mark.
For Ponting, who has scored almost twice as many runs but, like most great players, at about half Bradman’s average, the statistical implications of scoring just eight against South Africa yesterday were not so great.
However his average did drop below 52 for the first time in nine years, which is where it will stay.
Read the entire piece here.
Ricky Ponting’s final innings was almost destined to end in heartache – Herald Sun
IN the end it was a bit like ducking Muhammad Ali’s right hook then being crash tackled by Mickey Mouse. Great careers often don’t end in the way we want or expect them to.
Ricky Ponting had steeled himself to move his feet to the fast men yesterday. To leave dangerous balls outside off stump. To play straight against Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. And so he did. Defensively he played like a man with a clear head and a strong heart.
Ponting doesn’t normally need game plans to left-arm spinners like Robin Peterson because he can play them with a beer stick. At his best he found them as easy to read as his daughters’ play books. But doesn’t it always happen?
The opponent you don’t think about is the one who sneaks through your dropped guard.
A fleeting echo … then he was gone – Sydney Morning Herald
Seventeen years ago, he followed Michael Slater on to the WACA Ground. One hundred and sixty-eight Test matches later, he followed a security guard. But for all that has changed, Ponting remains Ponting. Perhaps that is the strangest thing about his retirement: for an old man, he still looks like the boy wonder.
Collar up, he burst out of the gate like a keyed-up greyhound. At moments like this, the spectator treasures the signature mannerisms. He performed his two brisk forward pushes, his fast running-on-the-spot. His routine was broken by the honour guard formed by the South Africans and Ed Cowan. As he deals with most off-field commitments, Ponting accepted Graeme Smith’s handshake and Cowan’s bum-pat while also sloughing them off.
Who will take Ricky Ponting’s batting spot - foxsports.com.au
Once the emotion from Ricky Ponting’s farewell subsides, Australia’s selectors will be confronted by a gaping hole in the batting line-up that needs filling. Will anyone step up? Who are the leading candidates? Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Rob Quiney, Alex Doolan lead the queue.