It is no secret that Ricky Ponting is one of the greatest batsmen that the world has ever seen. While the former Australian captain has retired from the game since 2013, he does remain involved with it till date in different roles. In a recent video with a leading Australian media portal, Ponting unveiled his top 5 favourite Test knocks he has ever seen 'Down Under'. And here was the Indian cricketer who impressed Ponting the most.
Ricky Ponting hailed the 'Master Blaster' Sachin Tendulkar's unbeaten 241 at the SCG in Sydney during India's 2003-04 tour to Australia as his fifth favourite Test knock on Australian soil. Ponting amusingly recalled how Tendulkar had been struggling with his cover drives prior to that innings and had sworn to not play one in Sydney. Tendulkar did exactly that, which bewildered Ponting at the time. However, he considers it praiseworthy now, hailing the Indian legend for his composure and discipline. Tendulkar and Ponting were staunch rivals during their playing days, but became closer after featuring together in Mumbai Indians' 2013 IPL winning campaign, in which the dynamic duo opened the batting in some of the matches for the franchise as well.
Australia ended up saving the Sydney match with a draw and a final 1-1 result in the 4-match series meant that India famously retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for the first time on Australian soil. In the Sydney match, Ganguly won the toss and chose to bat first. While the opening batsman did not disappoint, the real match-influencing innings came when Sachin Tendulkar walked in to bat.
Tendulkar stitched a 353-run partnership with VVS Laxman, who made 178 runs himself. India declared at a mammoth 705-7 and Australia could only manage 474 in the first innings. In their second innings, India added another 211 to the tally and the Australians managed to draw the match and the series by batting through the fifth day.
While this innings was fifth on Ricky Ponting's list, here are his top 4 -
4. Kevin Pietersen - 227 vs Australia - Adelaide Oval 2010/11
3. Michael Clarke - 230 vs South Africa - Adelaide Oval 2012/13
2. Brian Lara - 226 vs Australia - Adelaide Oval 2005/06
1. Adam Gilchrist - 149 vs Pakistan - Bellerive Oval 1999/2000