Watching Ricky Ponting yesterday was something special.
Here was a man who's leading a sorry bunch, the remnants of a once majestic dynasty if you will. It was not the usual fluent and murderous batting by Ponting; it was gritty, it was patient, it was hard work, it was stubborn and it was daring. When the wickets were falling around him he kept fighting, he kept edging his team forward, kept carrying them forward just that little bit, just that little bit needed to keep the Aussies in the game. It wasn't a very aesthetically pleasing knock, but hell it was one damn fine knock by a champion of a cricketer. A champion who rose to the occasion when all the odds were against him. It was typical of the great man to come to the party just when it mattered.
But sadly (yes, don't be surprised, I'm one of the few out there who truly admire the way Aussies play their cricket, or rather the way they used to play their cricket) it wasn't just enough. It was disheartening to see him try everything even in the field fighting a losing battle all the way. He looked a true warrior, a man who would fight to the death. He's the last of a line of Aussie giants, the last one who's left there to fight a losing battle pretty much all by himself. But even the most magnificent of heroes can't just do it alone sometimes, and he had no one to rely on yesterday. He looked a lone man out there; every single one of his team mates had let him down. Maybe it is time for him to go. For such a champion, the last thing I want Ricky to become is another Jayasuriya. He's got nothing more to achieve; 4 world cup finals and 3 titles in the bag, two as captain along with a shitload of other victories and gazillion runs, he's pretty much been there done that all.
Love him or loathe him, you can't deny the fact that the man has earned his rightful place among the true greats of the game. Goodbye Ricky, thanks for all the memories. We will miss you.