Ponting vows to attack
Ricky Ponting insists he will not curb his attacking instincts after a he was dropped against Pakistan on nought.
Last Updated: 14/01/10 1:35pm
Ricky Ponting insists he will not curb his attacking instincts after a huge let-off against Pakistan gave him the chance to make another Test century.
Ponting was yet to score when he played a dangerous hook shot but skied his effort straight to Mohammad Aamer at fine leg off the fourth ball he faced on day one of the third Test against Pakistan at Bellerive Oval.
Aamer dropped a simple catch even though he did not even have to move to take the chance, and instead of a duck Ponting went on to end the day unbeaten on 137as Australia closed on 302-3.
It was the 35-year-old's second Test century at his home ground in Tasmania and came as a welcome boost after scoring just 217 runs at an average of just 26 for the Australian summer.
Despite going so close to getting out playing the hook shot, Ponting insisted he would not curb his attacking instincts, despite thinking he was set for a long day in the pavilion.
"I was thinking about having a long day in the change rooms with not much to do and what paper I was going to read," Ponting said.
"When you hit one like that it feels like it hangs forever and I said to 'Pup' (Michael Clarke) that it was probably too easy a catch because he (Aamer) didn't have to move at all.
"He didn't have to take a step but thankfully he put it down and it gave me another opportunity and 70 or 80 overs later I am still out there.
"It's always been one of the shots I have naturally played. Pup asked me tonight, 'have you thought about not playing it?', but I can't because it's just an instinctive thing.
"I don't look at it as being a statement shot - it's just one of those shots that comes more natural to me than most."
Instead Ponting has vowed to play the hook shot better, saying his early problems on day one in Bellerive were caused by his technique rather than his shot selection.
"Today I struggled with it (the hook shot) early on because I wasn't watching the ball closely enough," he explained.
"And with the wicket being a little bit on the slow side and the ball holding up on the surface it was even harder to play that shot earlier on today, but the longer I was out there I started to play it better and I picked up a couple of boundaries."
Ponting received great support from Clarke, who also scored an unbeaten century, as the pair combined for an unbroken 231-run partnership for the fourth wicket - an Australian Test record against Pakistan.
"I have probably been a bit frustrated to be honest that I haven't been able to go and make a big score (previously this summer)," Clarke said.
"But today was an opportunity to spend some time with the skipper out in the middle because we haven't batted too much this summer together and I really enjoyed it today."