Ponting looks beyond Border record
Australia captain Ricky Ponting may be on the verge of overtaking Allan Border as his country's leading Test run-scorer but the Tasmanian is adamant he has "bigger fish to fry".cricket Updated: Jul 29, 2009 14:41 IST
Australia captain Ricky Ponting may be on the verge of overtaking Allan Border as his country's leading Test run-scorer but the Tasmanian is adamant he has "bigger fish to fry".
Ponting needs just 25 more runs to surpass retired former captain Border's mark of 11,174 runs and move up into third place in the all-time list of Test run-scorers.
If he achieves it in the upcoming third Ashes Test against England, starting here at Edgbaston on Thursday, he will have taken 22 fewer matches than Border to score more Test runs.
But with Australia 1-0 down in the Ashes with three matches to play, Ponting's focus is on team success rather than individual milestones.
"I know about it," Ponting said of the record to reporters here Wednesday. "I have known about it since the beginning of the series.
"Things came up on the board during the first Test, given I went past 11,000 and all that stuff. So I have had a rough idea but I have not thought about it or focused on it at all.
"I have bigger fish to fry than that right at the moment. But, look hopefully it comes. It would be nice to get it out of the way in the first innings of this game and put that behind us.
"Twenty-five runs is not what I am after in this game, I am after a big score but I have not thought about it since the end of the Lord's Test (where England won by 115 runs)."
The fact that Ponting has played in the same era as Sachin Tendulkar and the now retired Brian Lara, allied to Australia's general dominance of Test cricket in that period, has tended to obscure his greatness as a batsman.
Yet Ponting's average is higher than both that of Tendulkar and Lara while, when it comes to Test centuries, he is only four behind India maestro Tendulkar's world record of 42.
Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke said there was no denying the 34-year-old Ponting's quality.
"Ricky is an amazing player, an amazing leader, someone we all look up to. If anyone deserves to overtake Allan Border, it will be Ricky Ponting," Clarke told reporters.
"He has been a fantastic player for such a long time in all forms of the game, Test and one-day, and in all conditions around the world.
"For me that is a sign of a great player, having longevity in the game and to score runs or take wickets in all different conditions.
"The greats have done that and I definitely see Ricky as one of the greatest players who have ever played this game of cricket."
Leading Test match run-scorers (player, country, career dates, matches, innings, not outs, runs, highest score, average, 100s, 50s):
Sachin Tendulkar (IND) 1989- 159 261 27 12,773 248no 54.58 42 53
Brian Lara (WIS/ICC) 1990-2006 131 232 6 11,953 400no 52.88 34 48
Allan Border (AUS) 1978-1994 156 265 44 11,174 205 50.56 27 63
Ricky Ponting (AUS) 1995- 133 224 26 11,150 257 56.31 38 46
Steve Waugh (AUS) 1985-2004 168 260 46 10,927 200 51.06 32 50