Ponting enters elite Test club after scoring 10,000 runs

May 31st, 2008 - 9:15 pm ICT by admin  

St. John’s (Antigua), May 31 (IANS) Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has become the seventh cricketer to reach the 10,000-run mark in Tests. Ponting shares the feat with Steve Waugh and Allan Border as the only Australian members of the elite club.

The Australian captain achieved the feat in his 118th Test against the West Indies here Friday, making him the second-fastest man to five figures behind Brian Lara, who arrived there in his 111th game.

The 33-year-old touched the milestone when he reached 61 while batting in the first innings. He received a standing ovation from the small group of Australian spectators in the stands.

His innings after the mark was however short lived as he got caught in the slip on 65, though not before taking his Test total to 10,004 runs.

“It’s taken 13 years of international cricket to get 10,000 Test runs,” Ponting said. “Everyone grow up wishing they could do it, but the thing I’m most proud about is my longevity in the game. I’m proud of that record. As a top-order batsman, if you play that many games, you’re probably expected to get close on 10,000.”

Ponting feels the move to elevate him to No. 3 position became the turning point of his career.

“There has been a bit made of the fact that I’ve been able to average more after being captain than before, but early in my career I struggled with batting down the order,” he said. “Batting at No. 6 was something I’d never done before. Everyone thinks it’s easier down there, I found it harder.

“I didn’t know what to do sitting around the changeroom for all that time, and coming in after all those great players. Batting at No. 3 was where everything changed in my career. When I have more responsibility in the batting order is when I play my best cricket.”

The other three men to reach the elusive mark are Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar.

“I’m continually chasing Brian (11,953 runs) and Sachin (11,782),” Ponting said. “Brian has finished but Sachin has got a few years left. Right now, my body has been sound for a few years. I’ve had some niggling back things, but I am working pretty hard to keep out of harm’s way.”

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