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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ricky Ponting dares question Sachin Tendulkar

Ricky Ponting stands his ground after being caught behind against Pakistan.

Ricky Ponting stands his ground after being caught behind against Pakistan. Photo: AFP

AHMEDABAD: Ricky Ponting decided to fight back on Indian television when he was unfavourably compared to much-loved batting icon Sachin Tendulkar.

Ponting edged a ball to Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal while batting in Sunday's World Cup Group A match in Colombo and the appeal was turned down, although Pakistan got their man after requesting a video referral of the incident.

A day later in Chennai, Tendulkar was caught behind in the first over of the Group B game against West Indies and immediately walked, even though Australian umpire Steve Davis shook his head to indicate not out.

Ravi Rampaul celebrates after Sachin Tendulkar walks.

Ravi Rampaul celebrates after Sachin Tendulkar walks. Photo: AP

Tendulkar was praised by Windies captain Darren Sammy as a "a true gentleman" for walking.

When a viewer asked Ponting on a TV show why he didn't walk and Tendulkar did, Ponting went onto the front foot.

"I've never known Sachin to be someone that walks all the time, so I'm not sure why he chose to walk the other day," the Australia captain said.

Tendulkar was praised by Windies captain Darren Sammy as a "a true gentleman" for walking.

When a viewer asked Ponting on a TV show why he didn't walk and Tendulkar did, Ponting went onto the front foot.

"I've never known Sachin to be someone that walks all the time, so I'm not sure why he chose to walk the other day," the Australia captain said.

"If I get a nick behind to the 'keeper, then I stand there until the umpire makes a decision.

"If Sachin had looked up the other day and noticed that the umpire was giving him not out, then I'm not sure he would have walked either."

Ponting's former fierce rival Saurav Ganguly supported Ponting's view that walking can be a bad idea, especially in a big game like Thursday's quarter-final between Australia and India in Ahmedabad.

"Sachin has never done that in the past, let's be honest, and he shouldn't because there have been times when he has been given out and he was not out," the ex-India skipper said.

"At the end of the career, it balances.

"I think it's fair for everyone to wait for the umpire's decision, including Sachin Tendulkar.

"It could be a big game India 100 for three, Tendulkar batting on 55, he's holding the key to India's success.

"I would really not want him to walk unless an umpire has given him out.

"He needs to stick to the umpire's decision. Whether he does that consistently, we'll have to wait and see."

Criticised for his furious glare directed at Steve Smith after the pair clashed as they went for the same catch in a game against Canada, and also for damaging a TV screen in the dressing room after being run out against Zimbabwe, Ponting continues to attract negative headlines.

Scoring 102 runs at 20.40 isn't helping his cause amid speculation his reign as captain could be under threat at board level at Cricket Australia.

"I know that if I make some runs in this quarter-final against India it might keep everyone quiet for a while," Ponting told the "Headlines Today" TV network.


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