Punter's T20 Retirement Joke

Ponting said in a statement:

"After much thought and careful consideration I have advised Cricket Australia of my decision to retire from international Twenty20 cricket. I have also spoken to [chairman of selectors] Andrew Hilditch, [coach] Tim Nielsen and [vice-captain] Michael Clarke and I feel this decision provides me the opportunity to prolong my Australian Test and one-day career, an opportunity I am extremely determined about.

"As I said after the fifth Test in London, I am hoping to continue playing Test cricket for as long as possible and retiring from the Twenty20 format gives me the best chance of doing this. I will now have set periods of rest throughout the Australian summer and while touring which I feel will be very beneficial."

This decision has nothing to do with prolonging his International career.

Ponting is not retiring from IPL. (Ka-ching!)

"Set periods of rest"

Australia has only played 24 T20s. In 2009, Aussies played ten T20s. Ponting played Six T20 games this year, scoring 86 runs - scores of 28, 31, 1, 1, 0, 25

What Ponting did not say is that he intends to prolong his Test captaincy; whether the selectors and CS think so is another matter.

If Ponting doesn't want to play T20 - why does he want to play and captain in the 50-over version?

If you watched Callum Ferguson pushing off the back foot - the dollies from Swann and Collingwood in the latest ODI at the Lord's - you'll know why Australia are going to find it difficult to beat India and Sri Lanka in T20 cricket.

In 50 overs and in Test cricket, if the batsmen are provided with the width to free their arms, more boundaries flow. Every bowler knows the importance of line. If you watch guys like Sehwag and Dilshan batting in T20s - you'll see them clearing the front foot - which allows them to have a free swing at straight deliveries.

This kind of batting, like the switch-hit - is the batsman's version of doosra.

If you are not playing T20 and if you are not learning these new skills, you'll be struggling to score runs even in the 50-over game.

Callum Ferguson and to a certain extent Cameron White missed out on more than 50 runs - playing with a straight bat to really useless balls from Swann and Collingwood. Sehwag and Dilshan would have hit them out of the park.

Ponting wants to go to England and lose one more Ashes; it is clearly up to the selectors to let him do that. But this T20 retirement is all nonsense.

If Ponting really wants to win an Ashes series in England, he should go there as a batsman. As a captain he has always been useless - four more years of not playing T20 is not going to make things any better.

Australia really need to rethink their batting when it comes to Limited Over cricket (50, 20 or whatever). If their batsmen, like Ferguson, keeps pushing the dot balls and singles - to the likes of Collingwood - Australia will soon be competing with the current* West Indies team.

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