Ricky Ponting was a boon to international cricket. He increased the stature of the game through his brilliance. There were a few things that Ricky Ponting couldn’t do as a fielder. He was a brilliant batsman, one of the most successful captains and an outstanding fielder, who almost had an eye of an eagle.
Ponting took diving catches in his career and was known for his direct-hits. He could set the field on fire with his brilliant fielding ability. He holds the record for running out batsmen for most number of times — 80 — across formats. Jonty Rhodes (68), Sanath Jayasuriya (63) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (57) follow Ponting in the list.
Ricky Ponting opens up on the tactics he used as a fielder
Ponting maintained a tactic which helped him emerge as one of the finest fielders in the game. He fielded at backward point for the most time in his one-day career. The former Australia captain that as soon as the field spread out and there was a deep point, he would move three-four steps finer towards third man. He also added that most of the times batsmen did not realise where he was fielding due to the angle he created and thus he was successful with his direct hits.
“I fielded most of my one-day career at backward point,” Ponting said during the ‘Lessons Learnt With The Greats Podcast,’ with Shane Watson.
“As soon as the field went out and there was a deep point, I would always move three or four steps finer towards third man but walk a different angle, so I’d walk an angle towards the bowler’s end stumps.”
“If I was going to get the run out from a ball pushed out towards deep point … the ball that was blocked in on or around point, I was making an angle towards the bowler’s end stumps so I was already moving in that direction and I was a couple of steps ahead of the batsman,” he said.
“Once (the batsman) played it down and saw it go into point, I was a lot closer than he thought I was going to be. I think that was one of the reasons I probably got as many run-outs with direct hits at the bowler’s end, because I’d got a few yards on them and they didn’t really know where I was going to be.”