Melbourne: Indian batting great Rahul Dravid insists that the visitors fear a comeback from former Australian captain Ricky Ponting who, he said, was surely not on his last legs as a Test batsman.
“I think he (Pointing) is still a great player. He showed in the couple of Test matches that he played against us in India that he is still – I’d say he is still – the best Australian batsman,” said Dravid.
Dravid, who will turn 39 next month, will be India’s mainstay in the batting in the four-match Test series starting with the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.
Dravid said Ponting’s aura hasn’t faded despite his poor run in the Test series against South Africa and New Zealand. However, Ponting’s most successful series in recent times was against India in October last year, when he scored 224 runs at an average of 56 in a two-Test series. But the 37-year-old Tasmanian hasn’t scored a Test century in 32 innings spanning almost two years.
“From our perspective, I hope he can start a golden run after our series. When you read his name on the sheet he is still one of the most feared, there is no doubt about it,” said Dravid.
Dravid, Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis are the select group of players to score more than 12,000 Test runs.
Dravid, pointing to his own resurrection, rejected suggestions Ponting is too old to regain his peak form at Test level.
“I have been through all this myself, and can easily relate to him. I was watching those Test matches (in South Africa) and was in some way hoping that he would score runs. I hoped he would score runs in the next Test (against New Zealand) and then take a bit of a break against us,” he said.