Anil Kumble has had many contests against Ricky Ponting both as a bowler and as a rival skipper and when the great batsman announced his retirement at Perth, India’s highest wicket-taker was effusive in his praise.
The former India captain lauded Ponting the batsman and also shared his appraisal on the Australian’s captaincy skills.
“Ricky Ponting is a great player and he kept the team together especially coming in at No. 3 like how Rahul Dravid did for us.
“What was striking about his batting was the way he stayed positive right through. He has done well though I guess he missed out a bit in India and I think it had to do something with the low bounce here.
“He was a good player of spin and he did well against us in Australia. He was good against fast bowling too and played the short delivery really well.”
“As a captain he was always under pressure especially while playing in Australia. He had a brilliant team and the results followed but when those key players retired I personally feel that he didn’t change the way he approached the game.
“During our tour (2008) and after the incident (Sydney) things were a bit different but I have interacted with him even before and after that. Whenever we have met, he has always been cordial. He is a great player and his record speaks for itself. The runs he has scored both in Tests and ODIs and the number of victories as captain all reflect that,” said Kumble.
Recalling some of the experiences of playing against Ponting, former India batsman V.V.S. Laxman said world cricket would surely miss this great batsman and a fierce competitor.
“He (Ponting) is an exceptional player and one of the most destructive batsmen I have ever seen,” said Laxman, who himself quit international cricket recently.
“What impressed me the most about his batting was the quick pace with which he scored those runs. He was especially good against us down under though his record was not the same in India,” Laxman said.
“His attacking nature, positive intent — always looking to dominate — were some of the typical Ponting characteristics,” the former India batsman said.
“As a team, we Indians were always locked in intense battles with him. There is no doubt that he was a very aggressive cricketer. He always made his presence felt whether he was the captain or not. Be it while fielding at slip or silly point,” Laxman said.
The Australian Parliament temporarily halted proceedings while current and former cricketers from across the world paid rich tributes to Ponting, who would be retiring after the third Test against South Africa.
“Congrats to Ricky Ponting on an amazing career, well done Punter...Enjoy your last match in Perth buddy, was a pleasure playing with you!!!” wrote Ponting’s former teammate Shane Warne on his twitter page.
“Well done Punter on an incredible career. It would be great to see you finish with a ton. It was an honour to play alongside you,” added Glenn McGrath.
Pacer Brett Lee, who played under Ponting, hoped that the 37-year-old goes out after scoring a hundred.
“Congrats Punter on a fantastic career, enjoyed playing alongside you! Go out with a bang, mate!” he tweeted.
“Punter, congratulations on a fantastic career. Your departure will be a massive hole in the Australian Cricket team #RickyPonting #Legend,” said Matthew Hayden.
Not just Australians, Ponting also drew praise from his rivals.
“You have to take your hat off to Ricky Ponting who has called time on a magnificent career. Hell of a player,” felt England spinner Graeme Swann.
“Ricky Ponting RETIRES.... ONE OF THE GREATS! I always got excited playing AUS, so I could watch him bat up close. Well done Punter!” said England’s Kevin Pietersen on Twitter.
West Indian great Courtney Walsh wished the 37-year-old Ponting a happy life after cricket.
“Well played Ricky Ponting on a great career. Hope you end it on a very high mate. Good luck, as there is plenty life after cricket.”
South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs said: “What a player, entertainer of note and an all-time great Ricky Ponting! Always loved his approach to batting.”
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan saluted him.
“The best batsman I had the privilege to play against ... Australia cricket will not be the same without him. Ricky was a very underestimated bowler as well... Quicker than he looks!” said Vaughan.
Among the Indian cricketers, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanjay Manjrekar and Murali Kartik also wished him the best.
“Ricky Ponting what an absolute legend. I am glad I had the honour of playing against him. Take a bow...,” said Kohli, who is currently playing against England.
Rahane, also in the India squad, said: “A legend announced retirement. The cricket world will miss Ricky Ponting on the field.”
Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar said Ponting enriched the game by his achievements.
“A great driver and a great puller! That's one thing that really stood out for me. From this moment on, there will be only nice things said about Ponting.
“Ponting came out of that very typical Australian mould of batsmen. He was the quintessential Aussie batsman in style and approach,” said Manjrekar.
Left-arm spinner Murali Kartik hailed him as one of the greatest modern-day batsmen.
“A very sad day for world cricket, Ricky-1 of the greatest modern-day bats, a former teammate and the consummate professional...
Go well, mate. Cherish the greats till they are playing, watching international cricket will never be the same without these champions.”