No plans to quit soon, says Ponting

Ricky Ponting cut Zaheer Khan elegantly between point and gully, and exploded into a double-fist pump before finally settling into a statue-like pose, hands pointed heavenwards and a wide grin on his face.

The moment signified him reaching the three-figure mark in Test cricket for the 41st time in his career, and later he answered the scribes who searched something more painfully significant in his celebration: “I am not retiring after this Test,” said Ponting, who crossed 13,000 Test runs on Tuesday en route to his unbeaten 137. 

He further explained: “It was a celebration. I'd just made a Test match hundred, so pretty excited about that, I haven't scored a lot of those in the last few years. Hopefully, some more are around,” Ponting said.  

“It is always nice to make a hundred, especially today when we didn't get off to an ideal start, Pup (Clarke) and I had to play a certain way and get us back into the game, so it was a good celebration, but I generally do a similar one most times,” he said.

Ponting admitted this hundred was far more fluent than the one he made in Sydney. “I felt I played better today than I did in Sydney, probably a better wicket to bat on than Sydney was, there wasn't much in it for the Indian bowlers, no sideways movement for the quicks, not a lot of spin, a little bit of reverse swing during the middle of the day. But we've had a pretty good day. We have to win the first hour tomorrow, and make sure this first innings is a big one,” Ponting said.

The former skipper said it was impossible to stay the same kind of batsman after spending well over a decade at the international level.

“Am I still the player I was? I'm not sure. At the end of the day I think if I can keep making Test match hundreds or having an impact on winning games for Australia then that's what I'm all about at the moment. It is interesting to ask the same question about Sachin or the same question about Dravid or Kallis, the guys the same sort of age as me who are still playing Test cricket. We've probably all realised that we can't play the same way forever. I don't think there's been anybody that has been able to do that through 160 Test matches. But I'm giving it my best shot to be the best player I can be, and to win games for Australia.”

Ponting also gave credit to Clarke for his leadership role, and said there are no negative vibes between them. “I think we're both grown-ups, and I know my place in the team. Michael's the leader now and I've stepped back from all that responsibility I once had. I'm used to sitting back in the corner and being told what to do, and it's been no different over the last few months. I know there was some negativity around from people outside, but I don't think anyone in Australian cricket or the team had any doubts about the way we'd work together.”

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