Michael Clarke, Australia's captain, has all but guaranteed Ricky Ponting his place in the team's next Test assignment, at home against South Africa in November. Ponting has looked in good touch in the Caribbean despite not making many runs and Clarke, who is also a selector, indicated Ponting's place would be safe for the first Test of the home summer, more than six months away.
Having staved off a run of slim scores in Sri Lanka and South Africa before enjoying a storming series at home against India, Ponting joined the majority of his fellow batsmen in struggling to make a major score in the West Indies. Only one century was made in two Tests, by Shivnarine Chanderpaul in Barbados, and Clarke said Ponting was arguably the man most likely to make one should the Dominica pitch offer a little more encouragement to stroke play.
"He's hitting the ball well, probably hasn't got that big score that he'd like but none of us have. Conditions haven't been great for making big hundreds," Clarke said of Ponting. "If you wanted to make runs here you had to bat for a hell of a long time, and need a bit of luck as well along the way. Ricky's one of the guys that has put the team above himself and sacrificed his wicket or tried to take the game forward because we've needed to, to try and help us win the game.