Mumbai: At first there were three and now there's only one. For around a decade Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting were the dominant batsmen in world cricket but following the Australian's retirement announcement the Indian maestro will now stand alone. While Tendulkar might still be upright he's no longer dominating attacks. It'll be interesting to see if Ponting's announcement has any affect on Tendulkar's future.
Ponting's decision to retire was like one of his punched on-drives; well timed. He gets the opportunity to have a final fond farewell and the selectors can then introduce a younger player into the batting order to face Sri Lanka's moderate attack. For much of his career Ponting has been a top-class player and the lynch pin of Australia's batting.
If Ponting took charge of the opposition bowlers Australia generally won because he scored heavily and at an accelerated rate. If the opposition took Ponting's wicket early they were buoyant and suddenly felt like they had a chance to win. In recent times, Ponting has remained a danger player to the opposition but the two Michael's, Clarke and Hussey have surpassed him in the pecking order.