Ponting refreshed by rest
Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes his notable performance in the Champions Trophy was a result of his post-Ashes rest.
By Rachel Griffiths
Last Updated: 06/10/09 4:59pm
Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes his notable performance in the Champions Trophy was a result of his post-Ashes rest period.
The 34-year-old was dismissed for just a single in the six-wicket final victory over New Zealand, but he easily topped the tournament's run scoring chart.
Ponting built up 288 runs over his five matches with only team-mate Shane Watson, who finished with consecutive unbeaten hundreds, coming within 80 runs of his total.
The skipper's fine form emerged when he returned from missing the first three matches of the 6-1 NatWest series triumph over England.
"The time I had at home just gave me the opportunity to get away and not think about the game," said Ponting.
"We all know how much of a mental game cricket is and when you can't think as clearly as you want, and you can't sometimes get out of training what you want because you are thinking of other things, it makes performing that little bit harder.
"To just freshen up in that manner over the years, I have found it has made batting that little bit easier - even leading the side feels a little bit easier.
"The other day, at the start of the semi-final against England, I was jumping out of my skin."
Ponting admitted that even if it was not physically evident at the time, the 2-1 Ashes defeat left him sub-consciously exhausted.
"You don't ever feel that because as a player you always think you have got yourself up at 100 per cent to play every game," he said.
"It's not until you get home and have those couple of days off that you realise how tired you actually were.
"When you are away on tour and its game day you are awake at six or seven o'clock in the morning ready to play.
"Then when you get home and your body has switched off you find you can't get out of bed before nine or 10 o'clock in the morning.
"Players will always get themselves up but not always at the 100% they think they are."
The latest victory extended Australia's record in 50-over world global events to four wins out of the last five and Ponting is in favour of the Trophy's current format.
"In the Champions Trophies I've played in the past, they have sort of dragged on a little bit and there have been a lot of associate nation teams in and that has devalued the second-biggest one-day tournament we play," he said.
"I have really enjoyed this tournament, it has got full endorsement from me. With all the ups and downs of the last 18 months this is a real positive for us. We pride ourselves on big events."
There was one dampener on the good news however, with batsman Callum Ferguson twisting his right knee whilst fielding in the final.
The 24-year-old will be assessed by a specialist when he arrives back in Australia but there is concern that he has aggravated a previous anterior cruciate ligament injury he sustained five years ago.
"He was very worried about it because he's had a history of ACL problems," added Ponting.
"He's actually torn it before. It didn't look that good either."