Ponting: Warner should have retired at SCG following double-century in Melbourne

By Sports Desk March 05, 2023

Ricky Ponting believes David Warner missed the ideal chance to retire in style at the SCG after his double-century at the MCG in December.

Warner plundered his way to 200 from 255 deliveries in the Boxing Day Test, which was his 100th appearance for his country in the format, as Australia dismantled South Africa by an innings and 182 runs.

That knock came at the end of a difficult 2022 for the opening batter, who had scored only two half-centuries in his previous 19 innings.

The 36-year-old was included in Australia's squad for their tour of India, but managed just 26 runs in three visits to the crease before suffering concussion and subsequently withdrawing.

Former Australia captain Ponting thinks the perfect opportunity for Warner to bow out was at the end of the South Africa series, with his home ground in Sydney hosting the final match.

Ponting told the ICC Review podcast: "Look, I was on radio a couple of days ago, back here in Australia, and I thought the absolute best time for Davey to retire, if he was thinking about it at all, was after the Sydney Test match here in Australia.

"He'd just played his 100th Test in Melbourne, and obviously got 200 in the first innings down there. And to bow out in front of his home crowd is obviously the way that every player would like to finish their careers.

"Who knows now that opportunity might not come around again for Davey, you know. That's nearly another 12 months away."

Australia will feature in this year's ICC Test Championship final at The Oval, and Ponting thinks Warner will play in that match if he is fit.

Indeed, Ponting says it could well act as an audition for the Ashes, which start at Edgbaston on June 16.

"They're probably going to have similar things to think about when they get to the UK because David's record in the UK is not as strong as it is in some other places around the world," said Ponting.

"I think his career deserves to finish the way he wants it to.

"Sort of not to be dropped or tapped on the shoulder in the middle of an overseas tour and have his career end in that way. That's why I just hope he can find it within himself to score a lot of runs between now and next summer."

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