Ponting passes new milestone as Australian batsmen dominate India

Australia's veteran batsman Ricky Ponting celebrates after passing three figures at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.

Story highlights

  • Australia batsman Ricky Ponting scores his 41st Test century and passes 13,000 runs
  • The 37-year-old adds 252 for the second wicket with captain Michael Clarke
  • Former skipper Ponting is the third highest run scorer in the five-day game
  • Clarke also scores an unbeaten century as home side reach 335-3 at stumps
Former captain Ricky Ponting insists he can still be a key player for Australia after becoming the third cricketer to score 13,000 Test runs on the opening day of the fourth and final match against India.
Doubts were raised about Ponting's international future when he stood down as skipper early last year, but the 37-year-old has now scored two centuries in this series after a barren run with the bat.
With Australia holding a 3-0 lead going into the Adelaide match, the tourists are facing a whitewash after Ponting and his successor Michael Clarke put on a record-breaking 252 runs on Tuesday.
Ponting was on 137 and Clarke 140 at stumps as Australia reached 335-3 in hot conditions, breaking their own record for the fourth wicket against India at the venue.
Ponting joined Indian opponents Sachin Tendulkar (15,432) and Rahul Dravid (13,262) as the only players to have passed the 13,000 milestone, ending the day 56 runs past that mark.
It was his 41st Test century, putting him level with South Africa's second-placed Jacques Kallis and 10 behind Tendulkar.
"Am I still the player I was? I'm not sure," Ponting told reporters. "You guys can answer that, you've seen me over a long period of time, but 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 Dravid or Kallis, the guys the same sort of age as me that are still out there playing Test cricket.
"We've probably all realized that we can't play the same way forever, right through our careers, and 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, and if I can keep playing like I did today then hopefully there's more runs around the corner."
Ponting scored 134 in Australia's innings victory in the second Test in Sydney, where Clarke posted an unbeaten 329 as they added 288 together.
"I felt I played better today than I did in Sydney as well, 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," Ponting said.
He revealed he has adapted to his new role at No. 4, having dropped down a spot in the order.
"I know my place in the team, Michael's the leader now and I've stepped back from all that responsibility I once had," Ponting said.
"The last couple of years being the captain and batting at three was getting more and more difficult for me. Not being the captain now and having that little bit of extra time between change of innings to sit back and relax and take it all in has probably been good for me."