I’m not sure what I should make of Graeme Smith’s decision to declare since I did not see the match. Going all out is great but SA did have a chance to speed up the runs and set a better target; unfortunately they goofed it up a bit. He does make for a gutsy captain though having asked Aus to chase 287 in 76 overs at a run-rate of 3.77. That is tempting enough!
Considering the form they have been in off late; they must have felt it was an achievable target. After all the Aussie spirit does not believe in drawing a match even if you are already leading the series. They love taking risks and going all out; that has always been the difference between them and the other teams.
This will be Ponting’s match. What a captain’s innings he has played! He is already in the Top-10 leading test runs scorers of all times, the third Australian batsman behind Bradman and Steve Waugh for highest number of test centuries, and among the current playing ones behind Sachin who has 35 and Lara who has 31. The contest is gaining some momentum with the kind of form Lara and Ponting are in. 2006 should make up for some interesting chases. Sachin are you watching:-)
As for Ponting when he looks back at his career, he will be a fairly satisfied man, apart the one huge regret of being the first Australian captain to surrender the Ashes in 16 years. Sigh! Nothing and no one is perfect; life as they say is not always fair. But as of now enjoy the moment for Punter!