A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Ricky Ponting still has a chance to become Australia’s most capped Test cricketer

Ponting will be working extra hard to ensure he cements his spot on the roster

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting is still destined to become the nation’s most capped Test player if he is selected to play in all three Test matches against South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Ponting will become the most capped Test player in his home state of Tasmania when he plays in the first Test of the Sri Lanka series, that is if he plays in all three Tests against South Africa beforehand.

Ponting was dropped from the ODI squad in February and has represented his country in 165 Tests, which is only three shy of Steve Waugh, who was captain before Ponting.

Australia will have home advantage in their next three series against South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

Australia’s first Test against South Africa on November 9 will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane, which is the first time in 49 years that the two nations have played against each other on that ground.

The last time South Africa were in Australia was in 2008 to 2009, where the South Africans prevailed 2-1 in the Test series, while last year when the two sides met again for a two Test series, each country won one, which saw the series end as a tie.

Sri Lanka will begin their first tour of Australia since 2007 in Hobart on December 18, before moving to Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test, and finally finishing off in Sydney for the New Year’s Test to wrap up the series.

After the final Test in Sydney, Sri Lanka will play five ODIs against Australia before the West Indies arrive in town and also play a five ODI series, in which one ODI will be held in the Australian capital of Canberra for the first time ever.

The West Indies will also play three Twenty20 Internationals against the Australians, which will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Cricket Australia’s chief executive James Sutherland noted that Australia had produced a lot of talented players within the last year or so, and he expected the home series to be a tough one for both the hosts and tourists.

“The Australian men’s team has a chance to test themselves early in the summer against a very strong South African side, we’re also fortunate to have Sri Lanka back again. They play a very entertaining and attacking style of cricket and have a passionate and vocal fan base around Australia,” Sutherland said.

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