A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Ricky Ponting is top class when it comes to playing pace bowlers, says Johan Botha

Ponting has been in sublime form in the past couple of Sheffield Shield matches for Tasmania

South Africa all-rounder Johan Botha has labelled veteran Australian batsman Ricky Ponting as top class when it comes to playing pace bowling, but added that he has to be able to pick up all the different variations and length deliveries the Proteas pace attack will bowl at him during the upcoming three-Test series.

Ponting has been training hard since April for this series and has seen the amount of damage South Africa’s dynamic pace trio of Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel are capable of inflicting.

“He’s always played pace bowling really well. The three (South African) quicks are all different. That’s a challenge within itself.¬†Steyn swings it at good pace, Morkel gets a lot of bounce and Philander’s got a lot of skill – he moves the ball around both ways. I think that’s the biggest challenge for him – not so much out-and-out pace,” Botha said.

Ponting will be hoping to replicate his outstanding form in the Sheffield Shield during the first Test against the Proteas on November 9 in Brisbane.

“The way he’s playing now, you can’t count him out and you can’t look past him. He’s obviously putting in big runs and that’s great to see. It’s great to see the hunger that he’s got at his age with everything he’s done in his career,” Botha added.

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