Ricky Ponting (born 19 December 1974) is the current captain of the Australian cricket team in One Day International, Twenty20 International and Test cricket. Ponting also represents the Tasmanian Tigers in Australian Domestic cricket, a side he plays for intermittently due to international commitments. He is a specialist right-handed batsman, slips and close catching fielder, as well as a very occasional right-arm medium pace bowler.
Ponting reached international standards at a young age for a batsman, making his One Day International and Test debuts in 1995 at the age of 20. However, his progress was not unhindered. He lost his place in the team several times due to lack of form and discipline issues, before rising to the One Day International captaincy in early 2002 and becoming Test captain in early 2004. In recent years, he has been consistently ranked in the top-ten batsmen in both One Day International cricket and Test matches in the official ICC ratings, and has been ranked number one for substantial periods.
Ricky Ponting is considered one of the finest batsmen in the history of the game, and is currently ranked 18th in ODI's and 6th in Test Cricket. He is the only cricketer to have twice scored more than 1500 runs in Test matches in a calendar year (2003 and 2005) and on 3 December 2006 overtook Steve Waugh as the leading Australian century maker with 33 Test centuries. He now has 37 and lies second in highest number of Test centuries in the history of cricket, five behind world leader Sachin Tendulkar. He is also the third fastest batsmen ever to reach 10,000 runs in Test matches. He has scored over 10,000 Test runs at an average near 57, but since the February 2002 tour of South Africa (when he was elevated to the ODI team captaincy) he has scored 25 of his Test centuries and averaged above 74, leading to comparisons with Sir Donald Bradman.