Melbourne, Dec.28 (ANI): Ricky Ponting's bold declaration in the first Test against Pakistan has given him the chance of becoming the most successful captain in the sport.
Ponting surprisingly closed Australia's first innings midway through the second day when runs were easy and plenty of wickets remained.
Should Australia win this match, it will give Ponting more victories than any other skipper in 132 years of Test cricket. This is remarkable given that he is the first Australian captain in more than 100 years and just the second in history to lead two losing tours of England, prompting calls for his head.
In reply to Australia's 454 for five declared, Pakistan had imped to 109 for four from 49 overs by stumps on a pitch so lifeless that even night watchman Nathan Hauritz nudged and smacked 75, his highest Test score.
He had resumed on five and Mike Hussey 37 with the overnight score 3-305.
A surprised Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam praised the declaration.
"I thought it was a very positive declaration. I think it is very wise that he has declared, you need more time," the Daily Telegraph quoted Alam, as saying.
"The old days are gone from when you could follow on. You need to get some rest for your bowlers. I think it was a very positive, very exciting declaration," he added.
Ponting and Steve Waugh stand at the top of Test cricket's illustrious table with 41 wins apiece, followed by Clive Lloyd with 36.
The third Test victory in Perth against the West Indies little more than a week ago, allowed Ponting to equal Waugh's record. (ANI)