When we asked a few months ago if Ricky Ponting had lost his punch, despite being English we did so with a heavy heart given that we always had a strange and inexplicable affection for him.
At the time of writing, Ponting had performed poorly at Cape Town in the Test that Australia were infamously dismissed for just 47.
The axe was hovering as Ponting's dismal run reached what appeared to be its climatic moment. He had scored only one hundred in his previous 23 Tests. His average during this run was just 33.78. That slipped further to 26.50 in the 13 matches since that solitary hundred in Hobart against Pakistan and to a dismal 18.84 since the start of the 2010/11 Ashes. In short he looked finished.
When he registered a duck in his next Test innings in Johannesburg, the game looked up. Australia's best batsman since Bradman was surely playing his last Test. His form and technique seemed to have completely eluded him.
But Ponting is nothing if not determined and a resilient 62 in the 2nd innings at The Wanderers helped carry Australia to an improbable victory to draw the series. He had survived the selectors guillotine. Just.
And with India's bowlers proving the most willing of accomplices, Ponting has shoved the words of the critics back down their throats with his 40th and 41st Test hundreds. He has also scored another three fifties since his partial redemption in Johannesburg.
From the depths of despair after that duck at The Wanderers, Ponting now has 561 runs at a tick over 70 and looked something close to his best today in Adelaide.
Never has the old adage of form being temporary and class being permanent held more true than in the case of Ponting, who lest it not be forgotten now has over 13,000 Test runs to his name.
Ponting may have proved our words false, but for once we are glad as such a batting champion deserved an epitaph better than the ones hastily written after the debacle in Cape Town.
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