As another ODI series in which England haven't even flattered to deceive fades into the gathering gloom of an English autumn, the overwhelming feeling is one of ennui, caused by the fatigue of feeling obliged, through habit and little else, to follow a seemingly endless series of games to their predictable conclusion.
For me the absolute highlight of a forgettable series was Ponting's century in the first Trent Bridge match. England has seen relatively little of Punter at his best these past two tours, but this was the real thing, proof positive that Launceston's favourite son still has it all; iron certainty of footwork, defensive impregnability and the type of shot selection which could make vulnerable bowlers want to give up the game. In a sense it seemed as though the clock had been turned back, and this impression was reinforced a couple of days later when he started throwing the stumps down in the way he used to be so good at before the captaincy years took their toll.
Over recent years in England it's occasionally been possible to forget how great a cricketer Ricky Ponting is. This series hasn't been good for very much, but one game, at least, served as a reminder of how sublime the batsman's art can be.
They should build a statue of him.
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