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Ponting open to bat down the order
Tuesday 11 October 2011

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has suggested that he is willing to drop down the Test batting order to accommodate Shaun Marsh at No 3.

The 36-year-old, who has scored 12,487 runs in 154 Tests, has long come in to bat at first drop but slotted in as No 4 during the second Test against Sri Lanka last month in which Marsh scored 141 at No 3 on his debut.

Marsh followed it up with scores of 81 and 18 in the third Test when again batting at No 3.

Test skipper Michael Clarke sees Marsh as a long-term fixture in the role and Ponting said he had no complaints.

"It was a long-term plan of Michael's to have Shaun move to No 3 and me move to No 4 and Michael (Clarke) move to five and (Mike) Hussey to six," Ponting told reporters.

"So that wasn't just ... a one-off for that game (in Sri Lanka).

"When I first came into the Australian side, batting at six was hard. Waiting that amount of time to bat for me was something that was very foreign to me," he added.

"But three to four I don't think is as big a change as three to six."

Ponting is playing for Tasmania in their Sheffield Shield clash with Western Australia at the WACA Ground in Perth starting Tuesday, ahead of Australia's Test tour of South Africa next month.

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