There is a remorselessness to everything Ricky Ponting does. His demeanour may endear few but his record should inspire many.
With just a single century in his previous 21 innings, murmurs about his form and a sketchy performance in the field, Ponting arrived at the wicket in need of runs.
Test cricket ruthlessly reveals the inner-most character of its protagonists, exposing people for public consumption like no reality show ever can. This innings proved, as if we needed reminding, that Ponting is cut from nothing but steel.
If he had any doubts about himself or his team, which following England's plucky lower-order hitting would be understandable, they did not show. Every movement had utter certainty, which, when added to his instant judgement of length makes for a formidable batsman. The conviction and unrelenting purpose that Ponting brings to his talent separates him from Pietersen and could end up separating these sides.
England's bowlers toiled but neither of their celebrated "two spinners" could turn the ball as much as Hauritz. Should the new ball bring no reward, Australia could march into a commanding position. A deficit of 200 on the final day would leave England praying for a Ponting of their own.