Ponting made his first-class debut for Tasmania in November 1992, when just 17 years and 337 days old, becoming the youngest Tasmanian to play in a Sheffield Shield match. However, he had to wait until 1995 before making his One Day International (ODI) debut, during a quadrangular tournament in New Zealand in a match against South Africa. His Test debut followed shortly after, when selected for the first Test of the 1995 home series against Sri Lanka in Perth, in which he scored 96. He lost his place in the national team several times in the period before early-1999, due to lack of form and discipline, before becoming One Day International captain in early-2002 and Test captain in early-2004.
After being involved in over 160 Tests and 370 ODIs, Ponting is Australia's leading run-scorer in Test and ODI cricket. He is one of only three players in history to have scored 13,000 Test runs. Statistically, he is the most successful captain of all time, with 48 victories in 77 Tests between 2004 and 31 December 2010, while as a player he is also the only cricketer in history to be involved in 100 Test victories.