As Ponting was practising his slips catches on the field, preparing for his final Test, it was notable that the man hitting the ball to him was Stuart Law, Australia's acting batting coach. Law and Ponting made their Test debuts together at the WACA 17 years ago and both men scored half-centuries. In fact, they put on 121 together for the fifth wicket against Sri Lanka, a partnership that ended when Ponting was wrongly given lbw for 96. Law finished on 54 not out. He did not play another Test. Ponting is now taking part in his 168th. On the first morning of this match, Law could have been forgiven for wondering what might have been.