Ponting to consider his future
Ricky Ponting has admitted he will take time to consider his future after seeing England retain the Ashes with a convincing innings win at the MCG.
The Australia captain is at a low ebb after contributing little with the bat and seeing his side go 2-1 behind with one game remaining - the New Year Test in Sydney. Australia can salvage some pride by drawing the series, but the Ashes will remain in England's grasp.
The pressure is mounting on Ponting who is far from certain to lead the side out in Sydney as an X-ray on his broken little finger on his left hand on the fourth morning proved inconclusive. There are also questions about whether Ponting will continue as captain and even remain in the side in the future and he is set to take time out to consider his future.
"I have a bit of thinking to do, no doubt about that," Ponting said. "I would love to be able to flick a switch and turn things around next week. I have tried my heart out, a lot of people are probably saying I have been trying too hard. It was understood that for us to win the series I had to score a lot of runs and I have not done that.
"I've got a point to prove to myself and the team, with my performances in the past four Tests. I will be doing everything I can to be ready for Sydney. I still think I've got a lot to offer the Australian cricket team."
"It's pretty hard to accept," Ponting said of the loss. "We haven't deserved it, that's the bottom line, haven't played well enough. It was tough, but wasn't a 98 all out wicket. They showed us how to bat. We can still level the series, which has got to be the motivation for us. Get to Sydney and salvage some pride. We've let ourselves down and our supporters down."