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Ponting - No excuses

Australia captain refuses to hide behind tough schedule

Ponting: retired from T20s to ease workload

Ricky Ponting insists fatigue will not be a problem for Australia at the ICC Champions Trophy.

"We know we've got a couple of weeks' break after the Champions Trophy, so let's hope we go there and peak at the right time and play as well as we have during this tournament."

Ricky Ponting

Quotes of the week

Ponting's side arrived in England back in May and embarked on a punishing schedule that has seen them compete in the World Twenty20, the five-Test Ashes series before finishing with the protracted seven-match one-day international series.

Australia showed little signs of wear and tear during that one-day series as they narrowly missed out on claiming a record-breaking series whitewash after falling to a four-wicket defeat to England in the final game at Chester-le-Street on Sunday.

The reigning 50-over world champions were also able to rest a number of their key performers during the series, most notably Ponting himself who returned Down Under for two weeks after the Ashes to rest.

Australia, however, face just a four-day turnaround between arriving in South Africa on Tuesday morning and their first match of the Champions Trophy against West Indies in Johannesburg on Saturday.

And while Ponting agrees the international cricket calendar is becoming increasingly more hectic, he does not accept tiredness will be a factor for his team ahead of the brief two-week format of the Champions Trophy.

Tough schedule

"We have been (concerned about the schedule) for a while," said Ponting, who earlier this month retired from international Twenty20 cricket to allow himself extra scope for rest.

"Players and players' associations have stressed how difficult it's becoming for international players to play at their best for four or five months at a time.

"There's a few players that have played the majority of those games through the past four or five months (of the England tour) so it's been tough on them.

"But we haven't got a lot of games in the Champions Trophy so we needed to have a certain number of games in our players before then.

"Therefore there will be no excuses in our team as to why their skills aren't up to shape.

"We know we've got a couple of weeks' break after the Champions Trophy, so let's hope we go there and peak at the right time and play as well as we have during this tournament."