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Ponting - Team is my priority

Australia captain insists he is focused on the remainder of the Ashes

Ponting: no retirement thoughts

Ricky Ponting insists he is not harbouring any thoughts of retirement and is concentrating instead on leading Australia from the front in the remaining three Ashes Tests.

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Ponting's side head into next week's third Test at the WACA in some disarray having suffered an innings defeat to England in Adelaide to go 1-0 down in the five-match series.

Another victory for Andrew Strauss' side in Perth will see them retain the urn and also leave Ponting with the dubious honour of being the first Australian captain in 120 years to lose three Ashes series.

As well as overseeing ineffectual performances from his side - particularly last time out - Ponting has also been struggling with the bat.

"My absolute focus is on all the things within my control, preparing the team and myself to perform at our very best in Perth, Melbourne and then Sydney over the next three Tests," Ponting wrote in The Australian newspaper on Saturday.

"I have not stopped for one moment to consider retirement. The question of my future as captain is ultimately a decision for Cricket Australia and categorically the future of Australian cricket must come first.

"I have every confidence in my ability to score runs and be the experienced batsman and leader that my team-mates can rely on."


He added: "As captain, I am accountable for the performance of my team and I accept that our most recent results mean that I am being assessed more critically than at other times in my career as captain.

"The team is my priority, not my own ego or the status that comes with being the captain of the Australian cricket team."

Ponting also conceded England had dominated the series so far but thinks both he and his side can fight back.

"We've been ordinary, we've played poorly. I haven't played the way I would like to have played, especially in Adelaide, but I don't think I'm that far away," he added.

"I've got to keep trusting the way I prepare and play and keep working hard. If anything I might have worked a bit too hard on my batting over the last couple of weeks."