Ashes

Ponting's future unclear

2010-12-15 18:19
Ricky Ponting (File)

Perth - Australian captain Ricky Ponting admitted on Wednesday his future is uncertain as he tries to avoid an unwanted piece of Ashes leadership history.

With a buoyant England up 1-0 heading into the third Test at the WACA Ground, starting here on Thursday, Ponting is in line to become the first Australian skipper in 120 years to lose three Ashes series.

Ponting's wavering form with the bat - he is without a century in his last eight Tests and has managed just 461 runs at 35.46 in that time - is doing little to ease the pressure on the Tasmanian 35-year-old.

The number three said he needed to do more if Australia were to turn around their poor start to the series, conceding that an Ashes defeat could end his reign as captain.

"Probably not a decision for me to make, is it," he said. "I don't pick myself as captain so... the decision's completely out of my hands.

"At the end of the day, I'll do my best to make sure we're on a winning end this week and I'll do my best as a player to make sure I score runs and lead the team the best way possible.

"Then the powers-that-be will make those decisions I guess at the end of the series, or after this Test match."

His predecessor as Australian captain, Steve Waugh, said the pressure on Ponting would be huge if Australia lost the Ashes again.

"Realistically, there is going to be a lot of pressure," he said.

"He'll be thinking he can turn this around but questions will be asked for sure if we lose this series."

Ponting has been unable to impose himself in the series so far, with 70 runs at 23.33, and was hopeful the break between Tests could work to his benefit.

"I know a lot of our success revolves how well our batting does at the top of the order and my input in the series so far hasn't been what it's needed to be for us to win games.

"So, purely and simply, I need to stand up. I need to score runs and we need to play better cricket than we have in the last two Test matches."

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