Ponting in for the long haul
Ricky Ponting has no plans to walk away from the international game, easing the short-term fears of the selection chairman Andrew Hilditch. Hilditch has predicted Ponting's retirement will leave a gap as big as the one Shane Warne created when he stood down, but the captain remains enthusiastic after his one-day side's fine 4-2 victory over India.
While many of his team-mates departed early due to injuries or fatigue, Ponting stayed till the end and has not considered retirement. "Hopefully that's a fair way away yet," Ponting, who has given up Twenty20 internationals, said in India. "I'm really enjoying cricket at the moment, I feel like I'm playing quite well.
"The day's going to come when I'm not playing anymore, but I guess my job in the next few years is ... to try to pass on some of the knowledge and as much of my experience as I can to the next generation and hope that all the traditions and everything that I've learnt about playing for Australia are continued on."
The final match of the series was washed out and Ponting was due to arrive back in Australia on Thursday night. His next major engagement begins with the first Test against West Indies at the Gabba on November 26 and he wants the side to improve its status.
"Our [Test] ranking is No. 4 at the moment, but I think we're a better team than that," he said. "We'll show that when we get back to Australia. We've got Brett Lee and Peter Siddle nursing themselves through injury and Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin to come back into the side as well, so if we get those guys back and fit I think we'll play some excellent Test cricket in the next 12 months and you'll see our ranking go back up again.
"You want to be consistent in both forms of the game and our consistency hasn't been there really in either form of the game over the last 18 months. But we're starting to get that back in one-day cricket and we need to turn it around in Test cricket as well."