Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Ponting eager to remain captain

Australia'Ricky Ponting said he is determined to continue as captain despite his team's defeat in the Ashes.
Ponting is the first Australia captain in more than a century to lose two Ashes series in England after the hosts wrapped up a 2-1 win last Sunday.
"I still think I've got a lot to offer the team, as a batsman and as a captain and as a leader," said the 34-year-old.
"If it gets to the point I'm not the captain, my hunger and determination to keep playing are as good as ever."
Ponting's worth as a batsman is unquestionable, with a Test batting average of 55.88 and more than 11,000 runs to his name.
But his captaincy skills have come in for criticism, with a perceived lack of imagination in his field placings and bowling changes sometimes cited as a weakness in his leadership.
Ponting has an impressive record in his 61 Tests in charge, including winning 16 straight Tests from January 2006 until January 2008, but the two Ashes series defeats have cast a long shadow over the rest of his time in charge.
Vice-captain Michael Clarke would appear to be the most likely replacement for Ponting as captain, should the selectors decide that a fresh approach is needed, while Simon Katich has also been mentioned as a possible contender.
But Ponting has no intentions of standing down to allow the 28-year-old Clarke to ascend to the captaincy, and has set his sights on regaining the Ashes in Australia - and even a possible return to the UK in 2013.
"I've got to worry about the next 12 or 18 months and see if all that hunger or commitment is still there," added Ponting.
"Right at the moment it most definitely is. It's probably higher right now than ever before.
"I would love to go back and give it the Ashes in England one more crack. Who knows, 2013 might be something achievable."

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