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Ricky Ponting demands Ashes improvement from Australia

Ricky Ponting after India defeat
Australia's last Test series victory was against New Zealand in March

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has warned his side that they must improve before the Ashes after succumbing to a third successive Test defeat.

His team's losing streak is their worst since 1988 and has seen them fall to an all-time low Test ranking of fifth.

"There are some issues there we have to deal with. And we have to get over them quickly," he said after a seven-wicket defeat by India in Bangalore.

England's first Test against Australia is on 25 November in Brisbane.

Ponting, the only Australian batsman to score over 35 in the second innings against India, saw his side fail to apply much pressure with the ball as the hosts chased down their target with ease.

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"We have to shape up in Australia. We have to start winning some test matches pretty soon," he stated.

The manner of the latest loss sparked a row between Ponting and former team-mate and Australian legend Shane Warne.

The former Aussie spinner, who is second only to Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan in the list of all-time Test wicket takers, felt bowler Nathan Hauritz was not being helped by Ponting's field placings.

"How the hell can Hauritz bowl to this field?? Feeling for Hauritz, terrible!! What are these tactics? Sorry Ricky but what are you doing?," Warne wrote on Twitter.

Hauritz toiled to figures one for 76 in 12 overs before being removed from the attack, but Ponting claimed he had allowed the New South Wales off-spinner to set the field to his own bowling.

Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne
Warne (r) retired after Australia's victory in the last Ashes series

"Every field that Nathan's had to bowl with since he's been here is at his request, it's the fields that he wants to bowl to," explained Ponting.

"Unfortunately it doesn't appear that Shane would take the time to ask anyone about that."

Warne stressed in a subsequent message that the result "won't mean anything come Ashes".

Australia's most recent defeat meant that India retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy with a 2-0 series victory.

Pakistan also triumphed over Australia at Headingley in July to draw level in a two-match series.

The recent run of results have dropped Australia to fifth in the ICC's Test rankings , the lowest they have been since the system was introduced in 2003.

In contrast to Australia's results, England have won five of their six Test matches against Pakistan and Bangladesh this summer.

Andrew Strauss' men will be hoping to erase memories of England's last trip down under between November 2006 and January 2007 when they returned without the Ashes trophy after being whitewashed 5-0.



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see also
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket
India beat Aussies to win series
13 Oct 10 |  Cricket
Laxman sees India to dramatic win
05 Oct 10 |  Cricket
Pakistan wrap up win over Aussies
24 Jul 10 |  Cricket


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