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Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Friday, 2 July 2010 15:49 UK

Ashes win 'vital for Ricky Ponting's captaincy hopes'

Ricky Ponting
Ponting's team are currently 3-1 down to England in their one-day series

Ricky Ponting believes a third Ashes defeat is likely to signal the end of his time as Australia captain.

Ponting, 35, was skipper of the teams beaten in England in 2005 and 2009.

If he lost this winter to Andrew Strauss's team he would become the first Australia captain to lose three Ashes campaigns in more than 100 years.

And the brilliant batsman admitted in an interview on Friday: "I'd probably be looking for a new job if we lose again. It's as simple as that."

Australian tradition dictates that former captains rarely remain in the side.

However, that policy may be shelved should England win an Ashes series in Australia for the first time since 1986-87 and Michael Clarke subsequently take over as Aussie skipper.

606: DEBATE
Buntii

Ponting remains a world-class batsman, as he showed with a classy knock of 92 in Australia's 78-run win over England in the fourth one-day international at The Oval on Wednesday.

And with Australia bidding for a fourth straight World Cup title in Asia in February, Ponting, one of the outstanding batsmen of his generation, is unlikely to be axed should he wish to remain as a player.

Ponting told the Daily Mail: "I've got the biggest eight months of my career coming up. We are playing India, then England and then the World Cup.

"It doesn't get any bigger than that and everything I do between now and April will be geared at getting the most out of myself and, most importantly, the group.

"If I'm able to do that I think there are some pretty special things on the horizon for this team.

"I haven't thought about any added pressure on me. I'm just thinking about being the best player I can be and having a significant impact on the Ashes series as a batsman and as a leader. That's all I can control."

Ponting has nearly 12,000 runs in Test matches at an average of 55.22 and more than 13,000 in one-day internationals at 42.95.



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see also
Flower plays down Ashes relevance
02 Jul 10 |  England
Triumphant England reclaim Ashes
12 Sep 05 |  England
Ponting inconsolable after defeat
23 Aug 09 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket


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