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Ashes: Ricky Ponting demands Australia improvement

By Tom Fordyce
BBC Sport in Adelaide

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A bad loss - Ponting

Australia captain Ricky Ponting delivered a brutally honest assessment of his side's shortcomings after their defeat by England in the second Test.

The tourists wrapped up an innings win on the final morning in Adelaide, with Graeme Swann taking five wickets.

"It's a bad loss for us, there's no hiding that. Losing by an innings and 71 runs after winning the toss on a good wicket says it all," said Ponting.

"They out-batted us, they out-bowled and out-fielded us the entire game."

It was Australia's first innings defeat in a home Test match for almost 18 years, and their second heaviest defeat ever in Adelaide - and Ponting refused to make excuses for his side's dismal performance.

"We've been doing a lot of talking about things, about what we want to do and how we're going to change things, but our actions have been what's let us down so far," admitted Ponting.

TOM FORDYCE BLOG

"There's no lack of endeavour from our boys, but our skills at different times have let us down and we understand that.

"There's nothing we would change preparation-wise, or personnel-wise. We've had everything we wanted. Purely and simply we've been outplayed.

"Losing that wicket [Michael Clarke] last night broke our back a little bit, but I was particularly impressed with the way England started this morning. They got the breakthrough they needed and then Swann bowled very very well, as did all their quicks.

You look at things now, and it looks like we'll have to be at our absolute best if we're going to work our way back into the series

Ricky Ponting

"Our week off now will do the boys a world of good - just have some time to think about what they need to do as individual players, and what we need to do as a team to work our way back into the series."

Asked whether he had seen such a big defeat coming, Ponting replied: "Probably not. After the first three days in Brisbane you wouldn't have seen it coming either - the way everything was heading for us there we looked like we were on the right track, and had a group of players who were good enough skill-wise to win the series.

"We haven't been good enough to win it. That's the bottom line. We're all under pressure. International sport is about being under pressure. It's how you deal with those situations and right now England are dealing with those situations better than we are. We have to change that.

"You look at things now, and it looks like we'll have to be at our absolute best if we're going to work our way back into the series. The pressure is on all the players and all the coaches to make sure we give it our best shot. That's all we can do."

Ponting is to meet chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch to discuss options for the third Test in Perth.

With Simon Katich out of the remaining three matches because of an Achilles injury, New South Wales opener Phil Hughes is likely to be one of several new faces.

But whoever he leads out at the Waca on 16 December, Ponting is aware he faces a tough task to avoid his third Ashes series defeat as Australia captain.

"There's no doubting that England are playing very well. But it was only a week ago that we were saying how evenly the teams were matched, and that Australia were favourites," he added.

"I don't think in that time they've got that much better and we've gone that far backwards.

"They've certainly batted exceptionally well, and it's up to us to lift our standards now."



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see also
England complete Adelaide triumph
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Katich set to miss rest of series
07 Dec 10 |  Australia
Strauss confident of series win
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Injured Broad ruled out of Ashes
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Second Ashes Test in photos
07 Dec 10 |  England
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket


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