Ponting calls for swift resolution
Ricky Ponting insists he will put the team first when deciding whether to stand down as Australia captain and hopes his future is resolved “in the next couple of days”.
Ponting today returned from Australia's failed World Cup campaign keen to have his playing future decided by the end of the week and has not ruled our standing down as Test skipper and dropping down the order in a bid to prolong his career.
The 36-year-old has overseen the team's steady decline in recent times, with a heavy loss in the Ashes followed by a quarter-final exit from the World Cup.
Ponting has also endured a miserable slump in form with the bat, although he did compile a sublime 104 as his side were defeated by India in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
A planned review into the state of Australian cricket may recommend Ponting's removal as skipper - and there will be no resistance from the 152-Test veteran should that be the case.
"Even though we're out early, it's nice to be home and I'll have the opportunity over the next couple of days to reflect on where things are headed for me and certainly what direction I feel things are heading for the betterment of Australian cricket,” Ponting said after landing in Sydney.
"Every decision I've ever made was always with Cricket Australia's thoughts at the front of my mind.
"It's always been about putting the team before me. The direction of my thoughts will be along those lines the next couple of days."
While Ponting's stance on the captaincy appears to have softened over the past few days, he nonetheless believes he brings much to the side.
He hopes his World Cup century will be the catalyst for the sort of career revival being enjoyed by India's Sachin Tendulkar.
"The last couple of weeks there's been a few differing opinions out in the papers and out in the news about me and my future as leading the team," Ponting said.
"It's been nice the last week especially to hear some endorsement from Cricket Australia and the selectors about that position.
"But that's where the next few days are crucial to me as well. I have to really decide what I think is right for me and the team going forward.
"I still think I've got a lot to offer the team as a player and a leader.”