Ricky Ponting has revealed how much he felt the responsibilities of

being Australia’s Test captain was harming his on-field performance.


36-year-old is about to embark on his first Test campaign since handing

the leadership reins to Michael Clarke following this year’s World Cup.


Ponting admits the burden of being captain had adversely affected his

own game and was a major part of the reason he decided to stand down as


“That had always been one of my strengths, being able to

separate captaincy, on-field/off-field stuff and my own batting,”

Ponting told Cricinfo from Sri Lanka where Australia embark on a

three-Test series beginning on August 31 in Galle.

“I handled

that pretty well. But more time was being taken up with the captaincy

stuff, more thinking outside of what I had to do for myself as well –

probably worrying more about individuals, worrying more about team


“It’s not that I neglected my own game at all. I was working as hard if not harder, even too hard, on my own game.


the team performance was starting to play on my mind more than I wanted

it to and it probably dragged my batting down a little bit.”


some encouraging batting displays early in the five-match one-day

series against Sri Lanka, including an unbeaten 90 in game two, Ponting

reiterated the point he made after that match that he feels he can

improve without the captain’s responsibilities to concern him.

“Now I’m free of that stuff and I can give advice when asked,” he said.


still got a really important role around the team with developing the

younger guys as quick as I can, but most importantly I’ve got to score

runs that are going to be enough to win games of cricket for Australia,

and that’s my main objective for the immediate future.”