With Australia staring down the barrel of Ashes defeat, Ricky Ponting admits the decision about the future of his captaincy is now out of his hands.
A day before the start of the third Test in Perth, Ponting found himself dealing with issues beyond the WACA match, notably his leadership prospects should Australia lose the Ashes.
“Probably not a decision for me to make, is it?” Ponting replied when asked if he could stay on as skipper if England win in Perth to retain the Ashes.
“I don’t pick myself as captain so, look, in all honestly I haven’t thought about that at all.
“As I said, the decision’s completely out of my hands.
“At the end of the day, I’ll do my best to make sure we’re on a winning end this week and I’ll do my best as a player to make sure I score runs and lead the team the best way possible.
“And then the powers that be will make those decisions I guess at the end of the series, or after this Test match.”
Ponting’s captaincy has come under increasing pressure recently, his lean run with the bat in Australia’s ailing Ashes campaign and four loses and a draw from the past five Tests only fuelling talk he could lose the top job.
The 36-year-old would become the first Australian captain in 120 years to lose the urn three times if England win in Perth to claim an unassailable 2-0 series win.
The “powers that be” Ponting referred to are Australia’s selectors, who make a recommendation as to who should be captain that must then be approved by the Cricket Australia board.
Complicating matters is a perceived lack of a suitable replacement for Ponting, with many critics claiming vice-captain Michael Clarke, who himself has struggled for form in recent times, wouldn’t be a good fit in the top job.
Ponting conceded his form, which has seen him post scores of 10, 51no, 0 and 9 so far this series, had contributed to Australia’s woes.
“I know a lot of our success revolves how well our batting does at the top of the order and my input in the series so far hasn’t been what it’s needed to be for us to win games,” he said.
“So purely and simply I need to stand up, I need to score runs and we need to play better cricket than we have in the last two Test matches.”