Ponting looks to Sydney for redemption for horror series

Melbourne: Australia`s Ricky Ponting was determined to prove his worth as a batsman and as a captain in the final Ashes Test in Sydney after their hopes of reclaiming the famous urn disappeared in defeat on Wednesday.

Speculation has been rife that the 36-year-old may step down as captain or skip next week`s fifth match of the series to rest the broken finger he sustained in the third Test victory in Perth.

If he does, it will clearly be because he has had a change of mind, or the selectors have made that decision for him after he scored just 113 runs at an average of 16.14 in eight innings.

"My series has been horrible, there`s no two ways about it," said Ponting, the second most prolific batsman in Test cricket. "I just haven`t performed the way I needed to perform if Australia was going to win. I take full responsibility for that."

"The positive is, I`ve got another game next week, hopefully, to have some impact on the series, and hopefully win a Test match for Australia."

"I still think I`ve got a lot to offer the team as a batsman and as a leader and hopefully that all comes out next week."

Australia could still square the series at 2-2 with a victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

"We owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our fans around Australia to bounce back quickly and show a bit of pride in what we do for our country," Ponting said.

"Although we can`t win the Ashes, there`s a good chance for us to level the series."

Ponting did not rule out changes to the team after a second innings defeat in the series.

"We`ve been beaten badly here, there`s been a lot of speculation about a lot of things and I`m sure they`ll be sorted out over the next couple of days."

Bureau Report

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