Sydney: Former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting is sweating it out in the gym to ensure he starts this year’s Australian summer in peak condition.
Ponting, 37, however, admitted that he needed to work on his fitness twice as hard.
``I started [training] before the last World Cup and that was the fittest I``d ever been. I worked hard and need to keep doing it now I``m 37. I know I need to work twice as hard as ever before,`` a newspaper quoted Ponting, as saying.
Ponting said two other factors that sustained him during his form slump last summer were his ability to solve problems and he had also accepted the negative press directed at him was justified.
``I`d got scores and if some of them had have turned into hundreds, some of that stuff would have gone away,`` he said.
He said: ``As an Australian No. 3 or No. 4 batsman, you have to get hundreds, and I wasn``t doing that. That was where, for me, the negativity was acceptable. I needed to score and thankfully some old-fashioned work got me out of that hole.``
By the end of Australia`s Test series win over India, Ponting had silenced the knockers with a double century at Adelaide, a ton in Sydney and two 60s in Melbourne.
``You find a way to perform,`` he said of the pressure.
Ponting said: ``There is no doubt when you go through a sustained period of under performing … it gets harder and harder. But you realise it``s no good lying about it or trying to dress it up. It gets harder because you know everyone is watching you.``
Ponting`s wife, Rianna, said it pleased her that the Australian public made it clear they realised how hard he had worked to rediscover his form.
``I think when he walks out on to the field these days he always gets a good round of applause,`` she said.
``I think [people] … realise what he``s done for the game and what he continues to do. It means a lot to me … especially when you read and hear the negativity. You get disillusioned, and then, you see adults and children standing and saying, ``Come on, Punter, keep going``, it means a lot.``
First Published: Sunday, July 01, 2012, 16:36