LONDON: Ricky Ponting has said a third Ashes defeat is likely to signal the end of his time as Australia captain.
Ponting, skipper of the teams beaten in England in 2005 and 2009, could become the first Australia captain to lose three Ashes campaigns in more than a hundred years if the `Poms` triumph in Australia during the latest Test series between the old rivals, which starts in November.
"I`d probably be looking for a new job if we lose again," Ponting told the Daily Mail here on Friday. "It`s as simple as that."
And given Australia, unlike England, rarely let a former captain remain in the side, standing down as skipper could signal the end of Ponting`s international career.
But he remains a world-class batsman, as he showed with 92 in Australia`s 78-run win over England in the fourth one-day international at The Oval on Wednesday.
And with Australia bidding for a fourth straight World Cup title in Asia in February, the 35-year-old Ponting, one of the outstanding batsmen of his generation, could well have a few more great innings left in him.
"I`ve got the biggest eight months of my career coming up. We are playing India, then England and then the World Cup," Ponting said.
"It doesn`t get any bigger than that and everything I do between now and April will be geared at getting the most out of myself and, most importantly, the group.
"If I`m able to do that I think there are some pretty special things on the horizon for this team."
The Tasmanian added: "I haven`t thought about any added pressure on me.
"I`m just thinking about being the best player I can be and having a significant impact on the Ashes series as a batsman and as a leader. That`s all I can control."
England haven`t won a Test series in Australia since 1986 and Ponting said of Australia`s prospects: "If we keep working on the little things every day I think you`ll see some great performances in the Ashes."
Australia avoided a one-day series whitewash at the Oval where Ponting passed 13,000 ODI runs.
But England already had an unbeatable lead and will go into Saturday`s finale at Lord`s 3-1 up in the five-match series.
"England are worthy winners of this series," Ponting said. "They outplayed us in the first three games. We`re not making any excuses."
BDST: 1740hrs, July 2, 2010