Ponting fears for Ashes spot
Australia batsman Ricky Ponting knows he is on the brink of missing next year's Ashes as his poor Test form continues against South Africa.
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The former captain may have been in exceptional Sheffield Shield form early in the summer as he plundered 355 runs at 118.33 for Tasmania, but Ponting hasn't taken that into the Test arena where he has managed just 20 runs at 6.66.
Ponting has been bowled twice during the second Test against South Africa at the Adelaide Oval.
And, with more and more questions hanging over his head, he said playing England next year was not in his mind as he may not even finish the Proteas series.
"I'm a realist," Ponting told Australia's Channel Nine. "I live in the real world and I know that if I'm not making runs I might not see the summer out, so I definitely won't be in England.
"I haven't spoken to selectors about my immediate future and they haven't spoken to me about it either.
"(But) I am sure that conversation is going to come in the near future.
"Nothing has happened just yet. The disappointing thing with me in this Test series is that coming in I felt really good.
"My Sheffield Shield stuff was really good and I felt like I was batting better than I had in a few years.
"That is the difficult thing.
"But we'll wait and see what happens at the end of the game.
"I've got no illusions or disillusions about where I'm at, or where my cricket's at."
Ponting's plight is not helped by the fact several batsmen in the Sheffield Shield are in good form, with players like Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja and Alex Doolan all gunning for a position in the Test team.
But if Ponting plays in Perth, he has vowed not to go down without a fight after acknowledging some uncharacteristically timid efforts may have led to his demise against South Africa.
"Yesterday was a ball I probably shouldn't get bowled on, back of a length and short and I chopped onto the stumps," Ponting said.
"The first innings felt like I got a pretty good ball.
"If anything I have probably been a bit tentative and certainly in Brisbane and yesterday it was a tentative shot, not the normal way I play.
"I probably needed to be a bit more positive."