Ricky Ponting hopes his Ashes bid not quite up in smoke
His experience is another factor in Perth, where the No. 1 world ranking could be on the line.
The nerves and constant speculation about his selection have had a toll on his first few innings against the top-ranked South Africans.
In Brisbane, he was caught at slip for a fifth-ball duck when Australia. In the first innings here, his only scoring shot was a boundary before he was out for 4 from three
In the second innings, he chopped a short and wide ball from Dale Steyn onto his stumps and was out for 16.
"Probably if anything I've been a little bit tentative. Certainly in the first innings in Brisbane it was a tentative shot. Yesterday afternoon it was a tentative shot. And that's
not the normal way that I play," he said.
"I probably just needed to be a bit more positive and get through that way. Yeah, disappointing game but, saying, that, I've just got to keep working and hopefully the runs willcome."
Ponting has fended off the critics plenty of times before, fighting his way back into form in the test arena late in 2011 after being dropped from the limited-overs team, then starting 2012 with century in Sydney and a double century in Adelaide against India.
In his five tests since then, though, his only half century was a 57 in April against the West Indies at Roseau.
"I've got no illusions or disillusions about where I'm at or where my cricket is at," Ponting said.
"It's just a matter or working hard, and then hopefully when I do have a chance to bat in the middle I'm a bit more assertive than I have been in the last couple of games.
"And I said coming into the summer that it really is a game-by-game thing with me now. I can't afford to look any further forward."
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