Ricky Ponting hopes to play on for Australia despite resigning from the captaincy. The 36-year-old has targeted the Ashes in England in 2013, and believes that his batting will improve as a result of him relinquishing the captaincy of the Test and one-day sides.
"I think it'll keep me a bit mentally fresher than I have been in the last couple of years," he said of returning to the ranks. "And I think that if I'm mentally fresh and have got my skills in reasonable order then I'll be able to certainly bat better than I have in the past six months. So I won't ever write that off because I'd love to go back there again and give it a crack at winning another Ashes series in England, but we'll wait and see how my form is in the immediate future."
Ponting's resignation follows Australia's exit from the World Cup, and an Ashes defeat. The Tasmanian was, however, quick to defend his record. "It's funny how we talk about losing the Ashes three times," he said. "Playing in three World Cup-winning teams never comes up very often, winning 16 consecutive Test matches doesn't come up very often, winning 30-odd consecutive World Cup games doesn't come up very often, but that's the world we live in."
Vice-captain Michael Clarke received Ponting's blessing to succeed to the leading role.
"I totally would endorse Michael Clarke as captain," said Ponting of the 29-year-old batsman who stepped into the role for the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney in January. "I totally think that's the way it'll go."
Australian Test captains by win percentage (Qualification: 10 wins):
S R Waugh (1999-2004) 71.9 per cent
D G Bradman (1936-1948) 62.5 per cent
R T Ponting (2004-2011) 62.3 per cent
A L Hassett (1949-1953) 58.3 per cent
W M Woodfull (1930-1934) 56.0 per cent
Australian one-day captains by win percentage (Qualification: 20 wins):
R T Ponting (2002-2011) 71.9 per cent
S R Waugh (1997-2002) 63.2 per cent
A R Border (1985-1994) 60.1 per cent
M A Taylor (1992-1997) 53.7 per cent
G S Chappell (1975-1983) 42.9 per cent