Ricky Ponting became the first Australia captain to lose two Ashes series in England in 119 years at The Oval and then indicated he will try to return for the next tour in 2013 to avenge the defeats of 2005 and 2009.
Australia lost by 197 runs to lose the series 2-1. This followed England’s 2-1 triumph four years ago when Michael Vaughan’s team won the Ashes for the first time in 18 years.
Ponting, Australia’s highest test run-scorer of all time, would be 38 by the next Australia tour of England yet his failures appear to be giving him early inspiration to prolong his Test career.
The last time Ponting lost the Ashes in 2005 Australia regained them at the first attempt 5-0, though at a time when it had greats such as Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist in its ranks.
“Yep, it certainly does (make me want to return),” Ponting told reporters. “We’ll see how I’m going in four years. Hopefully there will be another chance to play another Ashes series back in Australia.
“But it would be nice; with everything I’ve done in my career and the games I’ve played, to have some good memories from this ground (The Oval). I might have to come back next time and find some.”
Ponting is now to take a one-week break from international cricket and will return home briefly while vice-captain Michael Clarke leads the side in his absence. The Tasmanian will be back for the latter half of the seven-match ODI series next month.
He said he is unsure of the reaction he will get when he returns home but is not expecting an easy ride. However, Ponting, who started the series with a magical 150 in the first Test at Cardiff, backed his leadership qualities.
“I’ll be answering some questions (when I get home),” he said. “You always do when you lose a game or a series like this, it’s part of the job, what leaders are expected to do.
“But I’ve never doubted myself in anything I’ve ever done when I’ve had the baggy green cap on. I always get out there and accept challenges the best that I can.”
He added: “I’ve felt I’ve given myself the best opportunity and done a good job as a captain and leader in this series. Leaders are always looked upon on their results on their team.
“Unfortunately for me and the rest of the guys we haven’t got the results we would have liked. Ultimately it’s my responsibility to get the best out of the guys and to win the series. I felt I ticked most of those boxes, other than making a few more runs myself.”