Melbourne: Embattled Ricky Ponting has admitted that he and his fellow teammate Mike Hussey need to start scoring runs consistently if they want to firm up their places in the Australia Test team in the upcoming series against India.
While Ponting, who will be turning 37 on Monday, has failed to score a hundred in 31 innings in almost two years, 36-year-old Hussey has also been completely out of form for a while now, with averages of just 15 and 7.66 runs in the recent series against South Africa and New Zealand.
Although both the veteran batsmen are almost certain to play in the first Test against India, starting on December 26 in Melbourne, Ponting knows that there is a real challenge that lies ahead.
"With Huss and I both being guys that have been around a long time, and with the transitional phase the team's going through, I think it's important that guys like us are around," said Ponting.
"But at the same time we've got to be toeing the line and scoring runs consistently. Mike had done that up until the last couple of Tests, and I felt like I was getting back into a bit of rhythm before the Hobart game."
"We all know what our jobs are. As international sportsmen these days, you have to be performing day in, day out, and we've got that challenge ahead of us now," Ponting was quoted as saying by Daily Telegraph.
Ponting, who is all set to open the batting for the Hobart Hurricanes against Perth Scorchers in the Twenty20 Big Bash, said that he would start preparing for the first Test only after completing his T20 game. However, the former captain, who has been struggling for runs, said it would not harm his preparation for the Test series.
"It's not my preparation for the Tests. I'm here to win a game for the Hobart Hurricanes. My Test preparation starts after that (T20 Big Bash game). So I'll worry about that on Tuesday when we're back into camp as a Test team. But while I'm here with the Hurricanes, I'll be training and preparing the best way that I can to make sure I'm playing good Twenty20 cricket," insisted Ponting.
"With the amount of time and effort that's been put into the Big Bash the last couple of years and certainly this season, I think it's really important that all the players do the best they can to make the game the best spectacle possible."
Ponting was scheduled to turn out for the Hurricanes against the Sydney Sixers in Tasmania on Wednesday but pulled out of that match after being summoned to the Test team's batting camp, to be held in Melbourne this week.
Stating that he had spoken to coach Mickey Arthur about the team's aims in the Test series against India, Ponting said, "Mickey rang me a couple of days ago, I think more to clarify some of the speculation that might have been going around in the media about what we were trying to achieve."
"It is all just about us getting a little bit more training and preparation done leading into a Test series. If you look at it like that, I think preparation-wise, it's going to be as good as we're going to get going into a Test series, so I'm looking forward it."