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Apr 23, 2012 at 12:52am IST

Ponting shrugs off pressure to retire

Roseau (Dominica): Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said on Sunday he has no intention of calling time on his Test career and was looking forward to taking on bitter rivals South Africa later this year.

The 37-year-old, who has already quit one-day internationals, has struggled for runs on the current Caribbean tour with scores four, 14, seven and 41 prompting some to predict that the third Test against the West Indies could be his last.

But Ponting, fired up by an impressive home series against India where he scored 544 runs in four Tests, at an average of 108.80, is adamant he still has a role to play. "My love for the game and passion and desire to play and be successful hasn't changed," said Ponting on the eve of the final Test which starts at Windsor Park on Monday. "Even when things were really tough a few months ago, all I wanted to do was try to give myself the best chance to be able to play well again.

Ponting shrugs off pressure to retire

The 37-year-old, who has already quit one-day internationals, has struggled for runs on the current Caribbean tour.

“I felt I got there through the summer and I feel like I'm batting really well at the moment. I've still got a few things I want to achieve and a few games of cricket I want to be a part of and win for Australia. As long as I feel I can play a role winning games of cricket for Australia I'll continue to do it. I'm enjoying it as much as ever and probably working harder than ever on my game."

Captain Michael Clarke also gave his backing to the 164-Test veteran who has piled up 13,266 runs in his career. "He's hitting the ball well, probably hasn't got that big score that he'd like but none of us have. Conditions haven't been great for making big hundreds," Clarke told a website. "If you wanted to make runs here you had to bat for a hell of a long time, and need a bit of luck as well along the way. Ricky's one of the guys that has put the team above himself and sacrificed his wicket or tried to take the game forward because we've needed to, to try and help us win the game."

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