Ricky Ponting vows to fight for Australia place
Ricky Ponting has declared his intention to carry on playing for Australia as he battles to arrest a recent slump in form.
The ex-captain has not scored a Test century in two years but showed signs of a return to form with a crucial 62 in the win over South Africa on Monday.
"I want to be around and hopefully be able to have some sort of impact on the way the team plays," said Ponting, 36.
Australia begin a two-Test series against New Zealand next week.
The Baggy Greens will then take on India in a four-Test contest beginning on 26 December.
Ponting went into the second innings in Johannesburg facing calls to be dropped after averaging just 14 in his previous 13 innings.
But a half-century in the two-wicket win in Johannesburg may just have prolonged his career.
"It's a great team to be a part of at the moment," said Ponting. "When you contribute to wins, that's what it's all about."
Ponting also received a vote of confidence from Michael Clarke, although the Australia skipper did suggest Ponting and under-fire wicketkeeper Brad Haddin need to carry on delivering to keep their places.
"I'd like to see them continue playing as well as they did the other day," said Clarke.
"I think, like anybody, we're judged on performance, they are two very experienced players and bring a lot to our team.
"But they will continue to be judged on making runs and, for Hadds [Haddin] keeping wicket, so I'll continue to support anyone in my team.
"I think Punter [Ponting] is hitting the ball really well, he's just short of a big score. I think he proved that to a few people the other night.
"Hadds is the same. He performed beautifully the other night."
Clarke said selection for the New Zealand series would be discussed at a meeting on Thursday.
The second Test will be played in Hobart, Tasmania, Ponting's homeland.