Australia captain Ricky Ponting has admitted that one of the most challenging summers of his career which saw his side falling from the pedestal started with a Test series defeat to India in October last year.
The summer saw the end of Australia's domination in world cricket which was evident from their 0-2 defeat in the four-match Test series in India and Test and ODI loss at home against South Africa.
"It's been a challenging year, there is no doubt about that, going back to the start of the Indian tour. We knew India was going to be challenging and it probably ended up being exactly what we thought it was going to be," Ponting told 'Daily Telegraph'.
Ponting, however, insisted it was quite satisfactory to see new talents emerging and handling responsibilities during the summer.
"The whole year, there have been some challenges, but it has been an exciting one for me as well. To see the new fresh faces makes it an exciting time," he said.
Ponting does not consider Australian players overworked with too much cricket.
"I don't think there is too much, it has been a busy year for us. The thing is we are fully professional cricketers and if that is all you are expected to do, then that's challenge you face," he said.
Asked whether the decision of the national selectors to rest him for two one-day games against New Zealand a correct one, Ponting said, "No, that's exactly why I came back. I was rested when we were 1-0 down, when we went 2-0 down I was on the phone to my manager at eight o'clock that morning and I spoke to him at length about what we should do.
"I spoke to the coach (Tim Nielsen) and the chairman of selectors and Michael Clarke, who had captained the team the night before. I told him what I was thinking and before you knew it I was back leading my country."
Ponting does not think Twenty20 cricket as a threat to the one-dayers.
"I think both (ODI and T20) will survive. There is any doubt about that. We are playing more and more Twenty20. It seems like the fans want to see it and the players have taken the game on board in the last 12 months since there is now a world championship to play for," said Ponting.
"When we first started playing it, I thought the game was going to be one that would be used almost as a marketing tool but it has grown into something bigger than that."
Ponting also hoped that troubled all-rounder Andrew Symonds would be ready in time for the Ashes series.
"I just hope he is in a position where he can be seriously considered by selectors, that is what we all want. That will be through scoring a lot of runs for Queensland and everything else being on track as well."