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‘I’m still the right man to lead Australia’

Ricky Ponting says he is still the man to lead Australia in next month's Ashes series with England amid calls for his sacking and questions over his tactics.

cricket Updated: Oct 16, 2010 00:23 IST

Ricky Ponting says he is still the man to lead Australia in next month's Ashes series with England amid calls for his sacking and questions over his tactics. Ponting arrived home late Thursday from a 2-0 Test series loss to India to be greeted by calls from former Test paceman Geoff Lawson for him to step aside as skipper.

Ponting was also publicly criticised by former Test teammate Shane Warne for his field settings for spinner Nathan Hauritz's bowling during this week's second Test loss to India in Bangalore.

Pressure has mounted on Ponting's leadership ahead of the five-Test home series against England after Australia lost three consecutive Tests for the first time since 1988. Asked by reporters if he was the right man to captain Australia this summer, Ponting declared: "Absolutely, I've got no doubt about that at all."

Ponting said he always gave his absolute best when he played for his country. "I'm trying to do my best as captain to help some of these guys through some difficult times," he said. "That's all I can continue to do. I give my absolute best as always, ever since I've been the Australian captain, to be the best leader I can be and be the best player I can be and if I get criticised for that along the way then I can't do anything about that."

Lawson has called for deputy Michael Clarke to lead Australia against England at the Gabba from November 25. Lawson said Ponting, 35, had now lost five series as skipper, and relieving him of the captaincy would allow him to focus more on his batting. Ponting said he had told Warne directly of his feelings about his controversial remarks on Twitter. It was Hauritz, in fact, Ponting emphasised to reporters, who set his own fields. "I sent (Warne) a few texts and I'm not hiding the fact I was really disappointed with the tweets that I read," Ponting said.