Virtually admitting that the days of their absolute domination is over, Australia captain Ricky Ponting said on Tuesday it would take a few years before the side returns as the same ruthless force which ruled world cricket with an iron fist.
"We've had an amazing run as a team . We have dominated world cricket for a long period of time," Ponting said after his side went down to South Africa in the second Test in Melbourne on Tuesday.
"I'm still very positive and very sure that with some of these younger guys coming on that in a few years time we can get back up there and be dominating world cricket once again.
"It's going to take a little while, there is no doubt about that. You can not expect young guys to come in and have sustain success. The young guys are the ones who generally lack consistency," Ponting said.
"The gap between our best cricket and our worst cricket has been too big and we have to make that smaller if we want to win the next Test and if we want to stay in that top group of Test playing nations," added Ponting.
Ponting admitted it was a strange feeling for some of the players who have been used to wins only but felt there was no reason to press the panic button yet.
"A lot of players in the team aren't accustomed to losing Test matches let alone Test series. We've all got to remain upbeat. There's no time for panic or as (chief selector) Andrew Hilditch said, chop and change," Ponting said.