Ponting takes responsibility
Ricky Ponting has taken sole responsibility after his decision to bat first proved costly against Pakistan.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 24/07/10 4:00pm
Australia captain Ricky Ponting has taken sole responsibility after his decision to bat first spectacularly backfired and ultimately proved costly against Pakistan.
The Tasmanian leader opted to bat first under grey skies at the start of the second Test at Headingley and watched on in horror as his side were bowled out for 88 - their lowest total in 26 years.
No side has ever won a Test match posting less than 100 in their first-innings, and from there on Ponting admitted he was always "playing catch-up".
"The buck stops with me in all those things," he said after the match.
"Looking back now, I was a bit surprised how much it seamed on that first day. We were definitely playing catch-up from stumps on day one.
"But I'm sure some of you guys yesterday morning probably felt that momentum starting to go back in our favour.
"I felt there was a really good opportunity for us to give ourselves a good chance of winning the Test match.
"We did that to a certain degree - 180 is a tricky sort of total to have to chase, as we found as the innings went on.
"But at the end of the day we have been chasing our tails since the end of the first day."
A drawn series meant that Ponting has failed to secure a Test series win in England as captain following back-to-back touring Ashes defeats.
Yet, while admitting his side had not been at their best in the two matches, Ponting is unconcerned by his side's patchy form ahead of the Ashes, which start down under in November.
"I don't think it will do too much to dent our confidence," he added. "We haven't been at our best in this game, there's no doubt about that.
"It's not just the batting, I think the bowling has been a little bit off at different times through this Test match. It just goes to highlight that we've got some work to do.
"We're not shying away from that fact that we haven't played our absolute best cricket in these last two Test matches.
"But the way we stuck at it late last night and this morning showed some character.
"Late November (the start of the Ashes) is a long way away yet. We're not even focusing on the Ashes just yet.
"A loss quite often just highlights some of the things you're not doing well. That's all this week will do for us."