Ponting says he's ready to play under Michael Clarke

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Sydney, Aug.27 (ANI): Australian cricket skipper Ricky Ponting has returned home and declared he would not walk away from international cricket even if he was stripped of his captaincy. He said he would be happy to play under deputy Michael Clarke.

Ponting said the stunning Ashes loss had made him more determined than ever to shine with the bat and restore Australia to its status as a world cricketing power.

Ponting, who arrived in Sydney just after 7 p.m., said he accepted responsibility for the 2-1 series defeat - team selections remained a sticking point with critics - before hinting he would play on if Cricket Australia officials elevated Clarke to the top job.

"I still think I've got a lot to offer the team as a batsman and captain and leader. If that's with a 'c' next to my name well and good, if not, I still think I've got a lot to offer, particularly to the younger guys who are in and around our set-up. I'm not immune to anything, criticism, I'm trying to do the best possible job I can and at the moment I feel I'm the best person to take this team forward," The Daily Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

"If it ever gets to the stage if I think I'm not ... can I play without being captain, absolutely. love the game and every opportunity I've had to play and captain Australia, and that makes me more driven now to do it better next time when I get the chance," he added.

Ponting still managed a smile as he fronted a large press contingent at the airport and was far from bitter given the hammering he had copped by the press on both sides of the globe.

He will take a couple of weeks to unwind with his family before he returns midway through the one-day series against England and then leads Australia into the Champions Trophy in South Africa later next month.

Ditching the shorter forms of the game could be one way to preserve his career, Ponting said, with the 2013 Ashes tour still an option.

Ponting said proof he was already looking to the future was a meeting he had with Clarke, coach Tim Nielsen and Cricket Australia's Michael Brown in the team hotel a day after the loss at The Oval. (ANI)

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