Ricky Ponting chasing South Africa redemption

ED JACKSON
Last updated 13:45 07/11/2012

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The last time Ricky Ponting faced South Africa in a Test series it very nearly brought an end to the 37-year-old's vaunted career.

Struggling for form and facing increasing pressure to keep his place in the team ahead of younger rivals, Ponting scored two ducks, an eight and a 138-ball 62 in his four innings against the Proteas in last year's two Test series in the Republic.

The veteran batsman managed to bounce back and save his career in the domestic summer against New Zealand and India, but he's the first to admit the South Africa campaign didn't go anywhere near his expectations.

"There's no doubt it was a lowlight because I was training really hard and not getting the results I was after and at that stage, where I was batting, we needed me to be getting results if the team was going to win games," Ponting said.

"It was a low moment. I battled my way back that last innings over there and then started the next series well against New Zealand and things turned around in the summer.

"Pretty much from the end of that series in South Africa until now I've been a pretty consistent run-scorer."

Since returning from Africa, Ponting has scored an impressive 789 runs at 56.35 including two centuries, one a mammoth 221 against India in Adelaide, and five 50s.

He believes he's back to where he needs to be and he's ready to show the fearsome South African pace trio of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander that he's far from finished at the highest level of the game.

"It just took a long time to break the habit I was in and the cycle I was in," he said.

"I'm doing things a bit different at training now. The way I prepare and some of the drills I'm working on have made me feel a lot better balanced at the crease and I'm certainly not getting hit on the pad as much as I was 12 months ago."

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