Ricky Ponting [ Images ] may be just one Test defeat away from becoming the first Australian captain in 120 years to lose three Ashes series but he is not entertaining any retirement thoughts.
Ponting, who turns 36 on December 19, has not been at the top of his form with the bat while his team trail England [ Images ] 1-0 in the five-match series with three Tests remaining.
"My absolute focus is on all the things within my control, preparing the team and myself to perform at our very best in Perth, Melbourne [ Images ] and then Sydney [ Images ] over the next three Tests," Ponting wrote in the Australian newspaper on Saturday.
"I have not stopped for one moment to consider retirement. The question of my future as captain is ultimately a decision for Cricket Australia [ Images ] and categorically the future of Australian cricket must come first.
"I have every confidence in my ability to score runs and be the experienced batsman and leader that my team-mates can rely on."
"As captain, I am accountable for the performance of my team and I accept that our most recent results mean that I am being assessed more critically than at other times in my career as captain.
"The team is my priority, not my own ego or the status that comes with being the captain of the Australian cricket team."
Ponting conceded England has dominated the series so far.
"We've been ordinary, we've played poorly. I haven't played the way I would like to have played, especially in Adelaide, but I don't think I'm that far away.
"I've got to keep trusting the way I prepare and play and keep working hard. If anything I might have worked a bit too hard on my batting over the last couple of weeks."