'It has just been execution that has let us down'
Australia have the ability to fight their way back into the Ashes series after their worst defeat to England in nearly a quarter of a century -- but they need to start showing it, captain Ricky Ponting said on Tuesday.
Ponting admitted England had outplayed the Australians in the second Test, which the tourists won by an innings and 71 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series, but denied there was a gulf in class between the two sides.
"It's pretty simple, we need to win two of the next three games if we want to win the Ashes but we've got to play a bit better than we have the last Test match and a half," said Ponting.
"It has just been execution that has let us down.
"It's about dealing with pressure and, right at the moment, England are certainly dealing with those situations better than we are and we have to change that.
"And there is only one way you change that, and that is by executing your skills well for long periods of time," he added.
Image: Ricky Ponting reacts during the second Ashes Test in Adelaide
'It's a bad loss'
Ponting said the time for talk was over and he expected his players to spend the nine days before the third Test in Perth thinking about how they were going to improve.
"We've been talking a lot about how we're going to change things, how we're going to rectify things, but our actions have been letting us down so far," he said.
"It's a bad loss, a week off will do this team a world of good, just to get away and have a think about what they need to do as individuals, and what we need to do as a team, to work our way back into the series," he added.
Image: Ricky Ponting with Shane Watson
Katich to sit out
Opener Simon Katich will not play in Perth, and possibly for the rest of the series, after injuring his Achilles but it is the bowlers who will again be the major concern.
Australia's bowlers have taken just six English wickets in the last five days of Test cricket over the first two Tests at the cost of 1,137 runs.
"We didn't get many wickets in the second innings in Brisbane and we didn't get many here this week," said Ponting.
"Once again I think it's execution that let us down this week. I don't think England have more firepower than we have, they have just executed it better and the England batsmen have put our guys under sustained pressure," he added.
Image: Simon Katich
'I expect the team can do the job for Australia'
Ponting, the most prolific Test batsman at Adelaide, said his own execution needed work after he got a golden duck and nine in his two innings in his 150th Test.
"Don't worry about winning the games, I've got to make some runs. Simple as that. To make nine runs in two innings out there is nowhere near good enough. My expectations are a lot higher than that," he said.
The debate over the Test team is bound to be intense over the next week and Ponting said expectation for those who took the pitch at the WACA on Decemebr 16 would be high.
"Whatever 11 players are selected, I expect that they can do the job for Australia. This week we haven't done that," he said.
"It's about finding the attitude, because I know the ability's there, to get that job done," he added.
Image: Australian team celebrate after picking up a wicket