Australia on course to win back Ashes: Ponting

Published: Friday, April 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Australia captain Ricky Ponting is confident his team is heading in the right direction to win back the Ashes from England on home soil later this year.

The Australians have beaten West Indies, South Africa and Bangladesh since losing to England for the first time since 1987, and Ponting is in upbeat mood.

''Our Test cricket can't be faulted really since the last Ashes Test match,'' Ponting told the Australian Associated Press today.

''Everything we have done has been very, very good quality, the areas that we needed to address I think after England we have addressed.

''We have certainly turned a number of things around and we are heading in the right direction.'' Ponting cited the return to form of fast bowlers Jason Gillespie and Michael Kasprowicz as a big reason for his optimism.

''It is great to see Jason back and bowling well and it is great to see Michael back and bowling well,'' he said.

''Brett (Lee) is in career-best form and Matty Hayden is in as good a form as he has ever been.'' Ponting is also happy with his own batting.

''I feel like my game is going really well at the moment, Michael Hussey has barely put a foot wrong, so there are lots of great signs for us come Ashes time,'' he said. England lost 2-0 in Pakistan and drew 1-1 in India in the aftermath of their long-awaited Ashes success.

''We know England probably haven't got everything in order right at the moment,'' Ponting said.

''They have had lots of injuries and they have a really tough programme heading into the Ashes series as well. It is the one thing we are all really looking forward to now.

''I will be very confident going in knowing we have a very good settled lineup and a bunch of guys who are going to do everything they can to try to win the Ashes back.''

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