Ricky Ponting embarrassed by losing Ashes

Published: Monday, July 17, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Australian skipper Ricky Ponting revealed that his team felt ''ashamed and embarrassed'' after becoming the first to lose the Ashes series to England in 18 years but vowed to give a torrid time to the defending champions in the return leg later this year.

''It's a huge series for the team -- to be the first one to hand over the Ashes in 18 years was something the players were embarrassed and ashamed about,'' Ponting told 'BBC Sports'.

''England will face a better Australian team than they did last time,'' he added.

Confident of victory in the five-Test series scheduled for this November, Ponting said his team had gone from strength to strength in the season so far and would be a tough opposition for the injury-plagued England, who are certain to be without regular captain Michael Vaughan.

''In our conditions, with our crowds, and with us being a better team now than we certainly were then, I'd like to think the result will be a bit different this time,'' Ponting said.

''We've worked really hard on our games and performances -- everything is heading in the right direction and everything isn't smooth sailing for England,'' he said, referring to England's injury woes.

Ponting, however, cautioned against taking England lightly and said if Andrew Flintoff's men manage to sort out their injury problems than the spectators would be in for some exciting cricket.

''I'm confident we'll play well, we've brought our games on a long way since the end of the Ashes. We know it will be a big challenge again and if they have a 90 per cent fully-fit team they will be very competitive,'' he said.

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