Ponting's team has been on the back-foot in its current series in India, increasingly finding itself under pressure and unable to call on those match-winners who were a protective blanket throughout the previous decade.
Now the giants of the game have gone. Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist are retired and Australian cricket is acutely the poorer.
Suddenly, Australia don't have anywhere near adequate replacements for the missing modern-day cricket titans.
And it's little wonder they are finding it tough given the stellar achievements of those who have departed the game over the last few years.
Warne and McGrath were among the all-time top four bowlers with a total of 1,271 wickets between them and Gilchrist remains the greatest wicketkeeper-batsman of all time, hitting 17 centuries with his batting pyrotechnics down the order.
The figures don't lie. Up to the start of this year Australia won 19 Test matches with one drawn and since then they've won three, drawn four and lost two (both to India).
Former captain Ian Chappell believes the current Australian team is flawed.
"Australia is rarely a poor side but this team is nowhere near the class of yesteryear. They still know how to fight to the death, but they are now a flawed team," he wrote in a recent newspaper column.
"There's not too much wrong with Australia's batting, they have one champion batsman in Ricky Ponting and three very good players in Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke.
"Unfortunately, the bowlers are now giving up runs at a greater rate than the batsmen can score them."
Australia's apparent fallibility has provoked recriminations at home as the selectors have given Test debuts to six players this year and raised eyebrows with their choice of two uncapped spinners, Jason Krejza and 36-year-old Bryce McGain, for the tour to India.
McGain was in line to play in the opening Bangalore Test but went home for shoulder surgery, while Krejza is waiting for his Test chance after going wicketless for 199 runs off 31 overs in a leadup tour game.
Instead Australia, needing to take 20 wickets to level the Border-Gavaskar series in the drawn third Delhi Test, went in with the slow bowling trio of unthreatening leg-spinner Cameron White and part-timers, Michael Clarke and Simon Katich and again couldn't bowl India out.
It again emphasised that Ponting no longer has the bowling armoury to dismiss good teams as shown on a last-day turning wicket in the drawn opening Test in Bangalore.
There were even cries at one stage for the Test recall of Warne at the age of 39, but the legendary leg-spinner doused that.
"I've got no interest at all at this stage. I'm very happily retired, I'm comfortable where I'm at," he said.
Ponting knows he must make do with the cards he has been dealt.
"Ideally, of course, I would have liked to have an attack with the McGraths and Warnes. But we've got what we've got. There is a bit of inexperience, we don't have a match-winning spinner," he admitted.
Earlier this year before the illuminating Indian series, Ponting said: "We have got enough talent around Australia to maintain our No.1 ranking in Test cricket.
"I don't know how far we are in front but you would think, given what we have done for a fair period of time, that we would be a fair way in front. But how we adapt will determine how good a team we are."
The signs are that the gap is quickly diminishing as the Aussies gear up for their traditional Ashes joust in England next year.