London: Australian cricket skipper Ricky Ponting believes he can use this year"s Ashes to lift the spirits of the team.
Australia's four-month stay in the UK has started on the worst possible note, and Ponting said it was up to him and the coaching staff to move on from the embarrassments and stop the tour from unravelling.
First, the squad was rocked by the departure of Andrew Symonds, who broke an agreement not to drink in public and was sent home before the first game. Then the Australians crashed out of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament only 56 hours into their campaign after heavy losses to the West Indies and Sri Lanka, with problems against spin and the expensive bowling of Brett Lee among the recurring themes.
The Australians have set up camp in Leicester, where they will remain until Test players Phillip Hughes, Simon Katich, Stuart Clark, Marcus North and Graeme Manou arrive in England in about a week. Their next fixture is not until June 24, a first-class game against Sussex at Hove.
"It will be about rebuilding some of the good stuff we had going in South Africa," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Ponting as saying, and adding, "It''s important we move on from this …