London: Skipper Ricky Ponting is adamant that the immediate future of Australian cricket is bright in spite of the Ashes loss and that several emerging players have come of age in England.
Writing in his exclusive column in The Australian today, Ponting says: "While we had bad sessions at Lord's and The Oval which cost us both games, we completely dominated England at Cardiff and in Leeds, showing there was little between the teams."
"Coming off the back of a strong series victory in South Africa earlier in the year, I believe we're on the right track and our younger players can only get better,'' he adds.
Ponting is particularly pleased with the fast-bowling attack of Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus and is also adamant Shane Watson is ready to be the all-rounder the country has been looking for.
"He (Watson) was completely at home opening the batting and performed consistently under pressure,'''' Ponting said.
"I don''t think Watto''s cricket or his body have ever been in better shape. He is the all-rounder we need in the middle order to add balance to our side,'' he said.