Sydney, Oct 29: Australia's Ricky Ponting has said that he knows when he needs to call it quits, even though he has no plans to announce his retirement at the moment and would not wait for the selectors to drop him from the squad.
The 37-year old, who had been subjected to a lot of criticism during Australia's tour of South Africa last year, as Aussies registered their fourth lowest total in Tests, as he was also undergoing a poor patch struggling to score runs.
Ponting while talking to Ian Chappell in an interview for Daily Telegraph said he would not block a youngster's place in the squad.
"I'm a realist and I'll understand that if there's players out there who can play the game better than me, I'll be the first to accept it and walk away," said Ponting.
"I'm not going to let it get to the stage where the selectors drop me. I think I'll identify the right time."
Talking about the previous Test series against South Africa that concluded in November 2011, Ponting said
"I got out a few times the same way in a row and no matter what I did I couldn't seem to get my bat out of the way," said Ponting.
The former Australian skipper further added saying that his lack of form led to a series of criticism from the cricketing fraternity.
"So that was hard and there was speculation around then. Should he be playing? Is he too old? Can he get back to playing the way I know he can play? As much as I kept telling people and myself I could do it, no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't get the results I was after."
Ponting also credited South African bowlers for their fabulous performance, and also admitted that the attack was the best in the world.
"You look at their side and they've probably got the best bowling attack in the world," he said.
After undergoing a humiliation in South Africa last year, Ponting defended his team and his form, as he said the team is confident of performing well against Proteas this time around.
He also pointed out that Australia had won a series against South Africa in 2009, which was after Australia's defeat to Proteas at home, one of his satisfying moments during his captaincy.
"They'd just beaten us in Australia and everyone expected us to be rolled over there. We won the first two Tests really well. I remember walking off the field in Durban and I remember thinking, I'm just going to walk 10 or 15 metres ahead of the boys, I'm going to stand on the boundary and look at the faces on the way off. For me as captain seeing the joy they got out of winning a test series like that, was probably my proudest moment."
Ponting also said that he has been working out hard to perform well this time around, as he is aware of the South African attack, and has been learning how to combat the attack.
"I have to start playing better off the back foot again," said Ponting. "I was just getting on the front foot too much and not being able to play off the back foot as freely as I used to... this Shield season I started getting back onto the back foot an pulling and hooking as well as I ever have," he said.
"I know that Steyn and Morkel will try and drag me across the crease and hit my pads and my back wickets, so I know what training and preparation I'll have to do to try and get around that. I feel like my balance is really good and I'm seeing the ball really well," Ponting concluded.