Ponting says it's time to decide on his future

Australia suffered an innings and 157-run defeat in the fourth Test to allow England retain the Ashes on Australian soil for the first time in 24 years.

The emphatic win on the fourth day gave England a 2-1 lead in the five-match series and the beleaguered Aussie skipper said he will have to take some tough decisions.

"I've got to make the decision that I feel is right for Australian cricket right at the moment," Ponting told ABC Radio.

"As a player and a captain I still think I've got a lot to offer the Australian cricket team, but I've got to sit down and obviously think about that at the end of this game," he added.

Ponting gave full credit to England for outplaying Australia and the visitors were the deserving winners of the Ashes urn.

"They've played some very, very good Test match cricket, probably up to the standard they thought they were capable of...You don't turn up in Australia and beat an Australian cricket team as easily as they have without being well-played and well-prepared," he said.

He said he was bitterly disappointed with his own performance in the series.

"I had a broken finger coming in here but there was no way at all I was going to miss the game. And it's exactly the same next week -- I've got a point to prove to myself and to the team for my performances through the last four Test matches. I will be trying to do everything I can to be right for Sydney," Ponting said.

He also said that he is not in favour of tweaking the team too much for the fifth and final dead Test in Sydney starting January 3.

"We can still level the series, which has got to be the motivation for us from now on. We've been beaten badly here, we've got to try and put that behind us if we can and learn some lessons from the game and get to Sydney and salvage some pride for us as a group and for all the supporters who have come out and watched us over the last few weeks.

"We've let ourselves down, we've let them down as well, we need to rectify that pretty quickly," Ponting said.

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