Clark, Katich defend Ponting's captaincy capabilities

Ricky Ponting

After returning home following Australia's 197-run loss to England at The Oval on Sunday, the trio immediately started defending Ponting, who became the first Australian captain to surrender the Ashes twice in England.

"Ricky Ponting has got my full support and I think he's the best man to be captain," Clark was quoted as saying in the Australian Associated Press.

"I think it's ludicrous that anyone say anything other."

Left-handed opening batsman Katich, who played in all five Tests, believes it is wrong to single out any individual for the loss as cricket is a team game.

"There was 11 of us out there that had an opportunity to win the Ashes - you can't just blame it on one person," he said.

"We had our chances throughout the whole five Tests, unfortunately when those chances came around, whether it was Cardiff, Lords, The Oval, we didn't grab them, so everyone put their hands up for that.

"The guys that got given the opportunity to play in the Tests, we didn't make the most of those opportunities to win us the Ashes, so we're the ones that have a direct outcome on the result," added Katich, who scored 341 runs at an average of 42.

The 34-year-old batsman also refused to cite lack of preparation as an excuse for the team's defeat.

"I think our preparation was fine. You can always look for plenty of excuses, but the bottom line is when we're out there when the pressure was on, we didn't take our chances," he said.

Even Clark also refused to blame the tricky Oval pitch for the loss.
"I haven't really thought about it, we lost the series that was it, we're done and dusted," he said.

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