Axed Ponting not retiring yet

Whether it be pulling a short delivery to the fence or plucking a lightning-quick catch in the slips, Ricky Ponting's formidable powers of anticipation have rarely been questioned throughout his storied career.

So it is something of a surprise that the former Australian skipper, who scored just 18 runs in five games in the ongoing tri-series against India and Sri Lanka, failed to spot the selectors' axe swinging at him.

Ponting, the second-most prolific scorer in the format after Sachin Tendulkar, said Monday's decision to drop him from Australia's one-day international side had come out of the blue but that he accepted his ODI career was over.

The axe fell a day after Ponting, standing in as skipper for the injured Michael Clarke, led Australia to an emphatic 110-run win over India in Brisbane to regain top spot in the triangular one-day tournament.

His 165th win as captain could not gloss over his fifth consecutive failure with the bat. The 37-year-old had been bowled over when chief selector John Inverarity delivered the decision but the defiant Tasmanian quickly regained his composure and is now focused on keeping his Test career alive.

"I've got no bitterness at all as to what's happened," said Ponting, who will return to the domestic Sheffield Shield competition to prepare for Australia's tour of West Indies. "I'm still firmly of the belief that I've got a lot to offer any cricket team that I play with, any team I'm a part of.

"Did the thought of (retirement) come into my mind? The thing that I thought about most yesterday was just how I was going to manage my time and to be well prepared to play every Test match I play for the rest of my career. That obviously, now with no one-day international cricket, that becomes a little bit more difficult for me, but there are other players around Australia at the moment who play Test cricket only."

Ponting was philosophical as he addressed reporters, relaxed and looking dapper in a sports jacket and white shirt.

"Of course I felt there was still room in the team," he said, smiling. "But when you don't make runs in five consecutive games you understand that there's an opportunity for selectors to leave you out." Their decision was unanimous, according to panel John chief Inverarity, meaning Clarke and Arthur both had a hand in pushing him towards the exit.

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