Victory for Australia would see them leapfrog South Africa to return to the top of the test rankings - a position they enjoyed for so long with the gritty Tasmanian in the team.
"It's a great opportunity. We're going into what I believe to be almost a Grand Final," Ponting said.
"As I said to the boys this morning, I'm hungrier than ever and I want this win probably more than any other game I've played.
"If we get back to the top of the tree, to the top of the world, there's no better time for me to bow out."
In Image: Australian Test cricketers (at back) join a packed media conference as their teammate Ricky Ponting announces his retirement