Veteran Ricky Ponting has said he is delighted to have had a good pre-season training session in almost 20 years of his playing days before any important Test series, and believes it's an ideal situation for him before he faces South Africa in a Test series in November.
Ponting is usually among the last to leave training, regularly staying late to practice fielding, and while Australia, in different forms, were in England, the United Arab Emirates and then Sri Lanka this year, the veteran has put himself through a gruelling personal training regimen as he looked to extend his career to the back-to-back Ashes of 2013.
"'I couldn't ask for anything better than my lead-in, having a couple of months off after the Caribbean and getting back in the gym and training hard for about three months before the Tassie pre-season stuff started," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Ponting, as saying.
"I've got another two Shield games to play now and a couple of one-dayers, so there will be no excuses as far as I'm concerned about where my game will be by the time November comes around," he added.
"Something so foreign to me is you're not playing cricket continually ... One thing I do know is I've got Test cricket only, and only a few of the one-day games for Tassie through the course of the year, so I've had a pretty clear picture of what my career looks like ... the chance to have some sort of pre-season for the first time in 20 years is a little bit foreign as well," he said.