30 Dec 2010

Ponting's future under intense scrutiny

11:21 am on 30 December 2010

Australia will announce their squad for next weeks fifth and final test in Sydney later today, with huge interest surrounding the future role of skipper Ricky Ponting, after England retained the Ashes with a crushing innings and 157 run victory in the fourth test at the MCG.

Ponting's modest series at number 3, scoring just 113 runs in four Tests, has led to further speculation the 36-year-old may drop down to number four with NSW youngster Usman Khawaja coming into the side at first drop.

However Khawaja's inclusion would require selectors to drop either the out-of-form Michael Clarke or youngster Steve Smith from the middle order, and both players appear unlikely to lose their spots.

Ponting admits he's starting to question his ability to bat at number three.