Ponting fit and fired up for the Proteas

The 37-year-old, who was dumped from the one-day and Twenty20 international squads, has not played a Test since the West Indies last April and said he went months without picking up a bat.

"I gave my body and mind a bit of a rest because I bashed myself up pretty much during the summer last year," he told reporters on Thursday, a day after smashing seven sixes in an unbeaten 85 for Tasmania against South Australia.

"So after the West Indies I had a couple of months off with nothing and then about 12 weeks where I just trained myself into the ground really, physically … I got myself in good physical shape. I'm a few kilos down again at the start of the season and feeling really good and feel like I'm moving really good."

He is preparing for the three-Test series against the Proteas, which gets underway in Brisbane on November 9 before three Tests with Sri Lanka, also at home.

The former skipper could break Steve Waugh's record as Australia's most-capped Test cricketer in the first match of a Sri Lanka series, with his eye on making the 2013 team to tour England.


"They're the No. 1 team in the world and they are that for a reason," Ponting, who has played 165 Tests, said of the Proteas.

"They have got probably the best fast bowling attack going around … they bat really low as well … they're an exceptionally well-balanced side … But saying that, we have had some great contests against them since I have been playing for Australia. They have never really dominated us and the series have been great contests … We know that if we do everything as well as we can in Australia this year, they will find it hard to beat us." – AFP

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