Sydney, Jan 4: Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who silenced his critics by scoring a sparkling 134 against India, today said he hung in there because he had “hunger” to do well at the international level despite being under enormous pressure.
“If I didn't feel the hunger, I wouldn't be playing the game. There has been more pressure on me in recent times than at any stage of my career. I have had to work harder. I am a proud person and I want to finish off my career the way I wanted. I love a contest too much to give it away,” Ponting, who notched up his 40th Test century, told reporters after the second day's play.
“I want to give myself the best chance, taking Australia from No 5 to top of the tree where we deserve to be,” he said.
For someone who is 37 now, the key to do well at this age at the highest level is to retain one's self belief.
“Keep having the self belief. If you think you can do it, keep doing it. If you think training can't make you a better player, you are wasting your time. I have spoken to a lot of other great players who retired while I was playing. They said they couldn't find themselves to train as hard as they once did.”
Ponting felt that the inner call was very important when one was standing at a difficult crossroad in one's career.
“Honestly, when I have looked at the mirror, I have known that I want to get better, keep scoring runs, keep playing.”
Quizzed whether another veteran Jacques Kallis' 41st Test ton yesterday spurred him to do well, pat came a sarcastic reply, “If I have to get inspired by what's happening in other side of the world, I wouldn't be playing.”