Ponting says Aussies can look back with pride despite Ashes loss

      Australian cricket can look back at its past five months with pride despite the Ashes loss, feels skipper Ricky Ponting. Ponting believes the rejuvenation of the side after the two-one series loss to England will allow the period to be looked back upon as significant. Fast bowlers Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus emerged as internationals of promise during 2009, while batsman Callum Ferguson and wicketkeeper Tim Paine have been in good touch in one-day cricket over the past month. "We have introduced a lot of new guys to international cricket, a lot of guys have now got their 20 and 30 games under their belt and 10 or 12 Test matches and they are starting to find out what international cricket is all about," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Ponting, as saying. "If you look ahead to the next 12 months, this current group of players, I think you'll see them taking the Australian cricket team a long way forward," he added. How selectors manage manage their squad looms as a key issue given there will be no let up over the next nine months, which includes a tour of India, a home summer, a tour of New Zealand and a visit to the Caribbean for the Twenty20 world championship.

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