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'Unique phase in my career as a captain'

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Ponting signalled his determination to put Australia back at the top after losing series to India and South Africa by pulling out of the Indian Premier League this year to concentrate solely on the national side.

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    On Tuesday, his team avenged their defeat at home to South Africa by taking an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the return series. England, who meet Australia in Cardiff on July 8 in the opening Test of the 2009 Ashes, failed on the same day to snatch the win which would have squared their series in the West Indies.

    "It is certainly a unique phase in my career as a captain," Ponting told reporters. "To have a number of debutants and a number of inexperienced guys in the side, it's something I haven't been accustomed to in the majority of my career as a captain.

    "I've said right from the start that when these challenges come up and this transitional phase first started I always looked at it as being one of the most exciting little phases of my career."

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