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Ponting ready for a fight in Adelaide
By Ben Horne
18:05 AEST Tue Nov 20 2012

Comforted by the surrounds of his happiest hunting ground, Ricky Ponting is relishing the challenge of again fighting his way out of adversity against South Africa in the second Test at Adelaide Oval.

One year ago Ponting walked to the crease at The Wanderers in Johannesburg for what many predicted would be his last Test match innings.

Instead he kept the wolves at bay and set up a famous Australian win on the fifth day with a defiant half century.

This time the threat of the axe is not so immediate, but the 37-year-old must strike soon in order to prove he still has what it takes to be a starter in next year's Ashes.

Ponting has three ducks from his past four innings against South Africa, but declared he thrives on the pressure.

"I don't shy away from it," he said.

"I've been around enough and played in enough high pressure situations, whether it's a big game or a game where you're under pressure because you haven't scored runs yourself."

Ponting conceded that the Proteas have held the wood over him of late, with his defiant 62 in Johannesburg last year the exception.

However, despite edging to the slips early off Morne Morkel for a duck at the Gabba, he hasn't forgotten the eight career centuries he's notched up against the Proteas either.

"I was disappointed last week with all the work I put in pre-season and to make a little error like that and have your game over and done with in five balls was disappointing," he said.

"But it's a fresh start this week. When it's my turn to bat I must make sure I'm one of the guys who contributes."

Fresh in the former skipper's mind is his extraordinary record at Adelaide Oval - the most runs (1723) by an individual at any Test venue in Australia and the sixth most by a player at any ground in the world.

Last summer in the city of churches, Ponting destroyed India with a first innings 221 and a lazy 60 not out in the second dig.

On Tuesday, Ponting commented that even in retirement he would not grow tired of coming to Adelaide.

However, there's some unfinished work to do out in the middle first.

"I've got some good memories here, good recent memories with a double hundred last year and some good runs early in the season in the Shield game (for Tasmania)," Ponting said.

Meanwhile Ponting said Australian vice-captain Shane Watson should not play on Thursday if he's anything short of 100 per cent fit.

The former Test skipper said Watson would be putting too much pressure on the team if he went into battle still nursing his calf strain.

Watson was put through a fitness test at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday as the all-rounder continues to push for a recall to the side ahead of Rob Quiney as a batsman only.