Melbourne:Australian captain Ricky Ponting says he can no longer be at his "absolute best" with the bat but that should hardly be a surprise or concern as even an icon like Sachin Tendulkar is not at his peak anymore.
Responding to former Australian captain Mark Taylor's comments that his "best is behind him", Ponting said the assessment is correct but that does not mean he would become ineffective.
"I think what Mark had to say was that he probably didn't think I could get any better from where I am at the moment," Ponting said'.
"It wasn't so much about saying that I'm past it. He just thought that it was going to be hard for me to get back to my absolute best again, and that's probably right.
"I think there is a period in every batsman's life where they are playing at their absolute best. Even Sachin Tendulkar now, even though he's scored nine hundreds last year, was probably not at his absolute best, either," he added.
"So what Mark said may be right, but by no means do I think I can't play at the level I want to play at. And if I can't play at that level, I won't play the game anyway. I have said that for a long time," said the 35-year-old right-hander, who has been rested from Australia's ongoing ODI series against India.
Ponting said he merely has to perform consistently to keep his place in the side.
"So I have just got to be a good, consistent contributor in the No. 3 role, and be the best captain and leader I can be for the next few months, and we will see what effect it has on the team," he said.