'The current team is on the brink of doing something special'
Ricky Ponting has warned rivals his Australia team are "on the brink of something special" and are set to dominate a home summer of cricket centred around the Ashes series against England.
After defeating West Indies 2-0 in their three-Test series last year, Australia whitewashed Pakistan in all forms of the game before humbling West Indies again in their Twenty20 and One-Day matches earlier this year.
"I am looking forward to the next eight months of international cricket probably more than I have any period of my career," Ponting, who became only the second Australian skipper to lose the Ashes twice after last year's 2-1 defeat, told local media on Monday.
"I have been lucky to play in a lot of great teams ... but I feel the current team of players now is on the brink of doing something special as well.
"Going through the Australian summer undefeated last year was a great achievement by the team but we will be better than that in the coming months."
Image: Ricky Ponting
Australia to kick-off home season against Lanka
Australia head to the subcontinent to play two Tests and a One-Day series against top-ranked Test nation India in October before kicking off their home season with limited overs matches against Sri Lanka.
They play the first of the five Ashes Tests on November 25 at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Despite beating Australia to win the Twenty20 World Cup and in their June/July One-Day series, England would offer little new to ponder, Ponting said.
"I guess the beauty about their side is that we have seen all their players a fair bit... There will be no surprises, as far as we are concerned, on what they can do."
Image: Ricly Ponting
'One of the reasons for playing Morgan is his attitude'
Ponting also had a dig at England's reliance on overseas-born players when asked about Irish cricketer Eoin Morgan's Ashes prospects.
"I just have a feeling (England) really like Morgan, what he brings to their set-up - plus he's not English," Ponting said of the Dublin-born batsman.
"I have got a lot of thoughts on why they pick those guys (non-England born players), it is quite surprising when you look at their side and work out how many there are.
"But it doesn't matter where they are born, we have got to make sure whatever team they put out we are well equipped to break them down.""I think one of the reasons for playing him (Morgan) is his attitude and the way he goes about it - but he hasn't been Tested against us yet... Although he has played a couple of Tests, it will be a massive step up for him going into an Ashes series."
Image: Eoin Morgan
Ponting desperate to triumph in India
Ponting also asserted that the Ausisies were desperate to triumph in India.
"It's important to beat them, a rivalry is a rivalry, and they are the No 1 team in the world. You have to judge yourself by them," he said in Brisbane.
Australia's clash with the world's number one Test team begins with the first Test in Mohali, on October 1, and second Test in Bangalore from October 9, along with three limited-overs matches later in the month, at Kochi, Vishakapatnam and Goa.
Ponting said the teams had a few controversial clashes on the field in the past but all that is forgotten now.
"They've got a few prickly characters that have sort of got under our skin a little bit, but we have to get over all that stuff. When things like that happen, it makes everyone else just want to beat them, there is more motivation. But really, it's all buried, done and dusted," he said.
Image: Ricky Ponting