Embattled Australian batsman Ricky Ponting says he is a 'realist' and concedes he may be dropped after the second Test in Adelaide.
The former Australian skipper may have been in exceptional Sheffield Shield form early in the summer as he plundered 355 runs at 118.33 for Tasmania, but Ponting hasn't taken that into the Test arena where he's managed just 20 runs at 6.66.
Thirty-eight next month, Ponting has been bowled twice during the second Test against South Africa at Adelaide Oval.
And, with more and more questions hanging over his head, he said thinking about playing in the Ashes next year was useless as he may not even feature in the next Test in Perth.
"I'm a realist," declared Ponting when speaking to ''Channel Nine'' ahead of the fourth day in Adelaide.
"I live in the real world and I know that if I'm not making runs I might not see the summer out, so I definitely won't be in England.
"I haven't spoken to selectors about my immediate future and they haven't spoken to me about it either.
"(But) I am sure that conversation is going to come in the near future.
"Nothing has happened just yet. The disappointing thing with me in this Test series is that coming in I felt really good.
"My Sheffield Shield stuff was really good and I felt like I was batting better than I had in a few years.
"That is the difficult thing.
"But we'll wait and see what happens at the end of the game.
"I've got no illusions or disillusions about where I'm at, or where my cricket's at."
Ponting's plight is not helped by the fact several batsmen in the Sheffield Shield are in good form, players like Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja and Alex Doolan are all gunning for a position in the Test team.
But if Ponting plays in Perth, he has vowed not to go down without a fight after acknowledging some uncharacteristically timid efforts may have led to his demise a couple of times against South Africa.
"Yesterday was a ball I probably shouldn't get bowled on, back of a length and short and I chopped onto the stumps," Ponting said.
"The first innings felt like I got a pretty good ball.
"If anything I have probably been a bit tentative and certainly in Brisbane and yesterday it was a tentative shot, not the normal way I play."I probably needed to be a bit more positive."