We need to improve a lot – Ponting

"Realistically that New Zealand team is probably not the strongest team we’ve ever come up against and they are probably the first to admit that," he said.

"We are not kidding ourselves; we’ve got a long way to go if we want to stay the number one team in the world.”

"We have to play at our optimum and there’s no hiding that fact."

"When I spoke to the guys coming into this game I felt there was a lot of room for improvement and I think we’ve all seen a great deal of improvement from most players in this game," he said.

"I think the last couple of weeks have been a good step for us."

"Everyone we’ve spoken to in domestic cricket this year has said it (the WACA pitch) has been very fast and very bouncy … the re-laid wickets I mean," Ponting said.

"I don’t think we’d bring another specialist fast bowler in, I think we’d look at an all-rounder like Watson."

"I’m sure if he (Symonds) didn’t get out the way he did yesterday there was a big score waiting out there for him so I’m not worried about his form," the captain added.

"We all back Andrew Symonds’ cricketing ability."