HOW Tasmania finishes in the Sheffield Shield will likely come into Ricky Ponting's calculations when he mulls over whether to play another domestic season.
Ponting showed a tilt at the 2013-14 season is well within his champion abilities with a third Shield century in the Tigers' current campaign on day 1 of the crucial match against Victoria.
The 38-year-old is yet to make a call on whether he will play on but stints in the Indian Premier League, the English county competition and a Twenty20 series in the Caribbean will keep him match ready.
"I feel like I played really well again today and the season's been pretty good for me," Ponting said after making 104 in Tasmania's first innings of 6-369 at Bellerive.
"We're hoping to win this game and make a Shield final.
"The decision might be clearer if we make a Shield final and win it. Who knows?
"The fact that I'm not having a big break and won't have to worry about having a preseason again is nice.
"It's all going to depend on how much I enjoy the six months I've got overseas."
Ponting, who quit international cricket in December, tops the Shield run-scorers' list this season with 789 at an imperial 87.7.
His ton was the 80th of his first-class career and 27th for Tasmania in Shield cricket.
He survived a tough caught-and-bowled chance when on 73, a nasty blow to his left hand on 61 and a near runout to put on 139 for the fifth wicket with Jonathan Wells (71 n.o.) as the Tigers recovered from 4-193.
"His pedigree's unbelievable and he's standing out like a beacon in the competition," Bushrangers coach Greg Shipperd said.
Earlier, Mark Cosgrove (81) and Jordan Silk (52) put on a century opening stand after Victoria had sent the Tigers in on a greenish wicket.
The Bushrangers fought back with four wickets in the middle session but had few answers for Ponting and the in-form Wells.
Tasmania realistically needs an outright win to make the decider, while Victoria will all but ensure its place with first innings points.