Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting said that England’s aggressive approach left the Aussies clueless at times during the Ashes as well. The five-match series in England ended 2-2, with Australia retaining the urn as well.
“The two contrasting styles of play were great to sit back and watch. There was a lot of talk about Bazball and how England would approach it, and would that style stand up against the quality of the Australian attack – looking back, it probably did,” he said on SEN Tassie breakfast show.”It probably had some of the Australian players, coaches, and the captain at different times scratching their heads as to how they were going to combat it. Think the 2-2 result, albeit probably slightly biased with a bit of controversy in that last Test with the ball changed the way that it was, gifted England some conditions they probably shouldn’t have got, think the level of cricket played across the series, the 2-2 result was probably fair.”
The series has been praised as a modern-ear classic with all five Tests finishing on the final day with all three results quite possible as well. While England could not won the Ashes, Australia lost the golden opportunity to win the series on English soil as well. However, Ponting gave the credit to the England top-order batters, especially Crawley.
“It was more their top-order batting, I think, [that] we struggled to come to grips with. The way that Crawley and Duckett were able to play at the start of every innings, really, they got England off to flying starts and put pressure straight back on the Australian attack. When that momentum started to build it was hard for the Australians to rein it back in. Zak Crawley has got to take a lot of credit, he was the one going into the series who was under the most pressure. That 180 he got at Manchester was as good a Test match batting as you could see…as I said it had [Pat Cummins] and the boys scratching their heads as to how they were going to bowl at him,” he concluded.