Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting questioned England’s decision-making ability, especially in the first two Tests at Edgbaston and Lord’s, after Australia retained the Ashes following the drawn fourth Test in Manchester. Despite being in good positions in the first two games, England lost.
While speaking on the ICC review after the fourth Test with Australia up 2-1, Ricky Ponting said: “Some of those decisions – the Edgbaston declaration, Lord’s first innings batting – I think they got a little bit carried away with it then. One thing that hasn’t probably been spoken enough about though is they have spoken about the right time and the right place to play that brand of cricket and they want to have aggressive cricketers and attacking cricketers, but they want to have smart cricketers as well.”
Despite criticizing the plans of the English team, the veteran applauded their batting display in the Manchester Test, where England scored a mammoth 592 at a run rate of 5.50 per over as well.
“I think a couple of times they just probably haven’t been as smart as they could have been. Day two at Manchester was just unbelievable cricket. Zak Crawley, 189 off 182 balls, and Joe Root, almost a run-a-ball, what’d he make, 80-odd. It was some of the most entertaining and demoralising Test match cricket that I’ve probably ever seen,” further added Ponting.
However, the weather played spoilsport for England and their chances to win on the final two days, where only 30 overs of play were possible as well, resulting in a draw. Ricky Ponting also stated that while it is great to be part of England’s Bazball batting style, the result still shows the Aussies leading 2-1, with England having no chance of winning the series as well.
“And that’s why it’s nice to be a part of, but at the end of the day, they’re 2-1 down, they can’t win the series, and as much as they’ve dominated, say they’ve dominated certain parts of the game, it still hasn’t been good enough to get their nose in front of the series,” concluded Ricky Ponting.
The final Test of the enthralling Ashes series begins at the Oval on Thursday, July 27.