Brisbane, Dec 11 (IANS): Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has warned that if England doesn’t win the second Ashes Test starting at the Adelaide Oval from December 16, then they are in store for a repeat of the whitewash in the 2006/07 Ashes series. He added that the conditions in the Gabba were best suited for them. England began the 2021/22 Ashes by losing the first Test by nine wickets on Saturday.
“The conditions are only going to get better for Australia. Those conditions (in Brisbane) were very English-like. There was more pace and bounce but as far as their bowling is concerned, they’re probably not going to get that much movement anywhere else for the entire series. We saw them bowl really well on the last tour in Adelaide under lights where everything just fell perfectly into place,” Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“Australia had to bat for a session, the lights were on, brand new ball, clear night. We’ve also been to Adelaide at other times when the pink ball has done nothing, whether it’s a new ball or not. If they don’t win in Adelaide then there could be shades of ’06-07,” added Ponting, the winning captain of the 2006/07 series.
Ponting expressed displeasure over the omissions of James Anderson and Stuart Broad from the playing eleven of the first Test. “I can’t see why they would have left them (Broad and Anderson) out if they weren’t just getting them prepped and ready for Adelaide. I’m still staggered to this point now. If Stuart Broad and James Anderson are not better bowlers in Australia than Chris Woakes, then I’m not here. One of those two had to play. It might be that they’re only going to play one of Broad or Anderson in Adelaide. A lot of it might just depend on how Stokes pulls up between now and the start of the Adelaide game.”
The 46-year-old endorsed pacer Jhye Richardson over Michael Neser to be drafted into the playing eleven if Josh Hazlewood’s rib injury rules him out of Adelaide Test. “Richardson was obviously very close to playing this Test instead of Starc. He’s in great form. When the ball’s not swinging and seaming, I’d have him ahead of Neser as far as an all-round bowling package is concerned. Neser obviously thrives in swinging, seaming conditions that he gets at the Gabba — and might get at some stage in Adelaide – but I still think Richardson gets the nod (if required).”
Ponting signed off by saying that if he was at the helm, he would give all-rounder Cameron Green more overs with the ball. Green took the first three scalps of his Test career with the ball after going wicketless in his debut series against India last summer. “I know he was on bowling restrictions last summer but I think he’s a bit underused. Anytime he had the ball in his hand in Brisbane, something was happening. Even with the old ball, he got some swing.”
“He bowls with the newer ball for WA, he’s a noted swing bowler and he (regularly) gets the opportunity with a newer ball (in the Sheffield Shield). Going somewhere like Adelaide where there might be some movement, I’d give him a bit more of a crack as well. You look at him now and you think you can easily lock him in for 15 (overs) an innings.”