Get the app

Ashes 2019 | Archer Spell to Smith Brings Back Memories of 2005: Ponting

While the Smith injury has caused a debate about the Stem Guards becoming mandatory, Ponting says enforcing a decision like that would be difficult given the importance of player comfort when facing express fast bowling."

Cricketnext Staff |August 18, 2019, 10:49 AM IST
Ashes 2019 | Archer Spell to Smith Brings Back Memories of 2005: Ponting

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has been part of some very heated and intense battles during the Ashes and compared Jofra Archer’s fiery spell on Saturday at Lord’s to Steve Harmison’s hostile spell on the first day of the series in 2005.

That time, Harmison left Ponting with blood pouring from his cheek, while Archer and Smith engaged in a thrilling battle; which saw the Australian take a nasty blow on the back of his neck forcing him to retire hurt for a while.

Smith later on came back to finish his innings and fell eight short of a third century in as many innings in the ongoing Ashes.

"That was a really fiery morning and last night brought back a few memories of what it was like," Ponting told cricket.com.au.

"I remember when I got hit, I think 'Vaughny' (England captain Michael Vaughan) said to his players, ‘no-one go and say a word to him and check if he's OK'. Which was fine by me, because my eyes were going a bit as it was, so I reckon I would have told them to get away in no uncertain terms anyway!

"Looking back, that's the way you want to play your cricket. You want to be involved in full-on Ashes battles and that day was as full-on as it got for me as a player. It was on for young and old.

"And watching that last night, it was probably as full-on as it's ever been for Smithy and most of the Australians in Ashes cricket recently."

Ponting expects both Archer and Smith to go have a good go at each other next time and believes whatever has happened between the duo with the injury is all part of being a Test cricketer.

"I don't think it'll be a series-defining spell," Ponting told cricket.com.au. "He's made 92 again. I know he'd made 70 or so before he copped that first knock and I wouldn't be surprised if they do attack him a bit more now.”

"But the one thing I like is that Archer didn't get Smith out. Smithy got through it without losing his wicket. Assuming everything is OK with that blow in the neck, he'll front up and do it all again in the second innings.”

"The one thing you don't want to be forced to do is to leave the field because, if anything, that's a win to the bowler. When Kemar Roach hit me in Perth (in 2009, when Ponting ultimately retired hurt due to a blow to the arm), I couldn't hold the bat at all, but I didn't go off until I got through his spell. I went off immediately after his spell finished."

"(Smith coming back onto the ground) might seem incredibly courageous to the average person sitting back and watching it, but that's just what you're expected to do. That's part of the job of being a Test batsman."

"He won't have any fear because it's just what you do every day. You face bowlers in the nets every day and you get hit every now and then. But certainly nothing changes in your mindset."

While the Smith injury has caused a debate about the Stem Guards becoming mandatory, Ponting says enforcing a decision like that would be difficult given the importance of player comfort when facing express fast bowling."

"I understand why they would want to make it mandatory to wear it," he said. "But I also understand as a player that your helmet is such an individual piece of equipment.”

"And obviously Smithy doesn't wear the Stem Guards because it's a comfort thing and he doesn't like the feeling around the back of his neck.”

"It must be really uncomfortable for guys not to be wearing it.”

"I don't want to sound dismissive of it, but I just know it was always about comfort for me. So I can totally understand why some players don't wear it."

Related stories

Also Watch

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more