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Ashes 2019: Australia Shouldn't Worry About Headingley Encore at Old Trafford - Ponting

Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting believes that the Headingley Test - where England chased down 359 despite being 286-9 at one point thanks to Ben Stokes' heroics with the bat - won't play on the Australian team's mind on Day 5 of the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

Cricketnext Staff |September 8, 2019, 8:33 AM IST
Ashes 2019: Australia Shouldn't Worry About Headingley Encore at Old Trafford - Ponting

Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting believes that the Headingley Test - where England chased down 359 despite being 286-9 at one point thanks to Ben Stokes' heroics with the bat - won't play on the Australian team's mind on Day 5 of the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

At the end of Day 4, England were 18-2 having lost both Rory Burns and Joe Root thanks to Pat Cummins. England need a further 365 runs to win the Test match and Australia will fancy their chances of ending the Test match on the winning side.

"It's a completely different set of circumstances. Headingley, that wicket actually got better and better. It finished middle of day four, didn't even get into the fifth day. This pitch has got worse and worse as the days have gone on," Ponting told cricket.com.au.

"Australia don't need to be spooked about anything there; one for the fact they should have won, but two it's not going to be easy for anyone starting on that pitch against Australia's attack.

"Nathan Lyon didn't get any wickets in the first innings, but he will in the second innings. There is going to be so much on offer for him out there it's not funny.

"Even some of the balls we saw today, the spin and bounce is going to be a nightmare for anyone starting against him."

Ponting also admitted that England's tactics in the final session of the day surprised him, as he believed Joe Root should have started the session with one of Jofra Archer or Stuart Broad.

"I was extremely surprised at England's tactics after tea. To not start with one of Archer or Broad for me was staggering.

"I think the most important phase of play for England was the first hour after tea and they decided to go with Overton and Leach, and I know Overton only bowled three overs but it just seemed to quieten the whole crowd down and it gave Smith a chance to get in and get settled and start again.

"They'll have their reasons, but it seemed as though they wanted Archer and Broad to bowl late in the session and slow the game down. I think they bowled six overs in 40 minutes. You'd have to say it's unacceptable to bowl seven-minute overs."

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Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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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
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 India 8411 263
4 Australia 5471 261
5 South Africa 4407 259
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