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Ashes 2019 | Australia’s Batsmen More to Blame Than Bowlers for Current Situation: Ponting

Cricketnext Staff |August 3, 2019, 11:44 AM IST
Ashes 2019 | Australia’s Batsmen More to Blame Than Bowlers for Current Situation: Ponting

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting believes it is the Australian batsmen who are more at fault for England’s strong position in Edgbaston after the first two days of the first Ashes Test and not the bowlers.

The four man pace attack without the regulars like Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood took only four wickets as Rory Burns and Joe Root stood firm.

According to Ponting there will be a rethink in the bowling attack if England’s batsmen continue to prosper, but also added that it’s too early to be questioning the bowlers.

"We’ll wait and see at the end of the Test match," Ponting told cricket.com.au. "If they lose because they haven’t had much penetration with the ball, I think they’ll think about it.

"But at the end of the day, it’s the batting in the first innings that has let the team down so far. You take Steve Smith out of that first innings and it was pretty bad.

"I don’t think they’ll be talking too much about the bowling yet."

Siddle, who starred in the intra-squad game and was surprisingly picked ahead of Starc and Hazlewood, to partner Pat Cummins and James Pattinson finished with figures of 1/43 in 21 overs.

Ponting was impressed with how the Victorian performed on Friday, but said his style of bowling may become less effective later in the match on a pitch that is vastly different to the one in the warm-up game.

"I must admit, I was surprised that one of Hazlewood or Starc didn’t play," he said. "But the feedback coming out of that (warm-up) game was how impressive Siddle was and that he bowled unbelievably well.

"I can understand why he was picked. He did bowl well (on Friday), he was asking a lot of questions and challenging the batters.

"When he was named in the squad, the first thing I thought was 'they'll wait to get the conditions that might be a bit greener or overcast'. They've gone with him in this first Test, probably on the form in the warm-up game and his form with Essex.

"When Tests come to the fourth and fifth day when there's going to be very little in the wicket for him, I think that’s when he'll find it hard. He hasn't got the penetration that Hazlewood and Starc have got so he has to do other things exceptionally well to get wickets, like bowl a lot of maiden overs and build pressure. It'll be hard to get a breakthrough as this wicket flattens out."

Ponting, who played with Burns in 2013 in Surrey, said he had tried to convince the southpaw to change his unorthodox style then but had not succeeded.

"The one thing I tried to do the whole time I was there was to change his technique," he said. "I was forever trying to get him to change his grip and square the bat face up a little bit more.

"He tried (to change) but the hardest thing in coaching is when you see things like that, where everything is nowhere near the textbook, it's hard to get guys to make any kind of change when it’s something they’ve done for 20 years.

"Steve Smith always talks about the feel of the bat in his hand, so changing things with someone like Rory Burns would make everything feel so foreign. They'll try for two minutes but then they'll go back to what they know pretty quickly.

"I was trying to help him but if it's too much of a change, you've just got to let them get on with it.

"He just scored an Ashes hundred so he must be doing something right."

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