The Ashes still have some time to get under way. But the verbal war has already begun as each team tries mental mind games to get on top of the other. In another instance where this is happening is where Ricky Ponting is using his time away from the field to highlight the weaknesses of some of the England batsmen ahead of the traditional clash.
The Australian captain is keenly aware of the wobbles that the England team suffered when facing Pakistan at home. And knowing that his own team has been in trouble, particularly with losing the Border Gavaskar Trophy in a whitewash against India in India, Ponting is looking to play up England’s chinks in the armour.
Speaking to UAE’s Radio 2, Ponting highlighted the good, bad and ugly about England cricket for the Ashes. Here’s what he has to say, not losing sight of the batsmen who have struggled in recent times while also, playing up those that have done well.
Ponting says of England’s strengths when he mentions the obvious about Graeme Swann,
They have some good players in their side at the moment, who are playing well. Graeme Swann is probably the stand out. Stuart Broad, and probably their captain (Andrew Strauss), these have been the guys who have stood up for them over the last couple of years. But they have certainly been the more consistent team than any English team I have played against in the past.
Ponting though is equally keen to highlight the batsmen that will be under pressure, and no doubt will be targetted by the Australian bowlers to counteract their own deficiencies in the bowling department,
Alastair Cook is just holding on to his spot by the skin of his teeth, and Paul Collingwood has probably not had the best Test summer of his life either. So there is enough happening around there to know that they will be a little nervous when they arrive in Australia.
But Ponting did not skip a beat, knowing that Kevin Pietersen has been in the limelight and subject of much discussion. In a bid to perhaps rile the England batsman, who incidentally has the support of his captain, Ponting chose to portray KP as something of a nuisance to the present England squad,
Kevin Pietersen, obviously, is a big question mark for them at the moment.
Ponting is hoping that England will struggle to adjust to Australia’s pitch conditions as his own captaincy as well as his personal batting form has been subject of much debate in Australia and it will not be an easy encounter for Australia even in their backyard.