England will lose Ashes series 4-0, says Ricky Ponting
"I've been a bit more outward than normal about this one because I honestly think that Australia will win really easily."
By Richard Cooke
Last Updated: 15/11/17 9:08am
Ricky Ponting has delivered a scathing assessment of England's Ashes prospects, claiming they will lose the series 4-0.
The former Australia captain has questioned England's batting order, pointed to the absence of all-rounder Ben Stokes and claimed James Anderson and Stuart Broad are in "steady decline".
Ponting thinks England's only hope of winning a Test is the day-night match in Adelaide.
Speaking to cricket.com.au he said: "I've been a bit more outward than normal about this one because I honestly think that Australia will win really easily.
"If you look through the current England team, they're searching for an opener, they're searching for a No 3, Stokes might not be there, a couple of their quicks have gone down.
"I just think right now England have got more gaps and more cause for concern than Australia, not only in their XI but in their entire squad.
"James Anderson and Stuart Broad, as good as they've been over the years, I think they're on a steady decline. They're not going to get better from here as cricketers, [though] they're hanging on to a reasonably high level of performance.
"Then you match it up against what we've got (Mitchell) Starc, (Pat) Cummins and (Josh) Hazlewood who are skyrocketing - those guys are on the up.
"I'm pretty confident that we've got a group of guys there who are going to make it really hard for England to win a game
"My prediction is that I think it will be 4-0 Australia, and I think the best chance that England have got will be in Adelaide where a night game, pink ball, the night time conditions will suit Anderson and Broad down to the ground.
"If if they don't win that one, I can't see them winning one."