Ponting sees batting flaws
Ricky Ponting has noted England's batting problems against Pakistan, and plans to exploit those failings in the Ashes.
Last Updated: 26/08/10 12:57pm
Ricky Ponting's eyes have been lighting up watching England's batting problems against Pakistan, and says Australia plan to exploit those failings in the Ashes.
Australia's captain has well and truly begun the pre-Ashes mind games with his comments this week, and camped up the pressure on England again as they prepare to start their final Test with Pakistan at Lord's.
From his team's Queensland training camp, Ponting has already said another 5-0 drubbing may be in the offing for England after their whitewash in Australia four years ago.
All-rounder Shane Watson has since had his say, calling into question the readiness of England's new fast-bowling find Steven Finn for such an arduous and high-profile series.
Now Ponting is back making the headlines, commenting on England's habit of collapsing in their ongoing npower series at home to Pakistan.
"There are probably a few little cracks starting to open up with England, particularly with the batting side of things," Ponting told Sky Sports.
With the likes of Kevin Pietersen, captain Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood all currently averaging under 30 against Pakistan this summer, Ponting has a theory too that Eoin Morgan will play ahead of Ian Bell in the middle order against Australia.
"He's been impressive in a few games against us in one-day cricket," he said of the Irish-born left-hander, who has one Test hundred to his name after five matches so far.
"I think they will play him at Bell's expense. There seems to be a bit of a buzz around the country with Morgan.
"I think they liked his attitude more than anything else. I think that's probably something they'd like for a big series."
Ponting notes England have the assistance of Australian David Saker as their bowling coach, but warns advice from beyond the boundary - however expert - has its limitations.
"I know they have an Australian bowling coach with them at the moment," he said. "But you can have all the coaching you want - it is what you do on the field that wins you matches."
As for his own future, it seems 35-year-old Ponting may remain a significant opponent for England beyond this winter.
"It was probably my most inconsistent 12 months last year, and I have to change that as a number three batter," he admitted.
"I'd like to think (I can play) a lot more. Realistically, (I suppose) I will not do that. But I have not even thought about retirement.
"It is all dependent on how well I play. I am enjoying the game as much as I ever have. With the challenge I have for the next eight months, I could not ask for anything better."