AUSSIES IMPROVE

Ricky Ponting has said that Australia needs to improve in all the three departments of the game if they have to win the return Ashes series down under.

Australia has recently lost the Ashes series in England by 3-0. This was the third time in a row that they ended up losing the Ashes.

It’s not that Australia played pathetic cricket throughout the series. They played well in patches. In fact, in 4 out of the 5 test matches, they were on the driving seat at some stage. But, barring that Old Trafford test match where the rain gods saved England, Australia always seemed to find a way of losing the plot. They couldn’t hold their nerves during crucial moments.

That’s where England was better. Whenever they got into a difficult situation, somebody came up with something special.

Ponting pointed towards the same thing in one of his recent interviews. The former Australian captain said, “We played well at times, but, we couldn’t deliver knockout punches.  All of them were delivered by England and that’s the difference between an experienced team and a young team. The experienced teams know how to handle pressure situations.”

“I think Australia will have to have a stable batting line up. You just can’t keep making changes in the batting order all the time, but, that’s what happened in this series.”

“Australia can take heart from the way their quickies bowled. Ryan Harris was outstanding. Mitchell Starc also showed that on his day he can be a tough bowler to face.”

Ricky Ponting featured for Australia in a total of 8 Ashes series in his 17-year career. Australia won 5 out of those 8 series.

Under Ponting’s captaincy, Australia had whitewashed England in the 2006-07 Ashes series.