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‘Worst ever’: Ponting blasts England



Australia has taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the Ashes in just 12 days as England endures a tour from hell. The Poms haven’t won a Test match Down Under since the 2010-11 series and are staring down another 5-0 whitewash unless they can turn their form around in the last two matches in Sydney and Hobart. Catch every moment of The Ashes live and ad-break free during play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free now.Apart from some resistance from captain Joe Root and No. 3 Dawid Malan, England’s batters have proved incapable of posting a competitive first innings score and its top and middle orders have collapsed repeatedly. After losing the Boxing Day Test in humiliating fashion by an innings and 14 runs in just over two days, England has some serious soul-searching to do. The tourists have barely put up a fight this summer and Ponting, who led Australia to a 5-0 Ashes win in 2006-07, believes he hasn’t seen a worse team play on Australian soil. “I don’t think I’ve seen a worse-performing team in Australia than what I’ve seen over the last three games,” he told A scathing Ponting said England’s batters just aren’t up to scratch and don’t have the technique to succeed in the Test arena. “Some of the English top-order batters that I’ve seen in the last couple of tours, without giving names, there’s some techniques there that I just know are not going to stand up at Test level,” he said.“In challenging conditions and world-class bowlers up against substandard techniques, then you get what happened (at the MCG).“The little swing dibbly-dobblers that are getting them out over there (in county cricket), they’re not facing that at Test level. They’re facing guys who can actually bowl.“What I’ve seen with their batting, they’re just simply not good enough.”Ponting suggested England may need to implement some different strategies in county cricket to ensure touring batters are more comfortable facing the Kookaburra ball on Australian pitches. “England might need to have a look at how they can make their conditions more suitable to ours,” he said.“They play well in England still but they don’t play well when they come here – so maybe they play more with the Kookaburra ball.“Maybe they flatten the wickets out a little bit so there’s not as much swing and seam, so the batters are making bigger scores and batting for longer periods of time.”Dukes balls were introduced to the Sheffield Shield in 2016-17 to help prepare Australia’s batters for the ball used on English pitches in the lead up to the 2019 Ashes. Tim Paine’s side retained the urn on English soil for the first time since 2001, drawing the series 2-2. “We’ve been through this in Australia,” Ponting said.“It might be the exact same blip that (Australia) had to have three or four years ago.“You wind the clock back a few years ago when we had our struggles in England, we changed conditions, we changed the ball, we changed everything because we were poor in those conditions.”The fourth Ashes Test is set to get underway on Wednesday January 5 at the SCG.

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