Former Australian World Cup-winning captain Ricky Ponting has recently said that the host will be in an advantageous position due to the absence of star all-rounder Ben Stokes and recent injuries to their pace bowling attack. His statements came after the recent criticism that was meted out to Australian batting order by England’s legend Ian Botham and Graeme Swann. Ponting also savaged a relatively weak English batting-order.
“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 number three, Stokes might not be there, a couple of their quicks have gone down.” a confident Ponting was heard saying to cricket.com.au.
Ponting further stated that that English has not only got gaps in the first XI but the entire squad.
“I just think right now England has got more gaps and more cause for concern is not only in their 11 but in their entire squad than what Australia has,” he added.
England pacer Jake Ball will miss the third and final warm-up game ahead of their first Test commencing from November 23 after he sustained a ligament injury during England’s win over Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide. Earlier, tall and lanky pacer Steve Finn was ruled out of the whole series with an ankle injury and was replaced by the young uncapped Tom Curran.
The 42-year-old Ponting further admitted that England’s fast bowling duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad are on a steady decline though they have maintained a high level of performance, whereas, the baggy greens have a flourishing bowling line-up in the form of Mitchell Starc, Jose Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins. He concluded by saying that England possesses the capability of only winning the second Test match at Adelaide.