Ashes 2021-22: Former Australia captain Ponting sees 'shades of 2006-07' after England collapse

By Sports Desk December 11, 2021

Ricky Ponting predicted England's Ashes situation could look extremely bleak if they do not bounce back in the second Test in Adelaide.

Australia cruised to a thumping nine-wicket victory at The Gabba on Saturday, as England's good work on day three was totally undone.

Nathan Lyon led the way for Australia in the morning session, taking four wickets and bringing up his 400th in Test cricket. England managed just 77 runs as they surrendered their last eight wickets, taking them to a total of 297, having begun day four on 220-2.

Australia were set 20 runs for victory and easily reached the total following lunch, despite the loss of Alex Carey.

Mitchell Starc's dismissal of Rory Burns with the very first ball in Brisbane rather set the tone for a Test in which England were always behind the eight-ball, and former Australia skipper Ponting believes there could be a similar outcome to the hosts' 5-0 triumph in the 2006-07 series.

 

Having ended Australia's eight-series winning streak with victory in 2005, England went Down Under with a point to prove 18 months later, but Ponting's side cruised to a series whitewash.

Indeed, England have not won a Test in Australia since they triumphed 3-1 in the 2010-11 series, suffering 5-0 and 4-0 defeats in their subsequent trips.

After the day-night Test in Adelaide, the series goes to Melbourne, Sydney and then finishes in Hobart, which has replaced Perth as the final venue.

"The conditions are only going to get better for Australia," former Test captain Ponting told cricket.com.au.

"Those conditions [in Brisbane] were very English-like. There was more pace and bounce but as far as their bowling is concerned, they're probably not going to get that much movement anywhere else for the entire series.

"We saw them bowl really well on the last tour in Adelaide under lights where everything just fell perfectly into place – Australia had to bat for a session, the lights were on, brand-new ball, clear night.

"We've also been to Adelaide at other times when the pink ball has done nothing, whether it's a new ball or not. If they don't win in Adelaide then there could be shades of '06-07."

Though Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood bowled well in Brisbane, eyebrows were raised by England's decision to leave out both Stuart Broad and James Anderson.

Such surprise was a sentiment shared by Ponting.

"I can't see why they would have left them [Broad and Anderson] out if they weren't just getting them prepped and ready for Adelaide," said Ponting.

"I'm still staggered to this point now. If Stuart Broad and James Anderson are not better bowlers in Australia than Chris Woakes, then I'm not here. One of those two had to play.

"It might be that they're only going to play one of Broad or Anderson in Adelaide. A lot of it might just depend on how [Ben] Stokes pulls up between now and the start of the Adelaide game."

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