The Ashes: England, according to Ricky Ponting, is the worst-performing side to have visited Australia

The Ashes
Source: Skysports

The Ashes: Following their Ashes humiliation, Ricky Ponting has dubbed the current England squad the worst-performing team to tour the country.

With an innings-and-14-run win at Melbourne, Australia ensured retention of the urn within 12 days of cricket – England spent longer in quarantine at the start of the tour – and moved into an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Ex-players have called the tourists’ collapse to 68 all out in the second innings of the Boxing Day Test “embarrassing,” and former Australia captain Ponting believes many of their batters aren’t up to par at the highest level.

“I don’t think I’ve seen a worse-performing team in Australia than what I’ve seen over the last three games,” Ponting said.

“I’ve seen some of the English top-order hitters on the previous two tours, and without naming names, there are some approaches there that I simply know aren’t going to hold up at Test level.”

“You got what happened when you put world-class bowlers up against sub-standard tactics in difficult conditions” (at the MCG). Their batting is simply not good enough, based on what I’ve seen.”

The repercussions began with rumours about captain Joe Root’s and head coach Chris Silverwood’s futures, as well as soul-searching about county cricket and whether it is generating Test-ready players.

One alternative, according to Ponting, is to implement the Kookaburra ball in the LV= Insurance County Championship, similar to how Australia implemented the Dukes in 2016-17 to assist prepare their hitters for 2019 Ashes.

“This is something we’ve gone through in Australia,” Ricky Ponting continued. “If you go back a few years to when we were struggling in England, you’ll notice that we altered the conditions, the ball, and everything else because we were struggling in those conditions.

“England may want to consider how they may make their conditions more conducive to ours. They still play well in England, but not so much when they come here – so perhaps they’ll use the Kookaburra ball more.

“Maybe they’ll flatten the wickets a little to reduce the amount of swing and seam. It might be the same hiccup (Australia) experienced three or four years ago.”

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