Ponting wants more coaching support
Ricky Ponting has called for more specialist coaches under John Buchanan after being overwhelmed by England's list of support staff during the Ashes. "One of the big things that stood out to us was the resources they had available right through the series," Ponting said in a lengthy interview with The Weekend Australian.
"There's no doubt they've sat back, had a look at us and studied what we've done over the last three or four years with the structure around our team and coaching staff. They had so many hands on deck with lots of specialist coaches."
One of Australia's strengths since John Buchanan joined as coach in 1999 was their meticulous and successful planning, but Duncan Fletcher went even further and was rewarded with the 2-1 victory. "They were certainly very well managed, well planned and well skilled," Ponting said. "If you look at the way some of our individuals struggled through the tour, it's a pity we didn't have any expert coaches there or available to help those guys out."
While Australia had Buchanan and Jamie Siddons, the assistant coach, England used the full-time batting and bowling coaches Troy Cooley and Matthew Maynard, the former first-class players. Buchanan's contract expires next month and there has been much speculation about whether he will retain the position.
"I've loved everything that Buck [Buchanan] has done as coach," Ponting said. "He's probably approached things a different way to some but he's certainly taken the Australian cricket team to a place it has never been before. We can all get back there again with Buck as coach."
Ponting's place has also been criticised, with Dennis Lillee calling for him to be sacked as captain, and he said he was hurt by the comments. "I'm doing everything right by my team-mates and by everyone concerned with Australian cricket, I will always feel I'm doing my job right," he said. "For Dennis to sit back and say I should be sacked and be replaced by Shane Warne, it hurts to a certain degree."
Ponting predicted in the paper that there would not be many changes - if any - for next month's Super Series Test and one-day matches, and he said they had learned lessons from the Ashes. "I and a lot of guys have found out how tough sport at the highest level can be," he said. "We've had an unbelievably good run over a long period but it's all changed fairly dramatically over the last few weeks."