The Ashes 2010-11 November 10, 2010

Ponting says England will struggle with Gabba pitch

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ricky Ponting has warned England they will find it "hard to come to grips" with the Gabba pitch despite their extensive preparation for the Ashes. The tourists will have had three warm-up matches by the time they reach Brisbane for the first Test on November 25, but Ponting does not believe it will help them deal with the pace and bounce of the surface.

"With just a normal Brisbane wicket, visiting teams find it hard to come to terms with just how different it is up there," Ponting said in the Australian. England played in Perth over the weekend and start a match in Adelaide on Thursday, before their final warm-up in Hobart next week.

The tourists' first look at the Gabba will come on the opening day of the series. "Our record there is unbelievably good and we want to make sure we continue that on," Ponting said.

"There's been a lot made of England's preparation, the fact that they're here early and they're playing lots of games, but they don't play a match at the Gabba before the first Test. They'll definitely still find it hard to come to grips with what they're confronted with in Brisbane day one."

The pitch has caused lots of problems for batsmen this season with extra bounce and seam following an unusually wet spring. Queensland were dismissed by New South Wales for 75 and 96 in a Sheffield Shield game two weeks ago and Sri Lanka were knocked over for 115 in an ODI on Sunday.

Australia's last loss at the ground came against West Indies in 1988-89. "In my mind it's been the best cricket wicket in Australia for as long as I've been playing the game," Ponting said. "There's always something in it for everyone. The fast bowlers always get something out of it, it spins late in the game, and it's a great place to bat once you get in."

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  • Mark on November 16, 2010, 11:22 GMT

    Yeah I second Phoenixsteve, Come on England! I think England can win this time, I think come the end of the summer, there is a good chance the wonderful game of Cricket's inventors will retain the urn, and aussies will once again be crying into their vegemite jars. Still I am not stupid enough to right off aussies on home soil. Especially if they have appalling saudi arabian desert type conditions with a hard sun baked pitch and 40+ degree temperatures. That said weather forecasters are predicting English like weather conditions meaning much over cast and rain at least till January known as a la nina event. Looks like for once the cricketing gods are favouring England. That is why England's cricketers have a good chance of retaining the Ashes in Australia like Mike Gatting's team did all those years ago in 1987. Good luck England!

  • Steve on November 13, 2010, 5:14 GMT

    @marcio IF Collingwood indeed said that ..... then he's an idiot! He probably won't even be in the side in 10years time! I'm a Colly fan - who is a stark contrast to many test circiketers who consistently 'punch under their weight' but I can't imagine him saying this? Sure, England would LIKE to dominate test cricket for 10, 20, 30 years or more..... but just beating the Aussies one ashes series at a time is enough for this England fan! My humble apologies to all the great test sides in world cricket IF Colly did say that! England are a good side at the moment and hopefully will beat a vulnerable Australia? Great? Not yet..... Come on England!

  • Marcio on November 11, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    I note Collingwood today said England was out to dominate test cricket for ten years, the way Australia did in recent years (Broad said the same). I wonder why there is no story on that? Now, who is the more delusional and arrogant? Ponting, who says Australia will do well on the Gabba, just like they have almost every game for the last 23 years (Including annihilating SL by 30 overs there a few days ago), or Collingwood, with a team that won both the ashes and the recent one day series, both by ONE WICKET in the games that ultimately decided the series, and at home. Oh, and they are ranked #3 or 4 in tests. But hey, please our northern friends! Spare Collingwood the roasting that will surely come for making a comment a thousand times more outrageous than the relatively mundane comment Ponting made. For some, no word is too neutral to let pass a tirade of hissing, belching, bitterness. What is the national fruit of the relevant nation? The lemon?

  • rob on November 11, 2010, 11:22 GMT

    I wish Aus would stop all this navel-gazing. The quicker they announce the team the better. As for the first test- I think Bollinger could do well, especially against England's top order. The top three will do well to stay around in the first 15 overs of their innings. If England don't want to lose the first test they need to bat patiently (not sure KP can do this though :-S)

  • Mick on November 11, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    If he wasn't busy being an international cricketer with better things to do I'd almost think Ponting said some of these things for nothing else than to see the hysterical response from shrieking Indian fans. Entertains me anyway. Methinks its not so much the English fans posting this puffed chest bravado as, even if they have a bit of confidence, they know how tough it is to win in Australia so wisely are keeping their powder dry for now. Difference being, Indians don't know what it takes to win in Australia, NEVER done it.

  • Andy on November 11, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    masterblaster can't remember Gabba day one last time around! England wins toss and bowls. Harmison bowls to 2nd slip and game is over in 1st session!

  • Dummy4 on November 11, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    masterblaster1971. by the looks of it you don't know much about the gabba pitch either. the gabba test pitch is always a bat first pitch. just ask nassur husain

  • Dummy4 on November 11, 2010, 6:07 GMT

    mind games again from ponting,but there is a much stronger english batting line up with some quality fast bowlers in thier side , compare to england aussies hav inexperienced bowling attack, it woul be a test of nerves down under

  • Nathan on November 11, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    lol can only laugh at the apoplectic indignation that emanates from the anti-Australian brigade every time an Australian cricketer opens his mouth. I'm sure if Punter said 'Hi my name is Ricky', even this would be construed as 'mind games'. Seriously guys, get over it. The fact that the poms are struggling against an average first class side on the featherbed Adelaide Oval, not to mention recent results from the GABBA, indicates that everything Ricky says is true. But hey, don't ever let facts get in the way of an anti-Aussie rant!

  • Mark on November 11, 2010, 3:26 GMT

    Australian Captain Ricky Ponting telling his opposite number they have weopons of mass destruction. But like his twin looking brother former US president George W Bush, they probably don't exist. Thanks for the info Australian Capt George W Ponting I mean Ricky Ponting.

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