The Ashes 2010-11 November 3, 2010

Ponting cannot survive another defeat - Vaughan

ESPNcricinfo staff

England's former Ashes-winning captain, Michael Vaughan, believes that Ricky Ponting's reign as Australia skipper will be over if he fails to recapture the urn in the forthcoming series.

Australia's troubled build-up to the Ashes received another setback on Wednesday night, as they succumbed to a remarkable one-wicket defeat against Sri Lanka in the first ODI at Melbourne, despite having at one stage had their opponents on the ropes at 107 for 8.

Although Ponting was not involved in that match, having passed the captaincy over to Michael Clarke, the result was nevertheless their sixth consecutive defeat in all international cricket, dating back to Pakistan's victory at Headingley in the second Test back in July, and also encompassing last month's barren tour of India.

Vaughan, who has been as vocal in the build-up to this year's Ashes as he was silent ahead of the last tour in 2006-07, when injury forced him onto the sidelines during Australia's 5-0 whitewash, believes that every new set-back is a boost for England, who have been quietly building towards Friday's first warm-up match against Western Australia, having arrived in Perth over the weekend.

"Another knock of confidence," wrote Vaughan on Twitter in the aftermath of the MCG match. "Lots of people seem to be taking great pleasure from the fact Australia keep losing... long may it continue..."

Ponting was in charge during the whitewash four years ago, but his reputation was badly dented last summer, as he became the first Australian captain since Billy Murdoch in the 19th Century to lose two Ashes series in England. In Vaughan's opinion, there is no way he can stay in the job if he fails to make amends in the coming series.

"If he loses the series he will go," said Vaughan. "He has lost the Ashes twice and hasn't won an Ashes in England either. Obviously he won the 06-07 Ashes 5-0 but he had a better team to manage those days but now he has a team that is almost back in the ranks of normal cricket teams.

"His record in Australia is phenomenal but he will have to be at his best, both as a captain and as a batsman, to put England under pressure," added Vaughan. "It's harder being a captain when you don't have the ammunition in your bowling attack that includes the likes of Warne, McGrath and Gillespie.

"He doesn't have the X-factor bowlers who can change games. That puts your batsmen under a lot more pressure because they know that you have to get lots more runs to give your bowlers something to bowl at. If they'd have got 300 a few years ago, they knew that Warne and McGrath would get them back in the game, but now they need 400 plus to really put England under pressure."

Warne, for his part, hit back in the war of words when he suggested to Vaughan, via Twitter, that he shouldn't get too carried away just yet. "yeah yeah yeah, whatever bud [sic]," he wrote. "Your ( poms ) are very cocky at present , Mmmmm could end in tears for you all, just chill !"

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tushar on November 7, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    I do however think that Vaughan is wrong about Ponting. Even if Australia do lose, Ponting is indispensible and currently the best hope to turn the aussie fortunes around. His captaincy is fairly imaginative but he lacks the patience with his bowlers. Something that Indian captains have always had in abundance. The real issue for Aussies to sort out is to ensure that the form players are getting the chance to bat. Marcus North should never have been persisted with for this long unless there are no other form batsmen around. The need of the hour is for Aussies to put bigger scores on the board and having out of form batsmen in the team is a guaranteed way of losing matches.

  • Tushar on November 7, 2010, 16:30 GMT

    Timmy, Isn't Vaughan one of the most successful English captains of all time? I remember being very impressed with his ruthless captaincy. It was after his tenure that England started sliding down and only recently have re-surrected some of that under Strauss captaincy. Vaughan led England beat Australia that had McGrath and Warne in full flight. Flintoff, Harmison, Hoggard and Jones were used very effectively to cut down the dangerous Aussie batting line up to size. That 2005 england team was the best English team in my living memory and it became that way under Vaughan. Hussain had more or less the same time with very ordinary results. It was Vaughan who made them into a top team. Unfortunately it did not last as long as he would have liked with his own injuries taking a heavy toll.

  • Chris on November 4, 2010, 23:56 GMT

    The best player in the team doesn't even play first class cricket anymore. BRAD HODGE!

  • Tim on November 4, 2010, 23:54 GMT

    Vaughan should look after his own backyard. Look at his own miserable test captancy record before you worry about anyone elses.

  • Michael on November 4, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    One hopes that England win well but Ricky stays as captain-after all it would be so much fun if he led a third desperate but unsuccessful assault on the Ashes here in 2013. Truly memorable.

  • habeeb on November 4, 2010, 10:24 GMT

    I love reading about the pre-Ashes hype! Ricky will win this ASHES SERIES and will prove his detractors wrong. yes they are not winning at the moment but every team will have a lean patch and at the moment the AUSSIES are at the receiving end. YES YOU ARE RIGHT WARNIE, IT COULD END IN TEARS FOR ENGLAND. VAUGHAN is already talking about the INDIAN series they are going to play NEXT YEAR. Well I am impressed with Vaughan's confidence in ENGLAND's team,there is nothing wrong in having confidence but do you reckon ENGLAND will win the ASHES this year. VAUGHAN you won that ASHES (2005) SERIES because of the bad UMPIRING decision against KASPROWICZ. caught behind REMEMBER. Other wise it could have been a different story.

  • A on November 4, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    It's a little amusing to see posters on here taking the bait. Vaughan is trying to wind the Aussies up and, judging by the comments here, doing a pretty good job of it! It's bloody brilliant to see the Aussies struggling and for an English guy like Vaughan to bring a little psychology to the Ashes hype. For so long during the 90s & 00's all we had was Aussie players and ex-players doing that to us! As for Ponting having to go if he loses the Ashes in his own backyard? If you think about it, that would be such a monumental defeat, for a side used to winning everything not so long ago, that given the recent Aussie slide into the 'also-rans' division I think there would be a concerted effort to 'retire' him.

  • Dummy4 on November 4, 2010, 8:30 GMT

    I simply love Warne's reply ... As for Vaughan, has he retired yet?

  • Grant on November 4, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    Absolutely no pun intended with "pontificate" by the way.

  • Grant on November 4, 2010, 7:49 GMT

    Vaughn is taking on the normally very Australian role of the ex-player who pontificates to bait the oposition. Campese used to do it in Rugby Union, whenever there was a mention of English rugby, they'd wheel campese out to say they were rubbish. I was never sure whether the papers used to phone him for comment or whether he used to offer his rants unsolicited. Warne plays that role for Australian cricket at the moment, (Lillee's recent attempt was very poor) but does it with a lot more charm and probably to better effect than Vaughn (or for that matter Campese)

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