The Ashes 2010-11 November 3, 2010

Ponting cannot survive another defeat - Vaughan

ESPNcricinfo staff
25

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

  • tvradke 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.

  • tvradke 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.

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

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

  • TimmyF_23 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.

  • 2.14istherunrate 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.

  • aussies_thebest 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.

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point 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.

  • on November 4, 2010, 8:30 GMT

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

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

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

  • Truemans_Ghost 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)

  • tvradke 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.

  • tvradke 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.

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

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

  • TimmyF_23 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.

  • 2.14istherunrate 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.

  • aussies_thebest 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.

  • Snick_To_Backward_Point 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.

  • on November 4, 2010, 8:30 GMT

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

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

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

  • Truemans_Ghost 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)

  • svengali47 on November 4, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    Australia is going through changes and Ponting is the one to lead them and Cameron White should be groomed to take his place after the next Ashes series and he should take over the one day sides now and just keep Ponting for tests only. Steve Smith and Steve O'Keefe should be blooded this series from the start and our line up should be Watson, Katich, Ponting, Smith, O'Keefe, White, Hussey, Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Bollinger. And for Brisbane maybe play Cameron and Copeland from NSW instead of O'Keefe and Johnson if the conditions look overcast.

  • on November 4, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    Nice to see some Englishmen getting ahead of themselves! you will notice that none of the Englishmen who kept getting hammered like Atherton, Gooch and so many others take Australia lightly and how long will the rest of the world talk about Warne and McGrath? Yes if Ponting loses, he will be asked to step down, but no one can take away his batting record, his three world cup triumphs, two as captain, champions trophies, a 5-o win in the last Ashes and the best test team in the world for nearly a decade. He has an ordinary side and no one knows that better than Ponting himself. He is a street fighter, he will go down fighting if he has to. Remember his batting in 2005? Worryingly for England, he batted really well in India . England are no favourites and all it needs for the tour to go horribly wrong is a couple of injuries. One of Australia:s problems has been the injuries. "Don"t get ahead of yourself Vaughnie...." as Shane might say sridhar

  • Philvdk on November 4, 2010, 2:45 GMT

    I can't believe all the "Pointing will have to go" hysteria. What a load of crap. He's the best player in the team, one of the best players in world cricket, and will be around for as long as he wants. The Aussies go through a losing patch and all the doom and gloom merchants start coming out of the woodwork. They've obviously been so frustrated having been kept quiet for such a long time during Australia's long dominance. Now it's the "Aussie bashers" moment in the sun. Well, enjoy it for now because it won't last for long. And stop rolling out the old Warne McGrath lines. They've retired, the same as Bradman, Lillee, Thommo have. Move on and get with the players we have now. Prediction - the Aussies will win the Ashes comfortably.

  • Bone101 on November 4, 2010, 0:11 GMT

    Vaughan is a muppet. And Ricky is a legend and the most succesful captain of all time.

  • spun_thru-thg8 on November 3, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    Yawn.....is that the wittiest mental disintegration Vaughan can conjure? How original!!Didnt Allan Border lose two ashes series as skipper 1985, and 1986-87, and Australia was at the bottom of world cricket then(worse than the current situation). I dont remember any body calling for his head at the time. AB is mostly remembered for the way he won the ashes back in '89 and guiding Australia through a difficult rebuilding phase back up to the top of world cricket as well as his gutsy batting. Australia couldnt afford to lose AB back then and cannot afford to lose Ponting now. Sure Australia is no longer invincible nor yet easy beats. Sure there is no McGrath and Warne. Its become boring hearing that repeated. What we have is some capable players trying to forge a new team in place of the stars that left over the last few years. If anything needs to be done it is the sort of hard work on the basics of the game that took place uder Bob Simpson as coach. Anyway thanks Ricky and stay please

  • on November 3, 2010, 21:12 GMT

    2 down after 2 and Australia are looking for a new captain for Perth.3 good seamers.The best spinner in the world,aided by 2 aussie left armers.Why not!

  • Fleuressence on November 3, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    @boris6491 If Ponting goes and Clarke is still struggling a little with the bat I would think Katich would become test captain. Clarke ODI captain. Haddin will be lucky to keep his place in the team if he doesn't score a lot of runs with the bat, since Tim Paine is a far more capable keeper.

  • on November 3, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    haha..loved warnie's response..classic shane!

  • phoenixsteve on November 3, 2010, 16:43 GMT

    Here we go again ...more pre-Ashes hype! I find the Aussies latest defeat both encouraging and worrying - as an England fan! It's good to see them losing in their own backyard but let's not get over confident. This is Australia a great test team from a great cricketing nation ...who are pretty much addicted to beating England! Warne may be right and it could all end in tears! Although from memory it's more likely to be an Aussie who crys over defeat than an Englishman! I remember Kim Hughes blubbering after the West Indies 'blackwash 'in the 80's.. quite a contrast to the dignified refections of the then England captain David Gower! Of course Aussie supporters will argue that " of course England are better losers - they've had more practice!" The bottom line is; This is going to be a great series. Whover plays close to their potential will win. The England middle order still worries me and let's not underestimate just how good a player Ponting is. Is newboy emergence Doherty a worry?

  • on November 3, 2010, 14:57 GMT

    ....................Spot on Warnie!

  • swervin on November 3, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    when everyone says Ponting is the "first Australian captain since Billy Murdoch in the 19th Century to lose two Ashes series in England" people should remember that is ONLY because, yes, most Australian captains would get sacked if they lose the Ashes, so most don't get a chance to lose more than one!!! - it is also ridiculous to keep using this line that because ultimately ponting is the best player in the team, there is no logical replacement and really it is up to the other guys in the team to lift their game and prove there is someone better to captain - at the moment there is no-one and the team is in transition - clarke is lucky to hold his place in the team let alone be captain - the captain can only do so much as I am sure vaughany is well aware - he should remember he was lucky to win the ashes in 2005 (even though the Poms played well) and he might be remembered a bit differently and lost his job if a few things had of gone against him in that series...

  • RTPonting on November 3, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    And who exactly would you give the captaincy to? Clarke? I dont think so! As long as RT Ponting is in the side, he will remain captain. As he should!

  • Ellis on November 3, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    Vaughan is full of it! What is the X-factor possessed by England? It ain't so just because the English media says so. Vaughan is trying to establish himself in the field of journalism and comes out with a lot of baloney. Very much a second guesser and gifted with 20/20 hindsight. If he had not been captain of England, nobody would pay attention to his views as they are out to lunch most of the time.A very short career in journalism lies ahead!

  • boris6491 on November 3, 2010, 13:25 GMT

    Vaughan is definitely right to say that a loss in this series will mean that the selectors will definitely feel the need for change. Australia are low and this is where England can exploit them. Although I would definitely heed Warney's advice to Vaughan by saying that England could easily get overconfident seeing Australia in this state of fallibility and that could well be their undoing. My concern is that even if Ponting goes, we do not have a capable replacement. Clarke has a long way to go as a player first let alone as a captain to inherit the full time role. White, albeit a plausible candidate, would be an unlikely choice due to this lack of presence in the team over the past while although I really feel as a captain, he is the best choice. The other option is Haddin who has captained before and captains the Blues regularly although I think he is under enough pressure. Undoubtedly, it won't be long before the selectors bite the bullet and hand at least the ODI captaincyto Clarke

  • KingofRedLions on November 3, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    He's going out on a limb there.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • KingofRedLions on November 3, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    He's going out on a limb there.

  • boris6491 on November 3, 2010, 13:25 GMT

    Vaughan is definitely right to say that a loss in this series will mean that the selectors will definitely feel the need for change. Australia are low and this is where England can exploit them. Although I would definitely heed Warney's advice to Vaughan by saying that England could easily get overconfident seeing Australia in this state of fallibility and that could well be their undoing. My concern is that even if Ponting goes, we do not have a capable replacement. Clarke has a long way to go as a player first let alone as a captain to inherit the full time role. White, albeit a plausible candidate, would be an unlikely choice due to this lack of presence in the team over the past while although I really feel as a captain, he is the best choice. The other option is Haddin who has captained before and captains the Blues regularly although I think he is under enough pressure. Undoubtedly, it won't be long before the selectors bite the bullet and hand at least the ODI captaincyto Clarke

  • Ellis on November 3, 2010, 14:02 GMT

    Vaughan is full of it! What is the X-factor possessed by England? It ain't so just because the English media says so. Vaughan is trying to establish himself in the field of journalism and comes out with a lot of baloney. Very much a second guesser and gifted with 20/20 hindsight. If he had not been captain of England, nobody would pay attention to his views as they are out to lunch most of the time.A very short career in journalism lies ahead!

  • RTPonting on November 3, 2010, 14:05 GMT

    And who exactly would you give the captaincy to? Clarke? I dont think so! As long as RT Ponting is in the side, he will remain captain. As he should!

  • swervin on November 3, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    when everyone says Ponting is the "first Australian captain since Billy Murdoch in the 19th Century to lose two Ashes series in England" people should remember that is ONLY because, yes, most Australian captains would get sacked if they lose the Ashes, so most don't get a chance to lose more than one!!! - it is also ridiculous to keep using this line that because ultimately ponting is the best player in the team, there is no logical replacement and really it is up to the other guys in the team to lift their game and prove there is someone better to captain - at the moment there is no-one and the team is in transition - clarke is lucky to hold his place in the team let alone be captain - the captain can only do so much as I am sure vaughany is well aware - he should remember he was lucky to win the ashes in 2005 (even though the Poms played well) and he might be remembered a bit differently and lost his job if a few things had of gone against him in that series...

  • on November 3, 2010, 14:57 GMT

    ....................Spot on Warnie!

  • phoenixsteve on November 3, 2010, 16:43 GMT

    Here we go again ...more pre-Ashes hype! I find the Aussies latest defeat both encouraging and worrying - as an England fan! It's good to see them losing in their own backyard but let's not get over confident. This is Australia a great test team from a great cricketing nation ...who are pretty much addicted to beating England! Warne may be right and it could all end in tears! Although from memory it's more likely to be an Aussie who crys over defeat than an Englishman! I remember Kim Hughes blubbering after the West Indies 'blackwash 'in the 80's.. quite a contrast to the dignified refections of the then England captain David Gower! Of course Aussie supporters will argue that " of course England are better losers - they've had more practice!" The bottom line is; This is going to be a great series. Whover plays close to their potential will win. The England middle order still worries me and let's not underestimate just how good a player Ponting is. Is newboy emergence Doherty a worry?

  • on November 3, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    haha..loved warnie's response..classic shane!

  • Fleuressence on November 3, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    @boris6491 If Ponting goes and Clarke is still struggling a little with the bat I would think Katich would become test captain. Clarke ODI captain. Haddin will be lucky to keep his place in the team if he doesn't score a lot of runs with the bat, since Tim Paine is a far more capable keeper.

  • on November 3, 2010, 21:12 GMT

    2 down after 2 and Australia are looking for a new captain for Perth.3 good seamers.The best spinner in the world,aided by 2 aussie left armers.Why not!