The Ashes 2013 May 29, 2013

Ponting backtracks over Ashes SOS

Brydon Coverdale and David Hopps
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For a few, brief hours, Ashes nostalgia got the better of Ricky Ponting as he indicated that he would be prepared to answer an SOS call from Michael Clarke and help out Australia in the Ashes.

"You wouldn't say no, would you, if that call came and I would never say never," Ponting told the Daily Mail when asked if he would consider an Ashes comeback. "But you have to say a call-up like that now is extremely unlikely."

But never again the twain shall meet, unless it's for a beer as Michael Clarke's men tour the country. A Ponting return would have been akin to a desperate England sending for a 41-year-old Colin Cowdrey midway through the 1974-75 Ashes. In other words, it sounded from the outset as likely as David Warner hiring Robert Craddock to write his biography.

A good night's sleep later, Ponting reconfirmed his international retirement. He had never seriously intended to suggest he was fingering his mobile, awaiting a call. One of cricket's toughest performers was just indulging in a flight of fancy.

"I did an interview with the Mail yesterday and probably didn't answer this question exactly the way I would have liked," he told Sky Sports. "I'm a happily retired international cricketer. There'll be a squad of 17, 18 players and there'll be reserve batsmen on standby, ready to go if anyone in the starting XI loses a bit of form.

"I won't be playing Ashes cricket this time, there's no doubt about that. I'm pleased everyone out there thinks that there's still an opportunity, that I might be good enough to play, but I'm happily retired and it's time for the young guys now to make the most of their opportunities."

To date, Michael Vaughan, his opposite number as England captain in 2005, has been able to keep his excitement in check. Clarke, too, presented a straight bat when asked about a possibly Ponting return at his Champions Trophy press conference in Cardiff on Wednesday.

"You should never say never in life, that's for sure, but I think Ricky also made it very clear that his time had finished at international level," Clarke said. "He's retired from the Australian cricket team. I hear he's very focused and excited about being a part of the Surrey team. Right now we have a 15-man Champions Trophy squad, and then we'll have a 16-man Ashes squad. Ricky is not selected in either of those squads at this stage."

Ponting will be in England for a county stint with Surrey in June and July and it could make for an interesting sideshow if he continues the first-class form that he showed for Tasmania after his Test retirement - he topped the Sheffield Shield run tally with 911 at 75.91. Australia's batsmen struggled in India in February and March on their first Test tour since the departures of Ponting and Michael Hussey and several top-order men will enter the Ashes under pressure.

There is no question that Ponting's decision to play on after giving up the captaincy was made with this Ashes tour in mind. But by the end of the home series against South Africa late last year, when he was embarrassed at his output of 32 runs in five innings, he knew that the time had come to retire, or risk a tap on the shoulder from the selectors.

"I felt Australia would have been a stronger side in this Ashes with both me and Mike Hussey in the side," Ponting said. "The Ashes are the pinnacle and England is the greatest tour to be on. But the bottom line is I just wasn't good enough any more to be a part of this team. I knew that.

"Hussey is missing because of different circumstances and I'm surprised he's not here but I know how hard it can be to keep on touring with a young family. As for me, my time had just come. I knew it so I had to bow out against South Africa. It's down to the young lads now."

While they're all young lads to Ponting, some members of Australia's squad are not so youthful by international cricket standards: the selectors hope that the recall of the 35-year-olds Chris Rogers and Brad Haddin will add some experience and stability to the side. Much will depend on the form of Clarke, but Ponting believes the series could be closer than many people expect and he said the output of the other batsmen like Warner, Ed Cowan, Phillip Hughes and Shane Watson would be critical.

"I think it's going to be a lot tighter than a lot of people have been saying," he said. "There has been a lot of doom and gloom and negativity about our side but not too long ago we were all being pretty positive about where we stood. Our batting is the key. If it can stand up to the English bowling then we will be competitive. We have a good, solid number of bowlers and our young quicks are really exciting as a fast-bowling group.

"England are a very good side, and they played exceptionally well against us in Australia last time. I must admit Alastair Cook surprised me in that series but I see he's just got his 25th Test century and he's proving a worthy successor as captain to Andrew Strauss. Joe Root looks a good young player, Jonny Bairstow has something about him and when Kevin Pietersen is fit England will be getting a world-class player again. They are a quality side - but quality sides have been beaten in the past."

Another important factor for the Australians will be their preparation and off-field efforts, which slipped so significantly on the Indian tour that Clarke, coach Mickey Arthur and team manager Gavin Dovey suspended four players for not completed a so-called "homework task". Ponting said he was uncertain how he would have dealt with such issues if he had still been in charge.

"I can understand what the captain and coach were trying to achieve but I'm not sure I totally agree with what happened," he said. "I don't know for sure how I would have handled that situation but those type of things didn't happen when I was captain."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CricketingStargazer on May 29, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    There is no question that he has made the right choice: go while people wonder why you have retired, rather than go when people start to ask why you didn't retire with dignity some time back. He'll have some fun with Surrey, if it ever stops raining and he has earned it.

    If there were a major crisis on the eve of a Test I have no doubt that he would answer the call in the same way that Mike Whitney did during the 1981 Ashes (and did well enough to keep his place), but that is very unlikely to happen because there are so many Australian players on the county and league circuit who would be alternative choices as an emergency call-up.

  • on May 29, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Punter, Rahul Dravid, Michael Hussey, Inzimamul-Haq, Muhammad Yousaf, VVS Luxman, Brian Lara are those type of players who can still produce magic if they play and bat. I CAN BET IT ON. Punter is my all time favorite and he still got couple of years of international cricket if he only thinks he could sacrifice a bit more.... Well Done Punter, God Bless you. You always have respect from me. I have your autograph with me and I framed that and put that on my wall.

  • kensohatter on June 3, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    Imagine what a series it would be with Hussey and Ponting in the Australian line up! I dont understand why Ponting wouldnt put his hand up... Hes scoring runs in England against English bowlers. He would walk into the current team based on experience and form and no one could argue with the selection given the poor record of at least three top order australians. Punter pick up the phone, call pup and rectify the one final blemish on a stellar career.

  • on June 2, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    bring back ponting .....! we want legend to ashes ..! our request

  • ozziespirit on June 1, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Would be great to see Punter back scoring runs but someone needs to step up now for Oz and be the next punter.

  • SirViv1973 on May 31, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    @Scott Stevo & @Trickstar - The argument is pointless the ashes will not be decided by who scored the most points against SAF last year. Ultimatley both teams lost the series so it's time to move on on focus on what there is to come.

  • on May 31, 2013, 0:41 GMT

    Ricky Ponting doing his best impersonation of Michael Slater's calling between the wickets.

  • ScottStevo on May 30, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    @Trickstar, Actually, you had 1 shocking game against SA, 1 poor game and one closely resembling not being poor, but you were still poor. please don't tell me that the wash out helped SA in any way as you'd have lost the series 3-0. In fact, at no point in time were SA threatened in any way and looked the more likely victor in each of the 3 tests. Whereas Australia looked the more likely victor in 2 out of our 3 and only a miracluous performance saved them. There's no way that 2 of the ENG/SA matches were "competitive" as you put it as there was only ever one team looking like winning - that's not competitive. Whereas in 2 of 3 matches Aus looked likely winners and had a shocker in the last to lose. As for the last 2 times we played Eng, in Oz we were awful and rightly got beaten. In 09 it's a statistical anomaly and it's hard to comprehend how we lost that. That's right, it rained for half a day in Cardiff to save you...

  • MSreenath on May 30, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    I am sure it is going to be one sided Ashes. It is time for England to show there Dominance. Clarke, Watson are the only good prospects for Aussies. In bowling Jhonson, siddle, cusmmins, pattinson are good prospects. In Bowling not bad... But England have good attack in Batting and Bowling...

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on May 30, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge Did you even read the article. This is just Ponting talking rubbish about a hypothetical situation. Clarke hasn't sent an SOS message, Clarke has actually stated on many occasions that he doesn't think AUS need Ponting and Hussey. News flash buddy your precious Anderson and co aren't the world beater Australia were 5-10 yrs ago or the present day SA. Both nations in this series are miles behind the now cricketing powerhouse of SA. England will need to get their head out of the clouds before this series, or they'll get a nasty surprise come July. I can't wait.

  • CricketingStargazer on May 29, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    There is no question that he has made the right choice: go while people wonder why you have retired, rather than go when people start to ask why you didn't retire with dignity some time back. He'll have some fun with Surrey, if it ever stops raining and he has earned it.

    If there were a major crisis on the eve of a Test I have no doubt that he would answer the call in the same way that Mike Whitney did during the 1981 Ashes (and did well enough to keep his place), but that is very unlikely to happen because there are so many Australian players on the county and league circuit who would be alternative choices as an emergency call-up.

  • on May 29, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Punter, Rahul Dravid, Michael Hussey, Inzimamul-Haq, Muhammad Yousaf, VVS Luxman, Brian Lara are those type of players who can still produce magic if they play and bat. I CAN BET IT ON. Punter is my all time favorite and he still got couple of years of international cricket if he only thinks he could sacrifice a bit more.... Well Done Punter, God Bless you. You always have respect from me. I have your autograph with me and I framed that and put that on my wall.

  • kensohatter on June 3, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    Imagine what a series it would be with Hussey and Ponting in the Australian line up! I dont understand why Ponting wouldnt put his hand up... Hes scoring runs in England against English bowlers. He would walk into the current team based on experience and form and no one could argue with the selection given the poor record of at least three top order australians. Punter pick up the phone, call pup and rectify the one final blemish on a stellar career.

  • on June 2, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    bring back ponting .....! we want legend to ashes ..! our request

  • ozziespirit on June 1, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Would be great to see Punter back scoring runs but someone needs to step up now for Oz and be the next punter.

  • SirViv1973 on May 31, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    @Scott Stevo & @Trickstar - The argument is pointless the ashes will not be decided by who scored the most points against SAF last year. Ultimatley both teams lost the series so it's time to move on on focus on what there is to come.

  • on May 31, 2013, 0:41 GMT

    Ricky Ponting doing his best impersonation of Michael Slater's calling between the wickets.

  • ScottStevo on May 30, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    @Trickstar, Actually, you had 1 shocking game against SA, 1 poor game and one closely resembling not being poor, but you were still poor. please don't tell me that the wash out helped SA in any way as you'd have lost the series 3-0. In fact, at no point in time were SA threatened in any way and looked the more likely victor in each of the 3 tests. Whereas Australia looked the more likely victor in 2 out of our 3 and only a miracluous performance saved them. There's no way that 2 of the ENG/SA matches were "competitive" as you put it as there was only ever one team looking like winning - that's not competitive. Whereas in 2 of 3 matches Aus looked likely winners and had a shocker in the last to lose. As for the last 2 times we played Eng, in Oz we were awful and rightly got beaten. In 09 it's a statistical anomaly and it's hard to comprehend how we lost that. That's right, it rained for half a day in Cardiff to save you...

  • MSreenath on May 30, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    I am sure it is going to be one sided Ashes. It is time for England to show there Dominance. Clarke, Watson are the only good prospects for Aussies. In bowling Jhonson, siddle, cusmmins, pattinson are good prospects. In Bowling not bad... But England have good attack in Batting and Bowling...

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on May 30, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge Did you even read the article. This is just Ponting talking rubbish about a hypothetical situation. Clarke hasn't sent an SOS message, Clarke has actually stated on many occasions that he doesn't think AUS need Ponting and Hussey. News flash buddy your precious Anderson and co aren't the world beater Australia were 5-10 yrs ago or the present day SA. Both nations in this series are miles behind the now cricketing powerhouse of SA. England will need to get their head out of the clouds before this series, or they'll get a nasty surprise come July. I can't wait.

  • njr1330 on May 30, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    We all know that the Australian squad which has been publicly announced is just a ruse, and that come the first test, the 1-2-3 will be: Hussey, Katich, Ponting!!

  • MMahmood1 on May 30, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    Bring back Ponting and Hussey if Austrailian wants to be competitive, otherwise it will be a 1 sided context (like late 90's and early 2000)

  • YorkshirePudding on May 30, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    @GeoffreysMother, I believe the comparison is accurate, both had superior FC form but when it came to the next level Hick just couldnt cut the mustard, yet continued to put the county attacks to the sword, the same can be said about Hughes as there is a wide gulf between his FC stats and his Test stats.

    Interms of International career Hughes is about on par with hick after the same number of innings.

    FC wise, hick seems to be the better performer, but that could be put down to playing against a higher percentage of journeyman bowlers in the County Champs at the time.

  • Biggus on May 30, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge:-Oh dear, you haven't read the article, have you?

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 30, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    What a total mess Australia cricket continues to be. Ponting, Anderson's bunny who Jimmy must be dying to come back so he can have another go at him (not that he won't have plenty else to pick from in a few months' time) is spent goods. Proven inadequate for test level. Just like five others from the Australian top six. And now he's been sent an SOS. Oh dear, this couldn't be more embarrassing for Clarke and Australia. Although, I have no doubt they will top this somehow. Why give England so much to chortle at their expense? Is this Clarke's idea of hiding the cracks from the public before July?

  • on May 30, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    I saw a comment in here about Roland-Jones pointing out that his FC average is 21 but he's still not in the English side, therefore the Aussie attack with similar figures can't be that good. My first reaction was amazement that he's not in the squad. The issue now is that England now have a settled lineup. If Roland-Jones goes in, who's not going to be playing? Anderson, Broad and Finn have all taken wickets recently, and Bresnan and Onions are the next guys due a spot. Barring a couple of injuries or a very poor spell of form with an established player, I think he will find it very hard to have a consistent run in the Eng test team. Australia had this problem with exceedingly good players but an established lineup about a decade ago with guys like Hodge and MacGill.

  • GeoffreysMother on May 30, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    Yorkshire Pudding - bit unfair on Graham Hick given their respective performances for Worcestershire. Bring in Katitch, he may hate Clarke's guts, but he will protect him from the new ball for longer.

  • Biggus on May 30, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    @buddhika_k-I don't think anyone's getting a call. This is all about a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question and a reporter needing to file a story. Everyone should just calm down a little.

  • YorkshirePudding on May 30, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    @Shaggy076, Hughes may well have improved, but its still a little over 4 years ago, I also remember he was still having problems in 20010/11 when he filled in for Katich during the return series where he howed the same technical flaws, he may have scored back to back 100's against SA in 2009, but that was before and before bowlers had worked him out, and the fact is he has scored 1 ton and 5 fifty's since since Mar 2009, in 41 innings.

    For me hes will always be the Australian equivalent to Graham Hick.

  • buddhika_k on May 30, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    If anyone's getting a call, shouldn't that be M Hussey?

  • farkin on May 30, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    this just tells me ponting was told to announce his retirement before he was pushed into it

  • VVBHAT on May 30, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    @Cricket is unpopular: Why do you comment when you do not know the facts right. Sachin scored highest number of centuries against Australia both in Tests & ODIs. Sachin had to play with a mediocre team for half of his career till RD,SG,VS took the responsibility. He was the one man army for India mostly in the 90s. When people compare him to greats like Bradman and Sobers, there you are trying to degrade him. Shame on you man.

  • littlemastero on May 30, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    @Cricket_is_Unpopular Sachin scored maximum amount of centuries against Australia http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/35320.html?class=1;template=results;type=batting . I am a fan of Ponting and Sachin, but you should get your facts right.

  • Shaggy076 on May 30, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    Voma - we are also talking about the same Phil Hughes that scored two hundreds in his second test against the best attack going around. He is also 5 years older and I remember the days when Cook and Bell were a couple of spud batsman unable to get a run against the Aussies and Jimmy Anderson was smashed all over the place and still has an Ashes average of 39 with the ball. Players can improve and for you to laugh about something 5 years ago probably shows the limited success that England have had at cricket and you are holding onto such a mimimal amount of Ashes memories.

  • Shaggy076 on May 30, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    What a stupid question from that journalist. Dont think anyone would ever rule it out. But Australia are never goinf to call up a retired player to help them out. Retired means not available for selection and to go down that path of calling them to play is undermining the whole australian cricket structure. Let these players retire in piece ans stop asking them ordinary questions and then beating up there responses. You dont need this sensationalised rubbish to build interest in the Ashes tests.

  • JF19 on May 30, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    Yes, no, wait, sorry and the non striker has been run out.... Good decision that Ponting is not playing on. He has nothing to prove and should not be associated with the current team. He is better than that....

  • Simoc on May 30, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    The Poms don't get it. Ponting is long gone and isn't up to test standard anymore. He proved that and knows it. The England team are on the skids. The guys are at their peak or on there way down so they may win in England but unlikely to in Australia. Poms talk lots but when the crunch comes they don't cut the mustard as South Africa showed so easily last year. Against Steyn & Co they were just so wimpy.

  • on May 30, 2013, 2:41 GMT

    The fact of the matter is, that Australia's batting line up is not strong enough to win the Ashes without Ponting and Hussey. We need them in the side. Clarke should personally ask both of them, and let the decision be with them. He should wait and see what Ponting's early season form is like with Surrey. Make a last minute call (as late as possible), and do it in private. That way it won't affect the morale of the current team and any young batsmen

  • on May 30, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    @kiwirocker, can't the same be said about misbah and younis khan, who held their careers do far that promising batsman like umar akmal can't even find a spot in Pakistani team.

  • jplterrors on May 30, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    they should put Punter in 2 open talks a bit quickly to the media but has got to be a safer bet then D.Warner lol

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on May 30, 2013, 1:42 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge wow you are arrogant, the whole of England seems to consider Australia a pack of park cricketers and England the next invincibles. No doubt England should be favourites but not by that much. Aus win pace bowling and England win batting and spin (which wont play that much of a roll), should be a tight series and Australia CAN win. I heard the pom commentators for SKY the other day say "its Englands to loose". PLEASE if 3-4 of Aus batsmen find some good form to back up world beater Clarke they can easily post 400 +, more than enough for our underated pace attack. Id put my money on England, but not much.

    haha love the username @poms_have_short_memories

  • on May 30, 2013, 1:40 GMT

    It would be sending the wrong message to the rest of the team - that they're not good enough. However, with the exception of Clarke it's true - Ponting is still a better bat than anyone else in the team. On paper they're heading for a beating and a team with Hussey, Ponting and - dare I say it - Shane Warne - in the team would have a better chance. Still, they're building for the future, and it would be better to blood a group of youngsters and just take their beating on the chin. However, if they're prepared to recall the likes of Chris Rogers - with no proven Test record - I don't quite see why it's so outlandish to consider Ponting. He's a better batsman, has , obviously, a better record, and is perhaps the one player other than Clarke who will command respect from the England bowlers. As a Brit, I'd love to see him back. The man is a true legend and his Shield form proves he still has it. No one wants to see a boring, one sided Ashes. Pick him!

  • Weekender on May 30, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    Ponting would be only of use if the Pommies couldn't swing the ball. Over in England, with Swann and Anderson bowling, the Duke instead of a Kookaburra, that ball will be swinging a mile. Ponting uses his ability to pick up the line and length after the ball is delivered. He's getting too old as the instinct now takes too long. Late swing or movement and he is gone. It's why Sharma kept skittling his stumps over in India. He would be more of a liability. Bringing back Hussey might be a good move as he can pick the ball up out of the bowlers hand but Ponting can't.

  • Meety on May 29, 2013, 23:40 GMT

    Good onya, Punter. Of course he would answer the call IF asked, but he won't be. We have enuff top order batsmen to do the job - its the middle order that could be the problem. A certain left handed maestro with a 50+ batting average from WA would of done the job nicely. Would he answer the call?

  • on May 29, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    @voma how about you get a clue mate.. The Ashes (England in Australia), 2006/07 5 10 0 276 116 27.60 644 42.85 1 0 0 24 0

    The Ashes (Australia in England), 2009 5 9 0 222 95 24.66 426 52.11 0 1 1 34 0

    Some very ordinary stats the above. 2 series home and away and the bloke averaged less than 30 in both with a total of 1 hundred and 1 50 in 2 series.

    Do you want to tell me who this abject failure was?

  • PFEL on May 29, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    @voma, last time Hughes toured England he only batted 3 times. And one of those he was given out incorrectly by bad umpiring . . . so not really sure what you're on about

  • MinusZero on May 29, 2013, 23:22 GMT

    Australia need to move on. A transition period is expected and losses are part of that. If Ponting did come back...what then? They will probably still lose the series and then he will retire again anyway. Give young players a chance to be the future. Personally, I blame T20 for messing up Australia's young batsmen. There needs to be more focus on shield cricket.

  • on May 29, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    Yes, he was pathetic against SA last year, but since then, he became the top run-scorer in the Sheffield Shield. So he is definitely in better form. And now he is going to play for Surrey. If he does well there, I don't understand why he should not be playing in the Ashes. The reason he retired from international cricket was that he did not consider himself good enough for the Ashes squad. That's understandable after 32 runs in 5 innings against SA. But by the same yardstick, if he does well playing for Surrey, he should put himself in contention for an Ashes spot.

  • somethingdifferent on May 29, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    It is true that the players Ponting had at his disposal were world class unlike the present team being led by Clark. But it is far more difficult to handle a bunch of world class players as every one has a huge ego. Ponting did a wonderful job of leading the team. Unfortunately Clark has not shown such quality yet. If he can not handle bunch of kids he would have made a bigger mess had he got big names in his team. If his man management was better probably Hussy would still be in the team along with Katich and things would have been different.

  • poms_have_short_memories on May 29, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    @Trickstar and your alter ego @FFL. If you believe that, good for you, but 2/637? England were outplayed by the best team in the world. Australia were thoroughly outplayed in Perth, no doubt about it. I would suggest that almost bowling SA out twice on dead pitches, when they were on the ropes, with a depleted bowling attack, not to mention a superhuman batting effort from Faf DuPlessis would be considered a far better effort than losing 2-0 at home, yes?

  • ravikiran.bits on May 29, 2013, 19:56 GMT

    sad to see these posts, seems like ppl who really doesn't know about cricket are commenting here. 100 out of 100 say pointing is the best captain. 90 out of 100 say pointing is one of the best batsmen. which is very true...

  • phermon on May 29, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    Hey Biggus, I know there are some funny characters in the Australian cricket team but I wouldn't be calling them Cards??

  • Vinod_Fab on May 29, 2013, 19:44 GMT

    Formation of Surrey(team to beat) --- Smith , Punter , KP itself is more stronger than present AUS team... Only world class players can able to define the worth of other world class players... Kevin Pietersen has been a revelation for ENG since 2004 and punter itself is excited about KP's comeback.... Punter reflex actions are still the same which was used to be... He will be sorely missed by AUS...

  • on May 29, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    quite surprising and actually ridiculous when we get to read people comment that ponting was a "terrible" or "awful" captain...i mean,seriously? from where does all this come from? yes he led a team of some brilliant players...but it does not mean just having brilliant individuals in the team wins you matches just like that...the captain does play a role and ponting did it brilliantly along with being the team's best batsman as well during that period.

  • on May 29, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    No I think Times up for Punter the Legend..Time for Khwaja and Hughes to have a cracking series..! I am supporting Aussies for 1st time though i hate Watson :P

  • SirViv1973 on May 29, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    @goldenearaaus, Although I don't always agree with @FFL comments you really have to take it with a pinch of salt. Us Eng fans have to put up with the likes of Randy & Jonesy2 & the anti English contingent from Ind but its no big deal.

  • SirViv1973 on May 29, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    @BlinkAlex182, I don't think you can begrudge Hussey making some cash in the IPL in the autumn of his career. He is already 38 & won't have too many more IPL seasons in him. Although his retirement didn't come at the best of times for Aus cricket he more than earned the right decide when he'd had enough.

  • voma on May 29, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    @RandyOZ , ha ha ha ha ha ha , sorry mate . You are talking about the same Phil Hughes who toured England last time . I honestly couldnt stop laughing at his previous efforts in England

  • Biggus on May 29, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    Bit of a non story really. A reporter sees him, thinks, "I'll ask him a few questions", throws in a hypothetical what if, and Ricky answers as we would expect of him. The average Australian would expect that if management said something like, "Ricky, we're really in a spot and we'd like you to consider coming back to the team for this series" that his response would be "OK, if you think it's necessary". We all know it's not going to happen, but the reporter needs to file a story and here we are. Some people really do take a hypothetical 'off the cuff' answer to a hypothetical question far too literally. It was the same with the Warne comeback kerfuffle a while back, 'much ado about nothing', as Shakespeare would have put it. We'll do what we can with the team we have and let the cards fall where they will.

  • Jaffa79 on May 29, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    Ponting was a great batsmen and a terrible captain. On his day, he was a fearless batsman and the best hooker of the cricket ball I have seen but unfortunately when he is remembered in years to come, he will remembered for his petulant behaviour, whining at umpires and tactical deficiencies as much as his batting. It would be a huge error to go back to him and the fact it is even being entertained demonstrates how all Australians realise that their batting is truly awful and the talent in the country is non-existent. I think Australia will lose both series (in England conclusively and narrowly in Australia), so why not give youth its head and hope that they at least gain valuable experience, even if it will be in a losing team.

  • siddhartha87 on May 29, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    @peter cook: Ponting was not an awful captain.Actually under him Aussie won 2 world cups, 16 match unbeaten test streaks,greatest ODI streaks,2 time champions trophy winner.An ashes clean sweep.Yes under him Aussie lost 3 ashes.But guess what,still he has won 8 matches as captain in ashes and lost only 6( 2 in 2005, 2 in 2009,2 in 2010).And ye he won MOS in 2007 ashes .Man to me he is the most decorated captain of all time.Actually the only thing Ponting is yet to achieve is t20 wc.

  • 2.14istherunrate on May 29, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    it's good to see that he has finally found a decent team to play for. I wish him luck! Interstingly his remarks re the suspensions in India seem to ring true. Clarke's relationships with playersseems off, though tactically he seems inventive. With Rickie the opposite seems true. He always looked really at ease with his players and constantly involved with them like he was just one of them,though tactically we regarded his as inadequate. Having a Katich in the side would have been a godsend to Australia.However I do only get see appearances and reports.

  • Dashgar on May 29, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    @PeterCook, there were a heap of English captains who lost a lot more than 3 ashes series'. The fact they didn't lose them all as captain was purely because they were too mentally weak for the role. Ponting has been a brilliant captain over his career and he has the most wins as captain to show for it.

  • RandyOZ on May 29, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    The poms wouldn't want Ponting, the second greatest batsman of all time, to come back and destroy them like he did so many other times. Punter is a legend but it is time to move on. Looking forward to hughes having a cracking series!

  • PeterCook on May 29, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    It's a shame he can't come back as captain and lose his 4th ashes. Ponting was a great batsman - and I mean great - but a truly awful captain.

  • Trickstar on May 29, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    @Mitty2 Talking of a really intellectual comment, even mentioning Birds test record as some proof of how good he is, is the biggest red herring I've ever seen. Playing against an awful SL side at home for 2 tests doesn't prove a thing. Just like Pattinson's average from bullying India at home and NZ. What's that in 10 test he's got 40 wickets, 20 against India and 16 against NZ, come on. It remind me of Bresnan after 12 tests, when he played you lot and India and he was averaging 25 with ball and 40 odd with the bat, again meaningless. Fact is the Aussie bowlers have inflated first class averages from the dearth of quality batsmen in Aus, add to that the juicy pitches CA has had since the last Ashes. First class averages don't tell you everything anyway, otherwise the likes of Roland Jones, Will Gidman & Woakes would be playing for England in test cricket.

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 29, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Ponting was the highest scorer in the domestic first class season this year. Sure so he wasn't able to translate that into test form, but before and after his test failures he succeeded domestically. That is good enough for me and I'd gamble with him. He'd be a safer bet than Phil Hughes for one and I am sure that, besides Michael Clarke, there aren't any other batsmen that are safely ahead of him.

  • blink182alex on May 29, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Ponting showed in the Shield this season he can still play, but even he said he's not quite good enough against the best anymore, e.g. his scores against South Africa.

    What we need is Michael Hussey, i don't get why he retired saying he wants more time at home and then goes and spends 6-7 weeks at the IPL. Miss the IPL for 1 year, miss all odi's and just give us 5 tests in England, that's 5-6 weeks away from home representing your country rather than a domestic franchise. Hussey for me is still the most complete batmen in world cricket and his loss leaves a hole in our batting that i don't think we will be able to fill in this series.

  • landl47 on May 29, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Ponting's answers are realistic and the headline, while technically not untrue, gives a false impression of what Ponting said. Realistcally, the only way Ponting gets called up is if Aus has injuries to 3 or 4 batsmen and needs an extra body who has been getting some match practice. Even so, unless the injuries are just before a test and there is no time to fly in anyone else, I suspect Aus would turn to Smith, Doolan and Maddinson, who are all on the Aus A tour, rather than go back to Ponting.

  • siddhartha87 on May 29, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    To be honest Aussie cricket is facing a huge problem here. I just went through the Sheffield Shield 2013 batting stats and to my surprise there are only 2 players who averaged 50+.One is Punter and the other one is Hughes.Few years back Australia had the most dominating batting line up without a doubt. Players Gilchrist and hussey used to earn their baggy green at 30+ age. But now t20 specialist like Maxwell,Smith and Henriques are making debuts.Cricket Australia must start to produce again batsmen who has the capability to average 50+ in test cricket.The only good thing for Aussies is that they got lot of talented seamers. But again their spin department is useless.

  • ScottStevo on May 29, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    @FFL, Since 01/01/11 (roughly the last time we played each other) Eng have played 28 tests, won 13, lost7, drawn 8. Aus have played 25 tests, won 12, lost 8, drawn 5. I would suggest that if Aus were mediocre, that Eng are in the same unhappy boat...harsh to see it like that but the reality is that since the number 1 spot was gained by Eng they have played poorly and are rightly nowhere near the current best team who humiliated them in their own backyard. Whereas Aus had the same opposition in their own backyard against the ropes and it took miracles for them to survive. Of course we're afraid about losing the Ashes again - we have to sit here and listen to the most arrogant supporters rubbish on about just how great their exceptionally mediocre team is...present company excluded though, FFL...

  • Trickstar on May 29, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    @ poms_have_short_memories It's good to see you didn't watch the series then isn't it, we had one poor game and then 2 good competitive games where we bowled them out twice, something you couldn't do. Similarly you had 2 competitive games and one very poor game. Tell me the difference because if you think you take some moral victory out of that series against SA you are delusional.

    Tell me again how did you do the last 2 times you played England, how about you're recent series against the might of India. lol.

  • TallHawk on May 29, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    Great player Ponting but long way past his best. I hope they DO bring him back against England - he will be exposed. BUT...if Shane Warne was brought back I think many England fans would be genuinely worried!!

  • SirViv1973 on May 29, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    @Mitty2 re Jackson Bird - His ave at Test Level is meaningless, as he has only played 2 tests at home against a very weak SRL team. As for his domestic ave it looks good on paper but we know the quality of Aus batsman at Shield level is very low right now. If it wasn't no one would even be considering the thought of calling Punter out of retirement at 38! I know you pay plenty of attention to Eng county cricket and we have a guy called Toby Roland Jones currently playing for Middlesex who has a similar ave to bird at domestic level and no one is suggesting he should play in the ashes as he is currently 6th or 7th pick in the seam bowling pecking order.

  • SherjilIslam on May 29, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    @KiwiRocker- on (May 29, 2013, 10:32 GMT):It's high time now u choose some other cricketer to bash on your posts.Sachin has already retired from limited overs cricket, and sooner or later will retire from all competitive forms of the game. And what were u talking that his best came on 90s..., i guess u missed the game for last 15 years or so bcoz if you have watched in between these years then you must have known that India reach 2003 WC finals,won CT 2004 with SL,won 2011 WC become world no in Tests and achieved many more....and Sachin was instrumental in all these successes. Totally disgusting from you.#getalife

  • Vincent49 on May 29, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    I think Australia look very vulnerable at the moment. To the point where it illuminates through to the opponents. Sure give Rogers a go. 20000 first class runs, deserves a genuine stint. How many tests has he played again? He has experience, but is it where it counts? Is that enough alone to elevate Australia's horrific batting talent? I think having Ponting pencilled in looks a more threatening side than just Clarke and maybe Watson if he can get the monkey off his back. I don't think Australia are in the luxury position where they can just pick who they 'desire' I would love to see Ponting play some county cricket and get some big scores and play another 10 tests to see the ashes out, both abroad and at home. Bring back Punter for 10 more tests!

  • cloudmess on May 29, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Mitty2 - not quite sure what your point is. England 2 India 1; Australia 0 India 4 - but your quicks did better. Well jolly good show. I think most of us were too busy looking at the reality of those 2 series results to notice that you Aussies had in fact played better than us lucky Poms.

  • on May 29, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    Ponting is very honest here. He would love to play but knows he just isn´t good enough anymore. Remember that getting runs against average attacks in county cricket and the Pura cup is not the same as facing Anderson,Broad,Finn,Swann. If Aus tralia are going to send an SOS send it to Dave Hussey!

  • dinom on May 29, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    Australia needs to look forward not backwards. When Lillie, Marsh and G.Chappell retired, they struggled for a while but then built up with Border, Waugh, Alderman etc. to go back to the top.They didn't go back to Lillie, March or Chappell. Australia needs to move on, no need to recall Ponting/Hussey back. Bowlers seems reasonable with a mix of youngsters (Faulkner, Starc, Pattinson and Bird) and more senior bowlers (Siddle, Harris, Lyon). Batting however doesn't seem to have the future in mind. Rogers is already 35! Why not pick a younger batsman? Anyhow, there are already 4 potential openers in the squad (Cowan, Warner, Hughes and Watson). Even a much younger Steve Smith seems to be a better option for the future. Haddin is another 35y.o. isn't there any younger wicketkeeper?

  • on May 29, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    Whether or not he gets an SOS...I would love to see him think about coaching. I think he is a brilliant tactician and could become an asset to any team. BCCI did you see his combination with John Wright? Time to put on thinking cap

  • on May 29, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    @KiwiRocke - I don't understand dude why you need to drag Tendulkar here. This is an article on Ponting and we should keep our discussion on him only. Moreover it seems you have some grudge on him due to non cricketing reason. Your words clearly proves that. If Tendulkar's last meaningful contribution was in late 90's, then why he won cricketer of the year in 2010? You said India did not go to semis of T20, but tactfully avoided 2011 WC success where Tendulkar was top run scorer for India. He scored numerous Test and ODI century during 2000's and India won most of them.He won numerous ODI man of the series awards.without significant contribution how he can win them? Badrinath and Manoj Tiwari got enough chances but never done anything good.You want another couple of R Sharma in the team? India's all the losses came in last 2 yrs which u pointed and all the players are responsible for that. I guess u don't follow stats and Fans like u damaging Indian cricket.

  • Jagger on May 29, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    I can guarantee you one thing. If Ponting played in the upcoming Ashes series he would not be the worst.

  • Bonehead_maz on May 29, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    I adore Punters assessment of the English batting :)

    Cook will be a good replacement for Strauss :) ...... (I noticed he got his 26th Test century )..... ie totally non-rated .... nice.

    World class player = Kevin Pietersen.... true ! and shows how cricketers rather than statisticians think :) "Good young" and "something about"...... lovely.

    So England has crap batting without Pietersen......well one could imagine Southee bowling 20 kph quicker and wonder ? Perhaps it's a decent assessment ?

  • thebatsmansHoldingthebowlersWilley on May 29, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    Total non-story. He simply answered the question honestly. No way the Aussie selectors would back-track and select Punter. They'd look stupid. Rogers is a decent pick and has effectively replaced Hussey. Aussie batters to struggle though. Swann will have a field day against Hughes and co.

  • KiwiRocker- on May 29, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    A champion batsman speaking like a champion. Ponting scored 32 runs in a series and he retired. He knew that ruthless Australian selectors would drop him. On other hand test cricket's most over rated batsman tendulya has dragged his worthless career for no good reason. Tendulya's last meaningful contibution to anything that India won was in late 90's. So many promising careers were lost due to players like Tendulya and Sehwag dragging their careers. Manoj Tiwary, Mazumdar, Badrinath...No wonder India was thrashed 8-0 overseas and even managed to lose a home series on 'spinning wickets' against England. India was dumped out of Asia cup and to top it all up, they also managed to lose against Pak at hime....to further add a twist, India also did not even reach in semi final of T20 world cup. Even have a look at Pakistan, they have not played at home since 2009, had their top players banned and still have reached semi finals of last five ICC events! Tendulya has damaged indian cricket!

  • Captainman on May 29, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    Ponting is world class batsman. Miles better than Sachin Tendulkar who mainly scores against weak teams like Namibia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, New Zealand etc.

  • Shridharan.S on May 29, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    @Vikneshwar Elango,I completely agree with you.

  • on May 29, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    Non-story. Punter just being straightforward in answering the questions put to him. I would imagine his words in the last paragraph of this article will keep him out of the team nicely, just as he would want.

  • tanstell87 on May 29, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Indian fan here....Punter can play all tests in place of Hughes & Cowan and i am sure he can score more runs compared to these two.

  • on May 29, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    It would be a shame if Australia calls Hussey and Ponting back . You have to see India did not call Dravid back. It is time to respect the legends . If they are called back , it would mean to send a wrong message to the world that your country dont have quality cricketers anymore. Please dont do even if the retired legends agree . I feel Aussies do have a decent chance in Ashes . It wont be a cake on the walk for English . Rather than Anderson's swing, it would be Swann's offspin which will be troubling Aussies the most given the no of left handers they have. But when it comes to pace bowling, I would say Aussie pace bowling attack is even better than English pace bowling attack . Only Anderson and Swann are world class. Pattinson and Siddle are better than Broad and Finn . Aussie do have a left arm swing bowler in Starc which forms a good combination .

  • on May 29, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    Nah, Punter's gone. These highly speculative articles are just thought experiments and don't prove that the Ozzies are running on empty. This team put up a fantastic fight the past couple of years with a whole load of garbage on them, like Punter's terminal loss of form, injury problems with the bowlers, the sorry Quiney/Marsh saga (going into matches effectively one down), and the rotation policy. The polite way to describe the team that went to India was as being "highly speculative" but no-one really stood up and made a strong case for themselves.

    Still, I am very hopeful about the Ashes. The bowling workload has been carefully managed so they will get there all 100% and with enough subs in case of injury. This new batch of fast bowlers look to be, without exception, the best for many years now. The in-form Rogers and Haddin enter the side. Back to more favoured playing conditions I believe they are in with more chance than they are generally credited. Careful Optimism :)

  • Mitty2 on May 29, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    @hhilbumper... Nice joke mate. James pattinson averaged 27 over there on pitches that were a disgrace to test cricket (to say the least), just imagine what he'll do on condusive pitches, Peter siddle averaged 33, which is far from bad. Mitchell starc admittedly was terrible but he is a short form specialist and shouldn't be in the ashes regardless. MJ isn't in the squad.... Bird and Harris didn't play and both average under 24 in tests (bird under 20 in tests and FC)... Really intellectual comment, that. By comparison, only Anderson did well and his average was still worse than pattinson's? Broad and bresnan (lol) both didn't get wickets and Finn played one match for a good average of 30. But I can't help thinking... Did Australia have perpetual batting flops to bowl at I. Gahmbir and Singh? We had sehwag for two less tests as well unforunately. But I digress, the point is: how did our quicks go? Better than yours.

    @FFL, first to comment on an Australian thread. Says it all really...

  • Khiladi_Eleven on May 29, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    Ponting is a world class player but what good about him is he knew what he is capable of and he steps aside voulnteerily unlike pakistani and indians cricketers who just want to play because they were good in "Past" irrespective of their age... By the way "HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISBAH" young lad of 39... :-)

  • SherjilIslam on May 29, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    Better he keeps himself away from Aussie squad as he will only be walking wicket over which English bowlers will feast on.We already had seen him struggle big time in IPL. It's better if Hussey comes back, as he's in tremendous form with excellent fitness.

  • GeoffreysMother on May 29, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Punter tends to tell it straight - including his honest assessment of himself. I am surprised therefore that there are no comments relating to his last paragraph '"I don't know for sure how I would have handled that situation but those type of things didn't happen when I was captain.": hardly a pre Ashes ringing endorsement of Clarke and probably a good clue as to the real reason why we won't be seeing Hussey in England this summer. If Australia don't start well I can see them eating each other up as they did in India, with the press, thanks to Mr Warner, eager to act as chefs.

  • on May 29, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    Nothing but respect for Ponting. A true champion, I loved watching his career, just sad its over, one of the best batsmen to play the game.

  • on May 29, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    I'm getting really sick of these headlines. Why are the Aussie press so backward-looking? What's the obsession with an instant bottled miracle cure to all the troubles with the team? This is the sort of coverage that led the previous NSP to devolve into ridiculous knee-jerk picks and they are what's truly responsible (rather than retiring legends - almost all the true legends retired more than FIVE YEARS AGO) for the state of the team at the moment. We need constructive and sensible responses. Quit asking Pup if we wants Warney, Punter, Pidgeon, Gilly and Haydos back...

  • poms_have_short_memories on May 29, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    @FFL, how did u go against SA last year champ? Dismally, Australia, however, did much better against them last year. SA are the current cricketing yardstick, not England.

  • hhillbumper on May 29, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    They won't need him.given the quality of the Aussie bowling attack England will be out for single digit figures in each innings so they will be okay.this is the same bowling attack that did so well in India.

  • Theredbaron on May 29, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    An Australia "A team" of old would beat the current Aussie team. Thats how bad the current team is, and the worst part is there is no reserve strength to help out. This is the Ashes played over 5 days, and all that Australia has in the batting stakes are a bunch of "hit and hope" 20/20 gladiators. There is going to be unbelievable pressure on Clarke and Watson to perform

  • goldeneraaus on May 29, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    can we all make a pact to stop responding to front foot lunge, he is clearly a desperate attention seeker and the more we feed his grandeur the worse he gets..in relation to this article I think Ponting is spot on about one thing.. for all his faults as skipper, the homework debacle would NEVER have happened under him.. we are missing his grit if not his tactical brain, him and pup were a good duo..

  • gimme-a-greentop on May 29, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    Oh great it's nearly that time again when the neutral Ashes fan can sit back and leisurely watch the war of words begin. Good start at the Aussie baiting @ Front Foot Lunge, although I thought it was pretty obvious this was a hypothetical media exercise and not anything based on reality. Sending an SOS to Hussey would be more likely, and actually something I would like to see to improve the contest.

  • deepakRajbanshi on May 29, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    give new man a chance, than bringing ponting back, if ponting back for aus, dravid, laxman back for ind, sanath jayasuriya 4 srilanka, lara for WI, cricket will be 10 yrs back,and i will be at class 10, and i dnt want to face punishment in school

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 29, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    We knew the Aussies were desperate and are all too aware of how superior England are to their Ashes team, but we didn't know they were this afraid of losing the Ashes yet again. Bring back Ponting I say, just so Anderson can have his fill of him yet again. There really is no one else for Australia, no spinner, no keeper, no skilled batsmen. They continue to live in cricket mediocrity, far below the top sides in the world.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on May 29, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    We knew the Aussies were desperate and are all too aware of how superior England are to their Ashes team, but we didn't know they were this afraid of losing the Ashes yet again. Bring back Ponting I say, just so Anderson can have his fill of him yet again. There really is no one else for Australia, no spinner, no keeper, no skilled batsmen. They continue to live in cricket mediocrity, far below the top sides in the world.

  • deepakRajbanshi on May 29, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    give new man a chance, than bringing ponting back, if ponting back for aus, dravid, laxman back for ind, sanath jayasuriya 4 srilanka, lara for WI, cricket will be 10 yrs back,and i will be at class 10, and i dnt want to face punishment in school

  • gimme-a-greentop on May 29, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    Oh great it's nearly that time again when the neutral Ashes fan can sit back and leisurely watch the war of words begin. Good start at the Aussie baiting @ Front Foot Lunge, although I thought it was pretty obvious this was a hypothetical media exercise and not anything based on reality. Sending an SOS to Hussey would be more likely, and actually something I would like to see to improve the contest.

  • goldeneraaus on May 29, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    can we all make a pact to stop responding to front foot lunge, he is clearly a desperate attention seeker and the more we feed his grandeur the worse he gets..in relation to this article I think Ponting is spot on about one thing.. for all his faults as skipper, the homework debacle would NEVER have happened under him.. we are missing his grit if not his tactical brain, him and pup were a good duo..

  • Theredbaron on May 29, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    An Australia "A team" of old would beat the current Aussie team. Thats how bad the current team is, and the worst part is there is no reserve strength to help out. This is the Ashes played over 5 days, and all that Australia has in the batting stakes are a bunch of "hit and hope" 20/20 gladiators. There is going to be unbelievable pressure on Clarke and Watson to perform

  • hhillbumper on May 29, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    They won't need him.given the quality of the Aussie bowling attack England will be out for single digit figures in each innings so they will be okay.this is the same bowling attack that did so well in India.

  • poms_have_short_memories on May 29, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    @FFL, how did u go against SA last year champ? Dismally, Australia, however, did much better against them last year. SA are the current cricketing yardstick, not England.

  • on May 29, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    I'm getting really sick of these headlines. Why are the Aussie press so backward-looking? What's the obsession with an instant bottled miracle cure to all the troubles with the team? This is the sort of coverage that led the previous NSP to devolve into ridiculous knee-jerk picks and they are what's truly responsible (rather than retiring legends - almost all the true legends retired more than FIVE YEARS AGO) for the state of the team at the moment. We need constructive and sensible responses. Quit asking Pup if we wants Warney, Punter, Pidgeon, Gilly and Haydos back...

  • on May 29, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    Nothing but respect for Ponting. A true champion, I loved watching his career, just sad its over, one of the best batsmen to play the game.

  • GeoffreysMother on May 29, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Punter tends to tell it straight - including his honest assessment of himself. I am surprised therefore that there are no comments relating to his last paragraph '"I don't know for sure how I would have handled that situation but those type of things didn't happen when I was captain.": hardly a pre Ashes ringing endorsement of Clarke and probably a good clue as to the real reason why we won't be seeing Hussey in England this summer. If Australia don't start well I can see them eating each other up as they did in India, with the press, thanks to Mr Warner, eager to act as chefs.