You have to feel sorry for Ricky Ponting

don’t you?

How many times have you heard that lately? Poor old Ricky, scorer of over 12,000 test runs, on form one of the best batsmen not just in this Australian side – which wouldn’t be hard – but any Aussie side, indeed any world side.

But if England don’t let them off the hook, he’ll just be remembered for losing three Ashes series. With another innings thumping on home soil maybe ending up as his last game in the baggy green. Unfit for the final test, what chances he’ll be back? Yes he wants to be back but someone will have to pay for this, captains and head of selectors normally are the ones. And the way Aussies go about these things once a player has been stripped of the captaincy they don’t hang around in the side much longer, if at all.

Poor old Ricky, will all this mock sympathy make it even worse for him? But I’ll be sorry not too see him at Sydney for the final test. After all England have got it over him with the ball – he’s currently 9th in the Aussies batting averages for the series with 16.14 – why would we want anyone else in there at number 3 in their order? Added to that he’s not a great captain in the field without Warne and McGrath and we’ll so miss those little break downs he has when things just aren’t going his way. From the rant at Fletcher in ’05 over the sub fielders to his amazingly brilliant melt down when he couldn’t understand why the white spot at the bottom of Pietersen’s bat on Hot Spot had nothing to do with any nick only Haddin had initially perceived, as the ump tried to explain that the spot was some distance away from where the ball passed the bat, while he pleaded with anyone in ear shot. Priceless.

But England have to finish it off, 3-1 sounds so much better, actually winning the Ashes not just retaining them. OK even 2-1 will work but 2-2 certainly won’t.

Just wish Strauss wasn’t so conservative so early in innings. Four hundred lead and Tremlett is finding edge after edge and as he does so the slip cordon is being reduced. Why?

Great to see a good old fashioned Yorkie taking the winning wicket, along with some more important ones earlier on. Would have had Bresnan in anyway even if they hadn’t rested Finn. Would have dropped Collingwood for him. Has any England player been given more chances just because he’s good mates with the hierarchy than Collingwood, from the moment he got his MBE for his cameo in the ’05 win. Of course they’re trying to get him in some sort of form for the limited overs games and World Cup, even though when he captained the 20/20 WC wining side he didn’t contribute anything with the bat. Ah but he’s in there for the catching but then how many catches flew past him in this match? Nothing with bat, nothing with ball, time for someone else to get a chance to shine, what better time to bring in new blood. And someone who does mimic the Aussie “yeah look” at the beginning of every sentence.

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