The Ashes: Ponting urges critics to be patient with battling Oz

Johannesburg: Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has urged those criticising the current Ashes battling side to be patient with them as they try to turn around their poor run of results.

According to Sport24, retired from Test cricket, Ponting was watching as the side slumped to an Ashes series defeat by England, falling 3-0 behind to their arch-rivals heading into next week`s fifth and final Test at The Oval.

However, Ponting said that the critics need to be patient with the current Australian squad, especially the batsmen, give them an opportunity to develop and stick with them even if they are losing games, adding that with a return Ashes starting in Australia in November, the country needs to identify the best players it has got.

According to Ponting, if the Ashes team has all the best players in their disposal, then the players need to learn and grow some confidence in that environment, instead of being in and out of the team all the time, adding that this is the biggest challenge for them.

However, Ponting did not appear to be worried over the team`s future, saying that with Darren Lehmann as coach and some of the young players, he believes that the team has enough talent to stand on despite the tough times, although he admitted that the players are learning the hard way.

Stating that some of the players like Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja and even Steve Smith can be excused from the hardest criticism, Ponting also said that these players are young and trying to find their way in the most pressurised series of world cricket.

Comparing the current Australian squad to the England team six or seven years ago, Ponting said that England was also in the same position with current captain Alastair Cook and Ian Bell just starting out and were not overnight successes, adding that it had taken them a large amount of time to hit their straps as international players.

Further backing his former side, Ponting also said that the current Ashes scoreline was unfair to the tourists as he believed that the players have played better than the scoreline reads, especially in Old Trafford and Trent Bridge.

Ponting, one of the outstanding batsmen of his generation along with India`s Sachin Tendulkar and West Indies` Brian Lara, is now representing the Antigua Hawksbills in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 tournament, the report added.


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