England top-order batsmen are vulnerable: Ponting

Last Updated: Aug 29, 2010, 19:58 PM IST

Sydney: Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has questioned the strength of England’s batting line-up ahead of the Ashes series Down Under.

“They have a couple of vulnerable players. There are a few cracks, and there will be guys looking over their shoulders,” The Age quoted Ponting, as saying.

“Alastair Cook saved his career with a second innings hundred [at the Oval against Pakistan] while [Kevin] Pietersen has not made a Test hundred in nearly 12 months, which is pretty remarkable when you consider the quality of player he is.”

“Strauss has not made many runs in the last few games either while (Jonathan) Trott is reasonably new and they’ll have a question mark at six as to whether they’ll play (Eoin) Morgan or [Ian] Bell,” he added.

The 35-year-old also suggested that he is not particularly concerned by England’s bowling attack.

“Our home conditions will play a big part. The English rely on the ball swinging around a lot and that’s where they came undone in Australia last time,” Ponting said.

“The ball doesn’t react the same way here as it does in certain parts of England so they’ll have to learn to adapt that quickly,” he added.

The first of the five match series will be held at The Gabba in Brisbane from November 25 to 29.

It will be followed by Tests in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

Two Twenty20 clashes and a seven-match one-day series have also been scheduled between Australia and England.