Nottingham: Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting reckons half of the touring Ashes squad "might not play" Test cricket again following the embarrassing outing against old foes England at the Trent Bridge.
Australia were blown away for 60 by England on an unforgettable first day at the fourth Test, leaving the hosts on the brink of regaining the urn they lost after being whitewashed 20 months earlier Down Under.
"There could be up to eight guys who might not ever play Test cricket again in this touring squad. That's a big number... Half the squad," Ponting was quoted as saying by 'ESPNcricinfo.Com'.
The legendary Australian batsman said the team was just not upto the task.
"You've got to break it down and look at the deficiencies. The cold, hard facts are there. If we got bowled out for 60 then England batted on the same pitch and (declared) for 391 (is indicative that), one, we didn't bat well, and two, we probably didn't bowl well either. Now, here we are again at 7-241, which actually should be the best batting conditions for the whole game," Ponting said after the end of day two.
"They just haven't been good enough. I don't care what they ant to say or why they want to blame or whatever."
Ben Stokes's five-wicket haul left England on the verge of an Ashes-clinching win yesterday.
When bad light forced an early close to the second day, Australia were 241 for seven in their second innings -- still 90 runs shy of making England, 2-1 up in the five-match series, bat again.
Ponting praised Australia openers Chris Rogers and David Warner for stitching a century partnership in the second innings but lamented they "seemingly got through the hard times against the new ball, and then both of them probably played shots they wouldn't be that proud of".
"The moving ball again today just found our batsmen (out)], brought them undone again. Rogers' was a wide one swinging away, (Michael) Clarke's was a decent outswinger as well (but) maybe didn't have to go as hard at as he did.
"Tough day at the office - and most of them have been for the Aussies over the past few weeks."