Off The Field

Bazball left Australians scratching their head during Ashes: Ricky Ponting

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Legendary Ricky Ponting feels England’s innovative ‘Bazball’ approach left the Australian team in a state of disarray during the recently concluded Ashes series which ended in a 2-2 draw. The approach led to a remarkable turnaround for the English side, who managed to recover from a daunting 0-2 deficit.

Following convincing victories by Australia in the first two Tests at Edgbaston and Lord’s, the series seemed firmly in their grasp. However, England staged a stunning resurgence, triumphing in the third Test at Headingley and sealing another victory in the fifth Test at the Oval, thus leveling the series at 2-2.

The fourth Test at Manchester was marred by persistent rain and ended in a draw.
Though the Aussies managed to retain the Ashes urn, former captain Ponting said the home side gave them a tough ride. Australia are yet to win a Test series in England since 2001.

Talking to SEN Radio, Ponting explained, “The two contrasting styles of play were great to sit back and watch. There was a lot of talk about Bazball and how England would approach it, and would that style stand up against the quality of the Australian attack.

“It probably had some of the Australian players, coaches and the captain at different times scratching their heads as to how they were going to combat it.”
Ponting was all praise for the quality of cricket played during the Ashes.

“I think the 2-2 result, albeit probably slightly biased with a bit of controversy in that last Test with the ball changed, the way that it was, that gifted England some conditions they probably shouldn’t have got.

“I think the level of cricket played across the series, the 2-2 result was probably fair,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ponting lauded Aussie Test skipper Pat Cummins for playing six successive Tests, including the victorious ICC World Test Championship Final against India at The Oval.

However, Ponting said it could be time for the Kangaroos to introduce some new faces in the bowling attack over the next 12 months.

“As the series wore on, Cummo (Cummins) was probably the pick again. But, Starcy (Mitchell Starc) was outstanding. There were some questions about whether Pat could get through those six Tests and keep his intensity up.”

“As it went on, it felt to me like they could have brought (Michael) Neser in at some stage in the right conditions. But I think what they did selection-wise was right,” he said.

About the author

Vishwas Gupta