'Not good enough': Ricky Ponting savages England's Ashes flops

This picture shows England captain Joe Root high-fiving teammates during the 2021/22 Ashes series.
Joe Root's under-fire England side has been described as the worst performing Test team to tour Australia. Pic: Getty

England's under-fire Ashes flops have been given the most savage reality check by Ricky Ponting, with the former Aussie captain labelling the tourists the worst performing Test team to tour Down Under.

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has labelled England’s ragtag bunch the worst performing team to tour Down Under following their humbling Ashes campaign.

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Australia retained the urn inside 12 days of Test cricket – which was incredibly two less days than England spent in quarantine before the start of the series.

The Aussies denied England any chance of snatching the Ashes back after an innings-and-14-run win in the Boxing Day Test gave them an unassailable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five match series.

The tourists’ sub-par series plummeted to a new low at the MCG when they were bowled out for 68 in the second innings at the MCG.

Many former players described England's performance as "embarrassing", with Ponting insisting he had never witnessed anything worse from a touring side.

“I don’t think I’ve seen a worse-performing team in Australia than what I’ve seen over the last three games,” Ponting told

“Some of the English top-order batters that I’ve seen in the last couple of tours, without giving names, there’s some techniques there that I just know are not going to stand up at Test level.

“In challenging conditions and world-class bowlers up against sub-standard techniques, then you get what happened (at the MCG). What I’ve seen with their batting, they’re just simply not good enough.”

The fallout has started with speculation on the positions of captain Joe Root and head coach Chris Silverwood while there has been no lack of soul-searching about county cricket and whether it is producing players ready for Tests.

Ponting feels one solution could be to introduce the Kookaburra ball in English county cricket, much like how Australia adopted the Duke balls in 2016-17 to help prepare their batters for the 2019 Ashes.

Pictured centre, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting during commentary duties for Channel Seven.
Ricky Ponting (C) has given a damning asssessment of England's Ashes performances in 2021. Pic: Getty (WILLIAM WEST via Getty Images)

“We’ve been through this in Australia,” Ponting added. “You wind the clock back a few years ago when we had our struggles in England, we changed conditions, we changed the ball, we changed everything because we were poor in those conditions.

“England might need to have a look at how they can make their conditions more suitable to ours. They play well in England still but they don’t play well when they come here – so maybe they play more with the Kookaburra ball.

“Maybe they flatten the wickets out a little bit so there’s not as much swing and seam. It might be the exact same blip that (Australia) had to have three or four years ago.”

Proteas great keen on coaching England's Test side

Incumbent England coach Silverwood's job is very much on the line with Ponting understood to be linked to the role as well as South Africa great Gary Kirsten, who's admitted it would be an "honour" to take the reins for the Test side.

Kirsten, a former Proteas opening batsman, led both India and South Africa to the top of the Test rankings as coach and the 54-year-old said coaching England would be a "tremendous honour".

"I've walked this journey twice now (when England recruited new coaches in 2015 and 2019) and I've always made it clear that I would never commit to doing all formats," Kirsten told i News.

"And when international cricket boards get their head around the fact that they need to split coaching roles, then it becomes a consideration."

Former England batsman Nick Compton said on social media this week that Kirsten was in line to get the England role in 2019 only for Silverwood to win the post with a Powerpoint presentation.

Seen here, England coach Chris Silverwood during a practice session for the 2021/22 Ashes series
England coach Chris Silverwood is under huge pressure to keep his role after a disastrous Ashes series. Pic: Getty

England won the 2019 ODI World Cup on home soil but the Test team has failed to fire and find themselves seventh in the World Test Championship table after losing five matches this year - including two home defeats by India.

"Listen, the England ODI side is set up, you're the best ODI side in the world at the moment. It's a project that has been well-thought out, you've got consistency in the players that have been picked," Kirsten added.

"Your Test side has battled for a while but it would be a really lovely project to get that going."

with agencies

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