Ricky Ponting, Indian pace attack, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, India, Australia
Former Australian cricketer Ricky Ponting I File Photo

'Bazball' baffled and befuddled Aussies in Ashes: Ricky Ponting

Legendary Australian cricketer Ricky Ponting said England's 'Bazball' approach had left the Australians a befuddled group during the Ashes.

Ricky Ponting, the renowned Australian cricketer, noted that England's 'Bazball' strategy left the Australian team perplexed during the Ashes series, witnessing an impressive comeback by the English side from a 0-2 deficit.

Australia led the series 2-0 after the first two Tests at Edgbaston and Lord's but England bounced back to make the series scoreline 2-2 with wins in the third Test at Headingley and in the fifth Test at the Oval.

The rain-marred fourth Test at Manchester 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.

Ponting said Australia have enough depth in their fast bowling unit.

"We know there is enough (depth) underneath these guys, (Lance) Morris and those guys sitting back in the wings. I think we've got enough there, and at different times, I reckon through the next 12 months, we might see some different faces in our bowling line-up," Ponting said.

(With agency inputs)

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