Time to reclaim the urn

Post date: 07-Nov-2010 11:47:18

RICKY PONTING: Leadership under scrutiny

Australia, which hosts England in the best-of-five Ashes series from November 25, hopes to rebuild its confidence and display a spirited performance at home. It’s about time they got back to their winning ways.

England won back the Ashes with a 2-1 series victory last year, and hopes to repeat the feat. Although Australia's recent performances have been less emphatic, but beating them at home is going to be difficult.

Losing against India in the Test series recently, Ponting’s captaincy came under hot scrutiny. Some of the commentators argued that "Australia seem to have lost the art of killing off matches." If Australia loses the Ashes, Pointing can expect more trouble coming his way this winter.

Last year Ponting became the first Australia captain since Billy Murdoch in 1890 to lose two Ashes series in England. To become the first to suffer three Ashes defeats would tarnish his record. Obviously he won the 2006-07 Ashes 5-0 but he had a better team to manage those days.

Ricky Ponting, fondly called Punter, is still one of the finest cricketers in the modern era. After being involved in over 140 Tests, Ponting has scored 39 Test centuries (including eight against England), behind only India’s Sachin Tendulkar who’s one short of 50 Test centuries.