Give young Australia time: Ponting

Former captain Ricky Ponting believes Australia must follow the example of their Ashes rivals and show patience if they are to turn around their poor form.

Australia players
Australia players celebrate the wicket of Matt Prior during their fourth Test against England in Chester-le-Street recently. Pic/Getty Images.

The 38-year-old has found the current series tough viewing with England 3-0 up after four games. Australia have been competitive in all but one of the matches, but their big weakness has come in their top order, where their batsmen have failed to fire.

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting

With an immediate return Ashes series on the horizon, though, Ponting sees reasons to be optimistic.

“There’s some challenges there for Australian cricket but with Darren Lehmann’s appointment as coach and some of the younger guys they’ve got around there, I think there’s enough talent,” he said. “They’re just going to have to learn and unfortunately at the moment they’re learning the hard way.

“You can find some excuses for a few of the guys. A few of the guys are young players trying to find their way in the most pressurised series that there is in world cricket: Hughes, Khawaja, even Steve Smith - although he’s played reasonably well at different times.

“But the thing that I keep referring to with that is if you take England back six or seven years when they had Bell just starting out, Cook just starting out - those guys weren’t overnight successes.

“It’s taken them that amount of time in the game to hit their straps as international players and that’s what we have to do with our guys. “We’ve got to identify the best players we’ve got, give them an opportunity and stick with them, even if we are losing games.”

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