Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Ashes 2017: Joe Root reacts to Ricky Ponting calling him 'little boy'

James Anderson after being hit on the helmet with a bouncer in Perth James Anderson was struck on the helmet by a bouncer from Pat Cummins
Shannon Reynolds | 18 January, 2018, 00:25

"But it'd be unbelievable to play an Ashes Test on Boxing Day".

Australia bowler Mitchell Starc, the leading wicket-taker in the series, will also miss the fourth Test due to a heal injury and will be replaced by Jackson Bird.

Umpires should invoke cricket's laws and protect England's tailenders from Australia's relentless "bodyline" bowling in the ongoing Ashes series, former England captain Michael Atherton has said.

Nathan Lyon's pre-season prediction that the hosts will look to "end a few careers" is starting to look prophetic with captain Joe Root and co left to make some big calls at the selection table.

The 23-year-old seamer had already been hit on the chest while batting in Adelaide, but it was when he fell awkwardly trying to take a caught-and-bowled chance at the WACA that he exacerbated the injury.

'It doesn't add up with a team that has been ultra-competitive and just not taken the little opportunities, ' the ex-Aussie skipper said. Bird's last Test appearance was in the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan 12 months ago but he has been in stellar form having taken 15 wickets from his past two Sheffield Shield matches for Tasmania.

Anderson remarked last week Australia have "got problems" beyond their gun pace trio of Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

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That said, the England selectors like the look of the Surrey bowler and he could get the nod ahead of Ball who struggled in the first Test in Brisbane and went wicketless in the same tour match as mentioned previously.

"They haven't got much other than these three", Anderson said on a BBC podcast. The thing that is most important is how you perform.

"If we'd won the game, then you'd maybe say there'd be more questions posed to Australia", opening batsman Mark Stoneman told reporters on Tuesday. Even if it is not natural to you, sometimes you have to put on a different face and stand up for what you think is right and what you believe in.

Ponting's comments came after the tourists were thumped in Perth, with the Ashes conceded despite two tests remaining.

Cummins also refuted claims that Australia's use of short-pitched bowing to England's tailenders has been excessive. Hopefully, this gets them up and going and they fire some barbs at us because I love that. "I think they need him to step up big time", Ponting, who captained Australia in 77 tests, said.

At the top of the order, Alastair Cook looks a shot duck and I was slightly surprised that he didn't announce his retirement once the Ashes were lost.

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