"If He Hadn't Instigated…": Ponting On Chatter Around Ollie Robinson

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting believes that England’s pacer Ollie Robinson did not look dangerous in the Ashes as he has only taken wickets of tailenders. The English bowler has taken three wickets in the ongoing second Test match of the Ashes series against Australia on Thursday at Lord’s. He had also taken five wickets in the first Ashes Test. Ponting in ICC Review said, “I don’t think he’s looked dangerous in the series at all. I mean, if you look at the wickets, he’s got the tailenders out in each game. Yes he got Marnus (Labuschagne) in this innings here. But then he got (Nathan) Lyon and then he got (Josh) Hazlewood. So if he didn’t get the 10 and 11 out, then he finishes his innings with one wicket at over four runs an over.”

“He’s a very skilful bowler, no doubt about that, and no one would’ve said a word about Ollie Robinson if he hadn’t have sort of instigated this whole tit-for-tat that’s been happening over the last couple of weeks. And to be honest, I think the whole thing’s been blown completely out of proportion.

“It’s something that’s everyone’s enjoyed talking about, and some of the ex-players have enjoyed hopping in and having a bit of a crack, but at the end of the day he’s a skilled bowler and, as you say, his numbers so far in the series are actually okay,” Ponting further added.

After the first Test, the Aussies are leading the Ashes series by 1-0. In the Second Test match, Australia scored 416 runs in the first innings, and in response England are batting at 278/4 after the stumps of the second day.

Ponting also mentioned that England has gone with all seamers approach in the absence of injured spinner Moeen Ali because they do not have a good enough spinner.

“As it turned out, Joe Root got two wickets in the first innings anyway, and to be honest I think that the obvious reason that they haven’t (picked a spinner) is they think they haven’t got one good enough to come in and play Test cricket,” the former Australian captain added.

“They would rather back another seam bowler over playing another spinner. And that actually makes sense to me. When you think about most of their attack, with conditions here at Lord’s, they would’ve definitely wanted Robinson, Anderson and Broad to all play. But if you play all three of those guys, and a spinner, then there’s a lot of sameness to the attack. So they wanted to bring in someone with a little bit of extra pace,” he continued.

Ponting said that selection would be judged after the end of the game but for now, everything looks fine on England’s side.

“Ideally, I’m sure they would’ve wanted Mark Wood to play. He wasn’t quite right, so they went with Tongue, who looked actually quite good. He’s got a slightly different action, a front-on chest action that gets the ball to swing away from the right-hander.

We’ll judge the selections at the end of the game, but right now everything’s sort of going okay for England, considering what they’re doing with the bat in the game right now,” he added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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