Ponting predicts sweep for Aussies in Ashes
Sydney Nov 14 (IANS) Ahead of the gruelling five-Test Ashes rubber against England starting on November 23 in Brisbane mind games from both sides have begun with former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting predicting a sweep for the hosts.
Ponting who led Australia in 77 Tests and four Ashes campaigns however favoured the tourists to win the historic day-night fixture in Adelaide as the conditions will favour the swing duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad in the second game.
"My prediction is that I think it will be four-nil Australia and I think the best chance that England have got will be in Adelaide where a night game pink ball the night time conditions will suit Anderson and Broad down to the ground " Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"But if they don t win that one I can t see them winning one."
Ponting also hit back at English greats Sir Ian Botham and Graeme Swann s comments on the home side s poor batting line-up saying England should "be looking in their own backyards" rather than casting aspersions on Australia s personnel.
Botham recently described Australia s top-order batting line-up as "one of the poorest I ve seen" while former off-spinner Swann -- who quit cricket mid-tour during Australia s 5-0 Ashes whitewash in 2013-14 -- claimed it was "one of the weakest (batting) line-ups they have had" over the past two decades.
"I think they (Botham and Swann) should be looking in their own backyards before they start worrying about ours.
"I don t remember seeing too many England teams certainly in the last 15 years anyway with some of the batsmen that I ve seen them play over the last six to eight months.
"Some of the guys I ve seen I m not too enamoured with " he said.
"I ve been a bit more outward than normal about this one because I honestly think that Australia will win really easily " Ponting added.
While the first Test will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane the second match will be played from December 2-6 at Adelaide.
The WACA Ground in Perth will host the third game from December 14-18 while the Boxing Day Test will be hosted at the MCG in Melbourne followed by the final Test from January 4-8 at the SCG in Sydney.