The Ashes: Learn from Ian Bell and Alastair Cook's careers, Ricky Ponting urges Aussie think-tank

The 38-year-old former Australian skipper is optimistic of Australia's chances to put up a good fight in the return Ashes later this year but insists that the batsmen have to improve their game.

Updated: August 17, 2013 15:02 IST
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Ricky Ponting has urged the selectors to be patient with the youngsters in the current Australian team and not axe them after the series loss to England in the Ashes.

Ponting, who is participating in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League as part of the Antigua Hawksbills, has kept a close eye on the proceedings in England. According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the former Aussie skipper feels that the likes of Steven Smith, Usman Khawaja and Phillip Hughes should be given more time as they get used to the Test level.

Skipper Michael Clarke and 35-year-old late Test entrant Chris Rogers are the only players averaging over 30 in the series so far. The batting collapse in the final innings of in the fourth Test have raised questions on the ability of the top six batsmen in the line-up.

Darren Lehmann minced no words after the defeat that careers would be on the line for some batsmen when they played in the fifth Test that starts at the Oval on Wednesday.

"Blokes are missing straight ones, that doesn't help. We have to learn from our mistakes. If they don't learn, we'll find blokes that will.

"No-one's guaranteed (their place). Apart from probably Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers," said Lehmann, who was appointed shortly before the start of the Ashes following the controversial sacking of Mickey Arthur.

Ponting, on the other hand wants selectors to follow England's example and not dispense with emerging talent at such an early stage.

"The thing that I keep referring to is that if you take England back six or seven years when they had Ian Bell just starting out, Alastair Cook just starting out, those guys weren't overnight successes," he said.

"If they're the best players we've got, then they've got to learn and grow some confidence, not be in and out of the team all the time. That's our big challenge."

Ricky Ponting has played 168 Tests, 375 ODIs and 17 T20Is for Australia from 1995 to 2012. He led the team to victory in the 2003 and 2007 ICC World Cups. He was also the captain when Australia last won an Ashes series in 2006-07 and part of the team that last won a series in England back in 2001.

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