Ashes: Ponting separates the techniques of the English Burns, Hameed and Pope

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Pope, Burns and Hameed have struggled so far inland (Photo: Getty)

Ricky Ponting highlighted the issues struggling hitters Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed and Ollie Pope faced in the first two sets of Tests of the Ashes against Australia.

All three hitters face losing their spots for the third test of the series in Melbourne after none of them score over 40 in the first two matches.

Burns in particular struggled with the rebound and swing of the new ball, with his nervous technique looking rather ominous in Australian conditions.

Meanwhile, Hameed and Pope looked good in the spells, but both batters’ desire to feel the bat on the ball meant they struggled to stay in the crease for a while.

And former Australian captain Ponting explained why the three of them struggled so hard.

“Rory Burns is a real fighter, he doesn’t rely on solid technique, he has his own way of handling his stick,” Ponting told Fox Sports.


Former Australian hitter Ricky Ponting.
Ricky Ponting described the issues the three hitters face (Photo: Getty)

“I think he’s fighting real demons against the ball leaving him right now with Mitchell Starc’s angle and throwing the ball off, he flipped it around his legs in Brisbane, he got it with a good catch on the second slide in Adelaide.

“Almost every time he’s tried to dodge it against the first ball in the innings.

“I think with Rory Burns it seems his feet are moving a lot more than he thinks he is going so far on his stumps and blocking his feet that he really struggles to score points on the off – game or down from the ground.

“If you look at where his races are coming from, they’re all pretty square on the leg side and good bowlers won’t give you that opportunity. I’d be surprised if he stayed in the squad, he just watches everything at sea. Even against Nathan Lyon I’m not sure he has a great game plan either.

“Hameed, for an opener, he doesn’t know what to play on and what to leave.


English batter Haseeb Hameed.
Hameed has been caught behind the wicket in three of his four innings so far (Photo: Getty)

“I think if you look at his layoffs so far this streak has clearly been bullets where if he had been more decisive with his decision making and footwork. Probably two layoffs and Brisbane and even Adelaide’s, I know it was a really good Richardson ball but he didn’t need to play it, it was a back ball, it was about fifth or sixth strain. He didn’t need to have his bat nearby.

“He was playing a defensive shot, great if you’re playing an offensive shot and looking to score, but when you’re looking to defend the balls on the fifth stump length, it’s just recipe for disaster.

“Pope just seems in a hurry, he actually started very well on the fifth day [in Adelaide] and it looked like he was going to have a good day.

“There’s another one, he didn’t need to play that ball, Mitchell Starc over the wicket, fishing through, probably the fifth stump but probably passing over the stumps through another set so he didn’t. didn’t need to play length or line.

“To be honest I know he fought hard in Brisbane, but on a wicket that has something against good quality bowling I think he’s going to have a hard time.”

MORE: Matt Prior names two key areas England need to improve ahead of Third Ashes Test

MORE: ‘I almost fell out of my seat!’ – Australian legend Ricky Ponting castigates Joe Root’s comments after second Ash test

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