Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has asked Australia to go out in order to win the fourth Test without thinking about the consequences of the final Test at The Oval. Even he further said veteran off-spinner Nathan Lyon holds the key of their victory at Old Trafford. England are 200 for 5 from 74 overs at stumps on day three. As the fifth and final Test will begin just within the 3 days, Ponting said to win Tests in England are pretty tough.
“Australia have to go all guns blazing to win this game, do everything they can to win this game and then worry about the recovery and turnaround for the next Test match,” Ricky Ponting told cricket.com.au. “Opportunities like this don’t come around all the time.”
“They let one slip in the last Test in Leeds, they’ve bounced back strong in this game so far and they’ve just got to go in for the kill now. A shortened day (on Friday) might help the bowlers recover but they’ve got to try and do everything they can to try and bowl Australia to victory in these next two days,” he added.
Pace-spearhead Josh Hazlewood, who claimed 4-48 from 20 overs, said on Friday that right now he’s not even thinking about the fifth Test, as he knew their bench strength and the fast bowlers that are sitting outside. They are ready to play if needed.
“Most guys have had a hit-out now apart from Michael Neser, so I that’s one thing that Peter Siddle brought up at the start of the series – just focus on the game at hand, give everything for this game because we know we’ve got great back-up in the sheds. So we’ll be thinking about this game, and after this one we’ll worry about the next one,” shared Hazlewood.
While Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were troubling the England batsmen, Ricky Ponting believed experienced off-spinner Nathan Lyon will play the key role for Australia after having seen the pitch condition. Lyon helped Australia win the first test on the final day by taking 6 wickets, conceding 49 runs. Alongside him, Steve Smith also scored twin centuries in the game.
“As far as I’m concerned, Lyon 100 per cent holds the key to Australia winning the Test,” Ponting said. “The quicks have been outstanding and got all the wickets so far, but I have just got the feeling if Nathan gets it right, he’s going to be a real handful late in the game. He is getting a lot of turn and bounce and it’s not going to be an easy wicket for any batsman to start on because of that bounce and spin he is getting,” the former captain expressed.
However, Lyon wasn’t seen very comfortable in the game as he was not consistent but Ponting is confident that Nathan Lyon will bounce back in the game.