Ponting at risk

Michael Vaughan has said that should England win the Ashes in Australia then it would be the end of Ricky Ponting’s time as Australia captain.

Vaughan, who was part of the team that won the historic series in 2005, is helping to pile more pressure on the Tasmanian, who is being criticised in Australia for his team’s poor performances against India and Pakistan, and is convinced that losing a third Ashes series would signal his departure.

‘If he loses the series he will go,’ he said. ‘He has lost the Ashes twice and hasn't won an Ashes in England either. Obviously he won the 06-07 Ashes 5-0 but he had a better team to manage those days but now he has a team that is almost back in the ranks of normal cricket teams.

‘His record in Australia is phenomenal but he will have to be at his best, both as a captain and as a batsman, to put England under pressure.

‘They (England) can win it. It's our most realistic chance since 1987. For so many years it seemed that they didn't know how to lose but they do now. The likes of Graeme Swann, Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Broad and Andrew Strauss are real match-winners and we therefore have a great chance.’

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