We deserve criticism

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has said that he and his team deserve all the flack that they’ve received from the Aussie press so far in this Ashes series. Which is just as well, as they have hardly been a match for the mighty England, and deserve the tag ‘Shame of Down Under’ which we’ve just invented.

The third test starts in Perth tomorrow (well, Friday morning, really), and Ponting has something of an uphill task ahead of him: he needs to win two of the last three tests to stop England retaining the Ashes, and given the form his team have shown so far it doesn’t look all that likely. However he is coming out with all the usual pre-match platitudes about taking the criticism as a ammunition to make them play well. Righto.

‘Whatever criticism has come my or the team's way in the last few weeks has been warranted, we haven't put results on the board,’ said Ponting. ‘We haven't played a level of cricket which is going to have people writing great things about us.

‘It's been a bit different to most Ashes series. There's probably more focus on the England team when they arrive than on Australia but it seems to be different this time around, for what reason I'm not sure. But all that sort of stuff is good ammunition to make us want to play well and have some positive things written about us.’

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