Ponting offers technical advice to Labuschagne, Head ahead of 2nd Ashes Test


Former captain Ricky Ponting has offered technical advice to Australia batters Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head to counter England’s bowling attack ahead of the second Ashes Test starting Wednesday at the Lord’s.

Australia won the opening Test at Edgbaston, Birmingham by two wickets in what was the first match of the new ICC World Test Championship cycle.

There were a number of impressive individual performances, but Labuschagne and Head struggled in the Ashes opener.

Ponting wants Labuschagne to go back to basics to find success, and has offered one-on-one time to the 28-year-old right-hander.

“I’ll wait for them to come and ask me. It’s not my place, I’m not one of the coaches, I’m just a past player that’s sitting back and analysing what a lot of these guys are doing,” Ponting said in the ICC Review.

“But I would like to catch up with him (Labuschagne) and have a chat about his batting, because I think what I’ve seen over the last couple of weeks, as far as I’m concerned, I think he’s over complicating things a little bit.

“I think he has to trust and believe in what’s made him the No.2-ranked Test batsman for the last couple of years and go back to trusting that. I would actually tell him to watch some video of when he’s actually played his best, and remember those things and do that all over again.” Ponting also believes Head needs to work out a plan to get through that initial phase of bouncy attacks from England bowlers.

“Firstly, he’s now going to be aware that it’s going to happen. He’s going to expect that,” said the legendary batter.

“I think he has to work at it in his own mind. What’s the best way for him to combat that type of bowling? Is it going to be to take it on? Is he going to have success if he tries to hook and pull balls that are into his body? Does he find a way to be able to duck and weave and get out of the way a bit better and try and wear bowlers down?” Ponting believes going into the second Test the main threat for Head will be the pace of Mark Wood if England decides to field him.

“Stuart Broad was probably their quickest bowler last week. Ben Stokes has been the enforcer for England in the past doing that, but his body is not going to allow him to do that role for England either.

“Coming into Lord’s, it could be Mark Wood. They might bring Wood into the team, which offers something a bit different. Hes obviously a lot quicker and bowls a really good short ball,” he said.

“He (Head) has to be aware of it, and if there is only the one bowler in the team that he thinks can do it, then find a way to get through that one spell.”


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