The Ashes

Ponting: Australia's 'relentless' pace battery deserves a lot of credit

Ricky Ponting said that Australia’s ‘relentless’ bowling attack deserves as much credit for retaining the Ashes as Steve Smith.

Smith, who has been the best batsman on the tour by a country mile, scored 671 runs at an average of 134.20 in three Tests.

He ended up with scores of 211 and 82 in Australia's 185-run thumping win in the fourth Test, a result that left them 2-1 up with just one game to be played at The Oval.

But Ponting insisted the bowlers' efforts in regaining the Ashes shouldn’t be ignored.

Also Read: Paine calls Smith the 'best player' he has ever seen

"I think they (Australia) should have had a bigger lead, not just on the back of Steve Smith," Ponting told Sky Sports.

"Everyone is talking about what impact he has had, but the whole bowling department has been absolutely outstanding. Look at the difference in the bowling attacks in this game.

"(Mitchell) Starc, (Pat) Cummins, (Josh) Hazlewood and (Nathan) Lyon, match that up with the England attack. There were more holes in that England attack than the Australia one.

"They were relentless in everything they did."

‘Australia deserved to retain the Ashes’ – Hussain

Ex-England captain Nasser Hussain said Australia deserved to retain the Ashes.

England managed to take the game into the final hour of the last day before being rolled out for 197 in pursuit of 393.

But Hussain said the current England side showed resolve instead of collapsing quickly.

"There has been progress," said Hussain.

"You can't fault the character and resilience of this England side. Other England sides would have just crumbled in a heap.

"But the problem is they often find themselves 10 for two, 20 for two.

"Against certain sides you can come back from that, but from nought for two last night against this Australian attack, you can't come back from that."

"Let's be honest, if England had gone to The Oval at 1-1, I think it would have been a travesty," he added.

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