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Page last updated at 08:40 GMT, Saturday, 18 December 2010

Saturday's Ashes gossip column

Australia may be on the verge of levelling the Ashes series with victory in Perth after dominating day three, but former Aussie Test captain Ian Chappell believes current skipper Ricky Ponting is harming the side by trying to hard to prove he is worthy. Chappell also recommends Brad Haddin as a potential replacement should Ponting be relived of the captaincy.
Full story: Adelaide Advertiser

There are fears that Ponting could be ruled out of the remainder of the Ashes after he went to hospital to have an X-ray on the little finger he damaged during the third day in Perth. The injury happened when he parried a catch from second slip to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, dismissing England batsman Jonathan Trott late in the day.
Full story: Daily Telegraph

A mystic monkey is stepping into the void left by the late Paul the psychic octopus, after correctly predicting the results of the Ashes so far. Jack the cotton-top tamarin has stunned keepers with his fortune-telling skills and has predicted an England win in Perth.
Full story: the Sun

If Mike Hussey harboured any thoughts of retiring after the current Ashes series, he should shelve them immediately. Almost axed before the series started, Hussey has re-established himself as Australia's most reliable player.
Full story:

As Australia's cricketers finally show some fight, Andrew Symonds, who hit a vital century in the Melbourne Ashes Test four years, is not even interested in playing for Queensland, his native state, any more.
Full story: the Independent

David Lloyd pays tribute to Australia's hero on Friday, Mitchell Johnson. The commentator also known as Bumble writes in his newspaper column: "His rhythm and aggression were there and he got the ball to swing. And not swinging from his arm, either, but in the last third of its journey. He's announced himself now."
Full story: Daily Mail

Writer Alan Tyers reckons he knows why Johnson is suddenly a force to be reckoned with: "He had been lulled into a trance-like state and led to believe he was Craig McDermott. Plan worked brilliantly, with Mitchell emulating McDermott's 1995 Perth Ashes haul of 6-38 to perfection... frantic reprogramming was necessary to stop Mitchell getting a horrible blond spiky haircut and declaring himself bankrupt."
Full story: Daily Telegraph

Zimbabwean Richard Halsall, England's fielding coach, says the "best is yet to come" from Andrew Strauss's men, even though their catching has improved immeasurably. "We're only scratching the surface with what we're doing - this is very much a work in progress," he says.
Full story: Daily Mirror

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see also
Friday's Ashes gossip column
17 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Thursday's Ashes gossip column
16 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Wednesday's Ashes gossip column
15 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Tuesday's Ashes gossip column
14 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Monday's Ashes gossip column
13 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Sunday's Ashes gossip column
12 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Saturday's Ashes gossip column
11 Dec 10 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket

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