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England tactics frustrate Ponting


Ponting criticises England's delaying tactics

Australia captain Ricky Ponting criticised England's delaying tactics after the hosts clung on for a draw in a thrilling end to the first Test.

England sent their 12th man and physio on to the field in the closing stages in an apparent attempt to waste time.

"I don't think that was required," said Ponting. "I am not sure what the physio was doing out there - I didn't see him call for any physio.

"I'm sure others will take it up with the England hierarchy as they should."

With Australia running out of time to claim their final wicket, England sent 12th man Bilal Shafayat down to the playing area to give batsman James Anderson some new gloves.

When he returned with England physio Steve McCaig after the next over they were swiftly ushered off by some angry Australian players.

"He had changed his gloves the over before and his glove is not going to be too sweaty in one over," added Ponting. "But it's not the reason we didn't win.

There would have been a bit of celebrating and jumping up and down in the England room, I'm sure

Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting

"They can play whatever way they want to play. We have come to play by the rules and the spirit of the game and it is up to them to do what they want to do."

Asked about Ponting's comments, England captain Andrew Strauss stated: "There was a lot of confusion. We firstly sent the 12th man out to let Jimmy and Monty Panesar know there was time left and not just the overs.

"Then drinks spilt on his glove and Jimmy called up to the dressing room and we weren't sure whether we needed the 12th man or the physio.

"Our intentions were good so we weren't deliberately trying to waste a huge amount of time.

"That wasn't our tactics, those two were playing pretty well so the reality of the situation is Australia didn't take that final wicket and we got away with a draw.

"I personally thought the game was played in a pretty good spirit the whole way through.

"I didn't feel there were lines crossed and I think we'd all like it to stay that way."

Ponting admitted his man-of-the-match award, for hitting 150, meant little after his side were held to a draw in a thrilling finale.

"I'd give it back straight away for one more wicket and 20 less runs!" he said.

"We haven't really done anything wrong and we've got a lot to take out of this game. I'm disappointed we didn't win, I thought we played well enough.

"There are four Tests to go in the series and we will have to play at this level if we want to win."

When Paul Collingwood's heroic 74 came to an end, there were still more than 40 minutes of the match remaining for England's final pair of Anderson and Panesar to negotiate.


Ponting offered no excuses and commented: "Our bowlers tried valiantly, right through the game there wasn't much assistance in the wicket. Everyone tried their hardest but we just came up a little bit short.

"You've got to give England some credit for hanging in there and Paul Collingwood for the way he played.

"Losing the toss, it was always going to be really hard to win with the wicket the way it was but we did everything we needed to do to give ourselves a chance and unfortunately we were just that little bit short."

The Australia captain conceded the visiting dressing room was fairly sombre after the match but stressed that the tourists would come back strongly for the second Test at Lord's on Thursday.

"It's pretty quiet at the moment and there would have been a bit of celebrating and jumping up and down in the England room, I'm sure," he admitted.

"A lot of our boys will be disappointed for half an hour after the game and then we can reflect and talk about a lot of the good things that we did.

"That's the important thing, we did so many things really well in this game and we've got to take the confidence from that down to Lord's and make sure we start there on the same note."

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see also
Defiant England cling on for draw
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Escape will spur us on - Strauss
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England v Australia photos day five
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Australia charge thwarted by rain
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Clarke & North make England toil
10 Jul 09 |  England
Aussie batsmen dominate England
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England make solid start to Ashes
08 Jul 09 |  England
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England

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