England batsmen are vulnerable, says Ricky Ponting
Ponting has been keeping a close eye on England's series with Pakistan
Australia captain Ricky Ponting has questioned the strength of England's batting line-up ahead of this winter's Ashes series down under.
Captain Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood are all currently averaging under 30 against Pakistan.
And Ponting, who admitted to having his most inconsistent year in 2009 where he averaged 38.77, told BBC Sport: "They have a couple of vulnerable players.
"There are a few cracks and there'll be guys looking over their shoulders."
England lead their current four-match series against Pakistan 2-1 with the final Test underway at Lord's.
However, they have suffered batting collapses throughout the series.
They lost their top six for 98 in the second innings of the second Test at Trent Bridge, while their top seven fell for 94 in the first innings of the third Test at The Oval.
These collapses have not gone unnoticed by Ponting who added on BBC Radio's Test Match Special: "Alastair Cook saved his career with a second innings hundred [at The Oval] while Pietersen has not made a Test hundred in nearly 12 months which is pretty remarkable when you consider the quality of player he is.
"Strauss has not made many runs in the last few games either while [Jonathan] Trott is reasonably new and they'll have a question mark at six as to whether they'll play [Eoin] Morgan or [Ian] Bell."
Ponting, 35, also suggested that he is not particularly concerned by England's bowling attack.
"Our home conditions will play a big part," said the Tasmanian. "The English rely on the ball swinging around a lot and that's where they came undone in Australia last time.
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