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Ashes 2021-22 | Not sure why England picked Chris Woakes over Mark Wood, says Ricky Ponting

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Mark Wood had returned 3/85 in Australia's first innings in the first Test in Brisbane

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Ashes 2021-22 | Not sure why England picked Chris Woakes over Mark Wood, says Ricky Ponting

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SportsCafe Desk

12/18/2021

Ricky Ponting questioned England’s team selection for the ongoing second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval, with the hosts having overlooked right-arm quick Mark Wood after the first game. Ponting also questioned the visitors’ tactics during Australia’s first innings effort of 473/9 declared.

Much like in the series opener at the Gabba, England bowlers were given a runaround in the second Ashes Test too, with Australia piling up 473/9 declared in their first innings. Marnus Labuschagne (103), David Warner (95), Steve Smith (93) and Alex Carey (51) were the chief contributors in an innings that lasted 150.4 overs.

England’s bowling didn’t quite look threatening despite the presence of three experienced quicks James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes, to go with young Ollie Robinson and the all-round services of Ben Stokes.

Ricky Ponting criticized the visitors’ team selection, who decided to drop Mark Wood, after the quick had returned 3/85 in the first Test.

"Woakes was ineffective again – I'm not sure why they bothered picking him in Adelaide when they've got Wood there,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.

"To me Wood would have given them a lot more variation in their attack and then Stokes could have pitched it up and bowled like a normal seamer, which he's good at, and Wood could have taken the role Stokes had."

Ponting also pointed out the lack of strategising on England’s part during the first two days, saying that it appeared as if the team was waiting for their opponents to make mistakes.

"It looked to me as if Stokes was given one job, to run in and bowl bouncers ball after ball," the former Australia captain said. "When he finally got the chance to bowl at a new batsman and pitch the ball, he got a wicket second ball to (Cameron) Green.

"Apart from the short-ball plan Stokes executed (on the first day), England didn't seem to have much of a plan after that. It was run in and bowl back-of-a-length and wait for the Aussies to make mistakes.

"Well, when you're bowling to two of the top three batsmen in the world, they're not going to make mistakes. You've got to find a way to get them out and change things up."

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