‘I think the England team might be slightly past their absolute peak’, says Ricky Ponting

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“I just think they’re getting to that stage where a lot of their guys have been around a long time and they’ve been at the top or near the top for a while”

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has taken a jab at the England team just prior to the start of the Ashes series, stating that “I think the England team might be slightly past their absolute peak”.

Ponting believes that many of the England players are past their prime and it would only be a matter of time before the team start losing their momentum.

“I think the England team might be slightly past their absolute peak,” Ponting said. “I just think they’re getting to that stage where a lot of their guys have been around a long time and they’ve been at the top or near the top for a while. Some of their players would say the same, that they’re probably just tapering off a fraction and our boys are on the way up. That’s what I’m excited about with this contest.

“I think the Australian team’s only going to improve, and sometimes when you have that sort of contest some funny things can happen. I’m not being unrealistic, I know this group of players are going to have to play at their absolute peak to win the Ashes. But I think they can. We’ve got a great record at the Gabba [in Brisbane, the venue for next month’s first Test]. If we happen to win that first Test, I believe that’s possible.”

England vice-captain Matt Prior was almost speechless when he was informed about Ponting’s comments.

“Yeah, interesting,” he said. “It’s his opinion, which is great – he’s obviously a great ex-player. It’s up to us older players to show that we’re not that old just yet and hopefully got a few more years to go. Ultimately it comes down not to talking but performing.”

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