With three months until the Ashes series begins in Australia, Ricky Ponting has been stoking up the fire by questioning whether Eoin Morgan has got what it takes to succeed at Test level.
A week after claiming a 5-0 whitewash this winter was “absolutely possible”, Ponting, who should be readying his team for October’s Test series in India, has praised Eoin Morgan’s one-day record but could not resist a jibe at England’s reliance on foreign-born players.
Irishman Morgan joins Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen, both born and raised in South Africa, and Matt Prior and captain Andrew Strauss, born in South Africa but raised in England, in the test side that is almost certain to go to Australia.
“I’ve got a lot of thoughts on why they pick those guys [non-England born players],” said Ponting, “it is quite surprising when you work out how many there are.”
Those thoughts were never revealed but his questioning of Eoin Morgan’s Test ability will certainly be the talk of the England dressing room as England look to win the fourth Test against Pakistan which starts on Thursday.
If England can retain the Ashes then Ponting will go down as the only Australian captain of the modern era to lose three Ashes series.
A draw in the fourth test against Pakistan would suit England and is good value at 5/2. See the full England vs Pakistan match betting market here.