Former Australian spinner Shane Warne has blasted his former captain Ricky Ponting for their loss at Edgbaston in the iconic 2005 Ashes series. Having comfortably won the first Test, Australia lost the second after captain Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat first. Shane Warne slammed Ponting's decision, calling it the worst decision ever, by any captain.
Steve Harmison, Michael Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen, Shane Warne and Marcus Trescothick joined in on a Sky Sports watch-along of the historic 2005 Ashes Test match at Edgbaston finishing in a thrilling day 4 on a Sunday. Andrew Flintoff's blistering half-century meant that England set Australia a target of 282 runs to win in the second innings. The all-rounder capped off a brilliant day, picking up the wickets of Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting to put Australia on the backfoot.
Australia motored through before Steve Harmison deceived Michael Clarke with a delightful slower delivery off the last bowl of the day, with Australia needing 107 runs to win with two wickets in hand.
While talking to Nasser Hussain, Shane Warne said that Ricky Ponting outdid the former England skipper by electing to bowl first at Edgbaston. Hussain had elected to bowl at The Gabba during the 2002/03 Ashes and Warne said that the ball at least swings there compared to Edgbaston, a wicket which the leg-spinner terms was a 'road'. Shane Warne said that Ricky Ponting's decision to bowl was probably the worst decision by any captain ever, which was a consolation for Hussain according to the bowling legend. Australia ended up losing the Test match by just 2 runs.
Shane Warne said that he believed Australia could have still won the Test match at Edgbaston. Warne added that he believed his side had a chance with him, Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz left despite Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff being at their very best. Kevin Pietersen added that England knew Australia could come up with something and said that the home side knew that the legspinner could produce something special. Pietersen said that while England were confident of levelling the series, the Australian team had a different aura and nothing was certain against the 'Kings of the game' back then.
This is not the first time that Warne had spoken out against Ponting's captaincy. While Australia's highest wicket-taker believed that Ponting communicated with his teammates and transformed himself exceptionally well to become the country's captain for nearly a decade, it is his temperament and tactics on the field that were sometimes baffling. In public, Warne had criticised Ponting back in 2009 and 2010 for his poor backing of spinners in decisive Test matches in England and India respectively, both series which Australia went on to lose narrowly.