We have a lot of work to do: Ponting
The Aussie captain admitted that his misfiring Australian team have work to do if they are to hang on to the Ashes.india Updated: Aug 29, 2005 13:33 IST
Ricky Ponting admitted that his misfiring Australian team have work to do if they are to hang on to the Ashes after suffering a three-wicket defeat in another epic Test match on Sunday.
England clinched victory with a day to spare after a nailbiting finish to the fourth Test at Trent Bridge which saw them scrape home despite chasing a meagre 129 to win.
Master spinner Shane Warne took four wickets with quick Brett Lee grabbing three victims.
England now have a 2-1 lead in the series and if they avoid defeat in the final Test at The Oval next month, then England will win the Ashes for the first time in 18 years.
"The last three matches have been incredible," said Ponting.
"England played a very good Test and we have a lot of work to do before the next match. We must improve our batting because all we are doing is just staying in the game at the moment.
"We have to rectify that next time."
England were indebted to tailenders Ashley Giles and Matthew Hoggard for seeing them home in another nailbiting match in a series which has gripped a country normally obsessed by football.
After Australia comfortably won the first Test, England took the second by two runs before Australia mounted a terrific rearguard action to draw the third Test.
"England had the right approach and we just couldn't get the wickets we needed.
"But Warne loves this sort of occasion and Brett bowled his heart out. We were a couple of wickets short but I am proud of the way we stuck at it."
"It's hard to lose a Test match but we cannot afford to give them a head start and that is what we have done in the last two matches."
England skipper Michael Vaughan refused to celebrate winning the Ashes just yet despite the prize being tantalisingly close.
"There were plenty of nerves in the dressing room," said Vaughan who was dismissed for a duck by Warne.
"It was another epic match and it shows what this series has been about. All credit to the Australians, they make it very hard to beat them but all credit to us too because there have been outstanding performances."
"We managed to get over the finish line and now we have to make sure we go to The Oval in our best form."
"I'm sure that, like the three previous matches, it will be a nailbiting affair," he said.
First Published: Aug 29, 2005 13:28 IST