Cardiff (Wales), July 12 (ANI): By closing his side's first innings with a lead of 239, Australian captain Ricky Ponting has set his England counterpart Andrew Strauss a task that will test his leadership as well as his batting ability, feels former player and noted commentator Richie Benaud.
"I was disappointed in England's bowling attack because I've been singing its praises of late.Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Andrew Flintoff were in the form of their lives and I rate Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar highly," Benaud says in his article for News of The World.
"Neither the England off spinner nor the left hander bowled a tight line and length and their changes of pace were virtually non-existent. Ponting, Simon Katich and Michael Clarke handled them superbly, but I give top marks to Marcus North," Benaud says.
"When Ponting was dismissed with Australia 118 behind, the chance was there for England to gain a sizeable lead - but North rebuffed them. More credit to him because he was another written off as being below Ashes standard," he adds.
He also says that Ponting's declaration was perfectly timed as he was keeping tabs on the weather.
He (Ponting) wanted 10 overs at England before the rain arrived. In fact he managed only seven, but it was enough to take two England wickets, Benaud says. (ANI)