Shaun Marsh is not a lock for Ashes, says Ricky Ponting. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Shaun Marsh is not a lock for Ashes, says Ricky Ponting. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Ponting: Only three Aussie bats are a lock for Ashes

Shaun Marsh is among those Ricky Ponting believes are on their final chances to make runs or miss this year's Ashes tour.

Australia's greatest ever Test run scorer would only hand plane tickets to three of the current top six, while he remains unconvinced by Marsh and Peter Handscomb.

Whereas Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja are Ponting's locks for the series. Marnus Labuschagne has also done enough to impress Australian cricket's most successful captain.

"Harris is (a lock), I've been really impressed with the way he's played," Ponting told cricket.com.au. "Khawaja is a lock to go even though he hasn't had a great series so far.

"On the back of what I saw today I really liked what I got to see from Marnus. His technique looked good."

He added Queensland's Labuschagne - who calls The Gabba his home ground - is used to swinging conditions and therefore would be suited to playing in England.

Ponting doesn't consider Travis Head to be a lock for the tour, but said he still expects him to be picked.

That leaves question marks hanging over Handscomb and, in particular, Marsh, who has made 344 runs at 18.10 in his last ten Tests.

He has only made one fifty in his past 19 Test innings, and his last century was 12 months ago at the SCG.

At the same ground on Saturday, he was caught at first slip off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja for eight to give him his tenth single-digit score in 17 innings.

"We saw again he started nice and positively and hit two really good cover drives and then it's just the ball that doesn't do anything that gets him out," Ponting told the publication.

"The fact that he played a straight one and nicked a straight one is a bit of a concern."

Ponting added that he expects both Steve Smith and David Warner will make the Ashes squad.

News Corp Australia


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