Melbourne: England's fast bowlers have been asked by ex-skipper Tony Greig to adopt Bodyline-style tactics and target ageing Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who has become increasingly vulnerable to the short ball.
Greig rated Ponting as Australia's “No.1 dangerman”, and said the 35-year-old skipper had become increasingly susceptible to the bouncer.
“And if I was playing him, I'd be at his head and at his throat with two men back on the boundary. He's getting older so common knowledge will tell you he's not quite the puller he used to be,” The Courier Mail quoted Greig, as saying.
“He was one of the best ever, but he's been opened up now (by Steve Harmison in 2005, which has left him scarred on the cheek), been hit a few times in the head and got out to playing the pull shot,” he said.
“Players who have played it are inclined to keep playing it. And if I was England, certainly at the Gabba, I'd have two straight back on the boundary and be right at him.
“To a lesser degree it's the philosophy adopted by (Douglas) Jardine (during the Bodyline series) who had to halve (Don) Bradman's average,” Greig said.
England pair Stuart Broad and James Anderson will be keen to focus on Ponting, who has made nine half centuries in his past 30 innings but only gone on to reach triple figures twice.
Greig said: “If Ricky gets off to a good start and gets runs, which he is likely to do because he is such a fantastic player and tough customer, I think the whole place will lift.”