London:Former Australian captain Ian Chappell has asked England to take cue from the Bodyline series and convince all-rounder Andrew Flintoff to come out of Test retirement if they desire to win the Ashes later this year.
After watching Ponting's struggle against the short balls in the last one year, Chappell believes Andrew Strauss should use Flintoff the same way former England captain Douglas Jardine had utilised Harold Larwood to remove Don Bradman in the infamous bodyline series of 1932-33.
"Jardine was quick to realise that you need good fast bowling to win in Australia. Jardine not only provided Larwood with a blueprint for unsettling Bradman, he also made sure he had plenty of fast bowling back-up. England currently have a versatile attack but the one thing they lack is a man with the speed, accuracy and aura to shake up good batsmen on bouncy Australian pitches," Chappell wrote in his column for Cricinfo.
"The one England bowler with those credentials is Flintoff... Strauss would be wise to advise Flintoff that if he's fit, he'd like him in the touring party, even if it's just for two or three specific Tests," Chappell said.
Flintoff quit Test cricket after England's Ashes win last year but he is now gearing up to make a first-class comeback with Lancashire after going under the knife to fix his knee problems.
"Every other England bowler will present a stronger challenge to Ponting's authority if a fit Flintoff is lurking in the shadows," Chappell observed.
However, Chappell had no doubt that Australia captain Ponting would be a hard nut to crack at number three position when the five-Test series commences in Brisbane on November 25.
"In the early part of his career, when good fast bowlers were still reasonably prolific, he was overshadowed by the glittering deeds of Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar. However, Ponting was able to reel in this mighty pair by becoming such a dominant No 3 batsman that he was able to dictate terms to almost any attack," he said.
"Then when Lara retired and Tendulkar's powers waned, Ponting moved to the head of the batting class, and although there are signs age is now catching up with him and the Indian maestro has gathered a second wind, Ponting is still the most influential batsman in the Australian side," Chappell added.