Adelaide:Ricky Ponting isn't sure whether the situation he'll face over the next three Tests is the biggest challenge of his career. He must quickly realise it is because he is fighting for runs, his team and his captaincy. England's innings demolition of Australia in Adelaide has left the hosts chasing two wins to have any chance of regaining the Ashes. In their current form, one success would be a sea-parting achievement.
Ponting has already lost two Ashes series and if he fails for a third time there will be little sympathy from spectators and selectors. There are major fires burning all around him and he is finding it impossible to put any of them out. Selection issues, the heel injury to Simon Katich, bowlers who can't maintain their line, untrustworthy spinners and the most inconsistent No.6 in the game are among the most prominent concerns. Then there is the blazing issue of his lack of runs.