Ponting’s a defeat away from sack

FORMER England captain Michael Vaughan has warned Australia skipper Ricky Ponting it will be a case of three strikes and you’re out if he fails to regain the Ashes this winter.

Ponting’s position is already the subject of intense scrutiny following the recent drawn series in England against Pakistan and last month’s defeat in India.

And Vaughan, who outwitted Ponting when England won back the Ashes in 2005, says the pugnacious Tasmanian should expect to be out of a job if he suffers a third defeat against the old enemy.

“If he loses the series he will go,” said Vaughan. “He has lost the Ashes twice and hasn’t won an Ashes in England either.

“He has a phenomenal record but now he has a team that is almost back in the ranks of normal cricket teams. He will have to be at his best, both as a captain and as a batsman to put England under pressure.”