Ponting surprised by Lord's heckling

LONDON: Australia captain Ricky Ponting admitted Saturday that he had been surprised by the aggressive nature of the crowd at Lord's during the second Ashes Test against England.

Ponting was frequently booed, a treatment he had not expected to experience at the home of cricket.

"I'm not sure why I was so much the bad guy with the fans," Ponting wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

"Lord's is the one place around England where you don't expect to get heckled. You tend to get a more subdued, cricket-loving crowd and one that's more focused on what's happening in the game.

"But I guess any Australian captain is going to cop it over here. Some people have said it's because I'm the last one out of that group of players who had a lot of success in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Perhaps it's just payback time."

Ponting also admitted that after a strong showing in the series opener, Australia's batting was below par in the second Test.

But despite his disappointment he hinted that changes would be unlikely at Edgbaston on Thursday.

"Our batsmen can't get off too lightly; a first-innings total of 215 was a couple of hundred under par on a very good pitch. Personally I was disappointed that my own quiet form at Lord's continued and I might have to think of carrying on until the 2013 tour just to get my name on that honours board.

"But, even so, I am not expecting too many changes ahead of the Edgbaston Test."