Ricky Ponting believes 5-0 Ashes thumping is highly likely for England

A whitewash could be on the cards for England after their collapse in the first Test at the Gabba, accorinding to former Australia captain Ricky Ponting.

Ponting believes the tourists had a real chance of coming out on top in the series opener in Brisbane, with a comprehensive nine-wicket defeat spelling bad news for their prospects over the next four games.

The 46-year-old, who took in events at The Gabba as a pundit for host broadcasters Channel 7, knows exactly how a 5-0 Ashes win feels having captained one in 2006/07.

"The conditions are only going to get better for Australia. The conditions (in Brisbane) were very English like," he told cricket.com.au.

"There was more pace and bounce but as far as their bowling is concerned, they're probably not going to get that much movement anywhere else for the entire series.

"If they don't win in Adelaide then there could be shades of '06/07."

Ponting also tipped in-form Western Australia seamer Jhye Richardson as an able deputy for Josh Hazlewood if the latter is ruled out with sore a sore side.

Hazlewood has left the squad and flown to Sydney but a spokesperson for Cricket Australia said he was not yet ruled out.

Richardson would be vying for selection against the uncapped Michael Neser, who pushed his case with a five-wicket haul this week for Australia A against England Lions, and Ponting thinks he has the skills to perform.

"Richardson was obviously very close to playing this Test instead of Starc. He's in great form," said Ponting.

"When the ball's not swinging and seaming, I'd have him ahead of Neser as far as an all-round bowling package is concerned. Neser obviously thrives in swinging, seaming conditions that he gets at the Gabba - and might get at some stage in Adelaide - but I still think Richardson gets the nod."

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