Former captain Tony Greig has implored England to invoke the spirit of Bodyline in a bid to destroy Australia captain Ricky Ponting and set the platform for a successful Ashes defence.
Greig, who led England in 58 Tests, believes Ponting is becoming increasingly vulnerable to the short ball and has urged the tourists' pacemen to target the Tasmanian with an unrelenting bouncer barrage in the hope he struggles through the series and infects the rest of the team with self-doubt.
It's a tactic first adopted by Douglas Jardine to blunt Don Bradman in the infamous 1932/33 Bodyline series, which saw relations between the two nations drop to an all-time low.
"If I was playing against him (Ponting) I'd be at his head, at his throat, with two fieldsmen back," Greig said.
"He's not quite the puller he used to be - he was one of the best ever - but he's been hit a few times in the head and been out playing the pull shot.
"When you don't start to hit them or see them as well as you used to (there are doubts).
"If Ricky gets nailed a few times and gets out to the hook shot, it will lift the Englishmen no end.
"If I was England, particularly at the Gabba, I would have two back straight away at the boundary and I'd be right at him.
"It was the sort of philosophy that was adopted by (Douglas) Jardine in Bodyline. He had to halve the average of Bradman."
But Greig conceded any plan to target Ponting had to be carried out perfectly or it could backfire in spectacular fashion.
"He is still the number one dangerman," Greig added.
"From an Australia point of view, I think Ricky's performance is vital.
"If Ricky gets off to a good start and gets some runs then I think the whole place will lift."
Former Australia captain Mark Taylor agrees Ponting's form with the bat will go a long way towards deciding the series.
But he says England are on the wrong track if they believe the Australian skipper is in steep decline.
"He's been out to the hook a few times over the last year and a half so it might work, but that's the sort of tactic that could also backfire," Taylor said.
"If Ricky starts playing the hook shot and finds the middle of the bat he can score pretty quickly.
"He bats at three, he's a pivotal man for Australia and if he has a good series I'm sure the Australian side will just follow him.
"If they can upset Ricky and he doesn't bat as well as he would like to bat, it'll go a long way for England to winning the series."Reuse content