The five-Test series gets underway at Trent Bridge today with England generally considered the favourites on home soil.
However, the legendary Australian has called on his compatriots to be brave and said that England should not take victory for granted.
Speaking in his column in the Daily Mail, Ponting said: "I'm looking forward to following five terrific Test matches this year. Write off Australia at your peril!
"They must not be scared of failure and play with as little pressure as possible with bat and ball. If Australia play with fearlessness now, without worrying about individual limitations, they can surprise people.
"I have been upbeat about Australia's chances for some time, not just since Darren Lehmann came in, and I remain convinced that this series will be a lot closer than people think."