Ricky Ponting sees room for Usman Khawaja in World Cup XI

If David Warner and Steven Smith return to the Australia squad for the World Cup, will there nonetheless be room for Usman Khawaja, their star of the Three-2 ODI sequence win in India, within the XI? Ricky Ponting actually desires that to occur, saying that Khawaja, if required, might even drop right down to No. Three to accommodate Warner at his favoured place on the prime of the order.

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“I feel all of us noticed, over the previous few weeks, simply how skillful a participant Usman Khawaja is and might be, and I feel whenever you see him play like that, it simply makes you surprise why he would not do it a bit extra recurrently. I feel that is the disappointing factor so far as he’s involved,” Ponting mentioned at a Delhi Capitals perform forward of the IPL of the person who topped the run-getters’ chart for the five-match sequence with 383 runs, together with two centuries and two half-centuries.

“I’d be stunned if Khawaja wasn’t within the squad. Warner and he might be in the identical squad; they may not essentially play in the identical XI. Or who is aware of, they might, : Khawaja might most likely slot down at three when Warner is available in, and Steven Smith would possibly bat at 4 or 5 or one thing, simply to shore up these center overs.”

“I’d think about that Aaron Finch can be leaning on Steven Smith so much for a bit of recommendation, perhaps main into the video games, so far as their preparations and all the things is worried, and perhaps a bit of recommendation and data as the sport is being performed”


It is a toughie for the selectors, Ponting, who will be part of the Australian workforce as its assistant coach after the IPL, conceded, with the workforce having tried out many gamers within the almost-year since Smith and Warner had been banned for his or her roles within the ball-tampering scandal within the Newlands Check in opposition to South Africa.

“It is going to be a tricky job for the Australian selectors. The truth that they’ve performed so many gamers over the previous 12 months and given alternatives to so many gamers, it is most likely created a state of affairs now that they’ve 20 gamers they’d wish to have of their World Cup squad. However they’ve to chop that again right down to 15. It is a good place for the Australian workforce to be in. Fortunately I am not a selector, as a result of that is going to be a tricky job,” he mentioned.

Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly, coach and advisor with Delhi Capitals respectively, share fun at a press occasion PTI

One of many trickier bits for the workforce is the type of Aaron Finch, their limited-overs captain. Finch has endured a poor run of type throughout codecs of late, with the 93 he scored in opposition to India within the third ODI his solely main rating. He’ll lead the workforce within the upcoming sequence of ODIs within the UAE in opposition to Pakistan too, however his type will most actually be underneath the microscope.

Ponting mentioned he was “fairly positive” Finch would lead Australia on the World Cup, including that he ought to make use of Smith’s presence on the sector when vital.

“He (Smith) remains to be out on the sector, so he might help Aaron Finch out. I feel that is the way in which the workforce will work. With David Warner and Steve Smith coming again, you have received two very skilled gamers coming again into the line-up, and two very, excellent gamers. So I’d think about that Aaron Finch can be leaning on Steven Smith so much for a bit of recommendation, perhaps main into the video games, so far as their preparations and all the things is worried, and perhaps a bit of recommendation and data as the sport is being performed,” Ponting mentioned.

“I do not see it as a priority. I feel it confirmed nice character from Aaron Finch to have the ability to, although he wasn’t taking part in effectively personally for a very long time, to come back to India and play that one actually good innings the place he made 97 [93]; however to have the ability to lead effectively when he wasn’t taking part in effectively says so much about him. What we learn about Aaron Finch is that he’s a really, excellent white-ball participant, he is most likely been Australia’s finest one-day participant for the final couple of years.

“It is a good signal for Australia that although he is out of shape, if he will get into type simply earlier than the World Cup, then it is an actual optimistic for Australia.”

The sequence win in India has modified folks’s perceptions about Australia. They’d been in a trough of kinds for the very best a part of 2018, however beating India has come at a wonderful time maintaining the World Cup in thoughts.

“It is humorous how shortly issues can change. Two weeks in the past, not a single particular person on this planet would have given Australia an opportunity of profitable the World Cup. On the again of three actually good wins over right here, everybody’s speaking about Australia once more,” Ponting mentioned.

“What’s occurred of late, I do not assume any workforce shall be taking Australia with no consideration, as they will not take India with no consideration on the again of shedding that sequence. Everybody’s making so much in regards to the end result from Australia and being a bit extra unfavorable in direction of India. There isn’t any want for that in any respect. This Indian cricket workforce is a really, excellent cricket workforce. No matter place they’ve up for grabs of their batting order [the No. 4 batsman], they’re going to fill that with a top quality participant. And they’re going to go into the World Cup as one of many favourites, if not the favorite.”

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