‘Steven Smith, David Warner nonetheless must show they’re the most effective gamers’ – Ricky Ponting

Following Australia’s gorgeous Three-2 win within the ODI sequence in India, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting feels Steven Smith and David Warner now have to point out that they continue to be among the many greatest gamers accessible by making a mark within the upcoming IPL. The banned duo have been briefly reunited with the Australia squad within the UAE earlier than beginning their respective IPL campaigns forward of what’s anticipated to be a world return on the World Cup.

Minus them and different injured senior gamers, Australia staged an excellent comeback from being 2-Zero down within the five-match sequence with a lot of unlikely heroes stepping up. With the World Cup across the nook, the returns of Smith and Warner to the crew is more likely to make it tough for the selectors to resolve who ought to make means.

Coach Justin Langer had emphasised his choice for Smith and Warner to play some type of top-tier cricket earlier than they had been again and Ponting, who has been named Australia’s assistant coach for the World Cup, believes that the crew’s latest success will increase the significance of the IPL for them.

“I believe they [Smith and Warner] nonetheless must show they’re the most effective gamers, particularly on the again of what has occurred within the latest ODIs towards India,” Ponting informed the Instances of India. “These guys haven’t performed any high-level cricket for a very long time. IPL turns into actually necessary for them. IPL is high-level cricket, and in the event that they do properly then they may get numerous confidence. If they do not have a superb IPL, then there might be a couple of extra query marks relating to their names.”

“Two weeks in the past, not many would have been speaking about Australia as Cup contenders. Now, unexpectedly, they’re proper again within the calculations.”

Ricky Ponting

Though Australia’s collective effort was lauded, captain Aaron Finch’s poor run of kind got here beneath scrutiny. Finch, who took over the captaincy from Tim Paine in October final yr, has made 240 runs in 11 ODIs since he assumed the function. Nevertheless, Ponting backed him, including that he has solely turn into a greater captain over the months and he did present indicators of regaining kind with 93 in Ranchi.

“Sure, he has struggled by the final six or seven months, however I believe his captaincy has truly obtained higher. Usually when a captain’s struggling, the crew’s struggling. Finch has been struggling however they’ve nonetheless discovered a technique to win, so his management will need to have been sturdy for Australia to come back again from Zero-2 down in India. If you happen to wind the clock again 12 months, he was Australia’s greatest ODI participant. If he is in kind, it is a harmful squad.”

Earlier than the win in India, Australia had misplaced all of the six bilateral ODI sequence they’d performed since 2017. Whereas it raised doubts if they’d succeed of their World Cup title defence, Ponting stated that the latest win has launched them proper again into rivalry, stressing that the aspect ought to now deal with not getting overwhelmed by the success they’ve present in the previous few weeks.

“Effectively, these groups, in 2003, 2007…they had been once-in-a-generation groups, we had stars from No. 1 to No. 11. Now, if it is Warner, Smith, Khawaja, Finch, Maxwell, Turner, Zampa, Starc, Cummins and Hazlewood…it finally ends up being a fairly wonderful line-up as properly, with Nathan Lyon because the second spinner. There’s nice depth there,” Ponting stated.

“Two weeks in the past, not many would have been speaking about Australia as Cup contenders. Now, unexpectedly, they’re proper again within the calculations. That stated, it is also necessary for Australia to not get carried away by what’s occurred these previous few days.”

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