Assistant coach for Australia – Ricky Ponting is elated to see some competition within the team ahead of the 2019 World Cup. The two-time winning skipper Ponting is equally satisfied with the way David Warner and Steven Smith have gained the momentum in the lead up to the much-awaited ODI showpiece.
“From what I’ve seen with those two guys (Smith and David Warner), they’ve slotted back in beautifully and they’re the same people as they were around the group before they left,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
Meanwhile, the twelfth edition of the ODI showpiece will begin on Thursday (May 30) when hosts England will face equally good South Africa at Kennington Oval in London.
Competition within the Australian team:
Furthermore, Ponting maintained he wouldn’t dwell into what unfolded during the recently-held warm-up game against Windies in Hampshire. He added Warner has a chance to bat at the top following his batting at number three spot. He made it clear that the team has some serious competition for different places.
During the unofficial game at Nursery Ground in Ageas Bowl, Smith has scored a fine half-century alongside Shaun Marsh. Unfortunately, Usman Khawaja had coupled a blow on his jaw when Andre Russell was bowling. However, the scans revealed there is no sign of an injury.
“I wouldn’t read too much into what’s happened here today (with Warner batting at three). Come the next game there’s every chance Davey (Warner) is back at the top of the order. One of the really pleasing things with the side is you’ve got competition for spots. Is Khawaja No.3? And Is Marsh No.3? Is Khawaja opening? Is Warner opening?” Ponting said.
Overall, the players have equally stepped up to shoulder the responsibility.
“It’s good healthy competition among the guys, it keeps them on their toes and keeps them working hard,” Ponting said.
The Australian team has embraced the duo after completing their 12-month sanction each in the wake-up of the ball-tampering scandal in March 2018 during the third Test against South Africa at Cape Town.
Warner to return to open the innings?
The 44-year-old veteran revealed head coach and his former teammate Justin Langer is using players at different positions.
“Justin’s (coach Langer) trying guys in different places now. It just keeps them on their toes a little bit and it probably keeps the other teams just wondering what Australia is going to do with their line-up as well,” Ponting stated.
Australia will begin their World Cup campaign against Afghanistan on June 1st in Bristol