Hardik Worah
03 Nov 2022 | 12:55 PM

Australia only have themselves to blame: Ponting

The defending champions will need a couple of things to go in their favour if they want to make it through to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting said "there'll be some questions asked" if Aaron Finch and Co. fail to qualify for the semi-finals of the ongoing T20 World Cup. The defending champions lost their tournament-opener against New Zealand by 89 runs, meaning their NRR took a massive hit. They got the better of Sri Lanka and Ireland but their match against England was washed out.

The hosts now want one of New Zealand or England to lose their final match, and if that doesn't happen, Australia will have to defeat Afghanistan by a huge margin to improve their NRR. All three of New Zealand (+2.233), England (+0.547) and Australia (-0.304) have five points each after four games but the latter's NRR could lead to their downfall.

"If they don't make it through, there'll be some questions asked I'm sure, because I had them in the top three coming here," Ponting was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

"I thought the final would be between two of Australia, India and England. The reason I say that was no one gave Australia a chance in the last (World Cup) over in the UAE in conditions that didn't suit. But then, they're (currently) in home conditions, and conditions that all of these guys have been brought up (in) and played a lot of cricket (in).

"I thought that everything was just sort of aligning itself quite nicely for the Aussies to make it through. But even their form coming in wasn't great either with the lead-up that they had, and they did play a lot of T20 games coming here. So there can't be any excuse as far as preparation is concerned."

Eventually, Australia could get knocked out despite losing only one match in the entire competition but Ponting feels Aaron Finch and his men have been "little bit off" in all departments.

"It's there and then the moments in games that you just have to get right, and you have to nail in World Cups. And looking back to the last one (T20 World Cup), Australia nailed all the big moments. They haven't so far in this tournament, and that's quite often the difference.

"I think Australia have been just that little bit off in probably all departments, to be honest. They've been a little bit sloppy in the field. A lot of their bowling hasn't been great, and their batters probably haven't scored the runs that they should have either - particularly probably at the top of the order. If they don't make it through, they obviously only have themselves to blame."

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