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Starc, Zampa key to Australia's World Cup aspirations: Ricky Ponting

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Last updated on 04 Apr 2023 | 07:01 AM
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Starc, Zampa key to Australia's World Cup aspirations: Ricky Ponting

"Starc has been great but Adam Zampa for four or five years now has been a real revelation," the former Australia skipper said

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting reckons Australia need pacer Mitchell Starc and spinner Adam Zampa will be key for Australia as they look to clinch their sixth ODI World Cup title in India later this year. Starc was a standout in the ODI series against India recently, while Zampa too played a pivotal role as the Aussies came from behind to clinch the series 2-1.

"It's the overall package of Mitchell Starc. He's six-foot-five, bowls in the high 140-km per hour, he's a left-armer and he swings the new ball back in as Suryakumar found out," Ponting said on the latest episode of The ICC Review.

"When he's on song, he's as good as anyone in the world and has been for a long time. 

"For lots of strange reasons, there has always been people willing to sit back and take potshots at Mitchell Starc for some of his performances. But if you have a cold hard look at the facts, particularly in white-ball cricket, his numbers are absolutely outstanding.

"He's shown in that series just how dangerous he can be with the new ball, regardless of the conditions."

Speaking of Zampa, the leading wicket-taker in the ICC CWC ODI Super League with 41 wickets at 19.73 in 18 matches, has been a real revelation over the last 4-5 years, Ponting reckons.

"He's probably been Australia's key bowler in all white-ball cricket for a long time, along with Mitchell Starc," Ponting said.

"Starc has been great but Adam Zampa for four or five years now has been a real revelation. He's been the backbone of the Australian bowling attack which probably led to him being a little bit disappointed not to be picked on a Test tour to India

"But he's an outstanding performer. For a leg-spinner to become a very, very consistent performer, it's very rare that teams get on top of him and get hold of him.  He's going to be one of Australia's trump cards for sure."

Ponting, who won the World Cup in 2003 and 2007 as captain believes Australia have plenty of batters to play with going into the tournament. The ODI series against India threw up a few surprises in terms of the batting order of certain batters, but Ponting believes that it will be a one-off.

"Obviously, in a World Cup, you want guys that have played a bit of cricket, a little bit of experience, so you don't want to expose young guys in such a big tournament," Ponting said. 

"I never expected Mitchell Marsh to be opening the batting in ODIs for Australia. I could see him opening the batting T20Is, but not really in ODIs, and he was a real revelation at the top. He played as well as I think I've ever seen him play.

"I was surprised to see David Warner bat at four in that last game. That didn't really make a lot of sense to me because I don't think he'll bat there in the World Cup. I think he'll go back to the top of the order, which will probably mean that they'll open with the two left-handers. 

"Travis Head, if he stays in that team, has to open the batting. He's much more dangerous against the new ball and the fast bowlers than he is against spin in the middle order.

"So I think they go back to Travis Head and Warner, Marsh will be at three. Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne somewhere in there, and Glenn Maxwell. They've got lots of options."

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