Ponting concerned Australia do not have a finisher going into T20 World Cup

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safari
29 May 2021 | 07:10 AM
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Ponting concerned Australia do not have a finisher going into T20 World Cup

The former Australia captain also expressed that Australia need to identify the best option for a wicketkeeper

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting is concerned that Austraia do not have anyone for the finisher's role, going into the T20 World Cup like India have had MS Dhoni for years or like how now they have Hardik Pandya to do the job for them. 

"The spot they (Australia) have always been worried about is that finishing role. It's a very specialist position to be able to go in with three of four overs to go, with 50 runs needed and be able to do it," Ponting was quoted as saying in cricket.com.au.

"Dhoni has been in that one spot his whole career and no wonder he's so good at it. Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard are similar - these guys continually win games of cricket for their country and in the IPL, they're used to going in batting at those spots," he added.

Ponting reckons Marcus Stoinis, with whom he worked closely with in Delhi Capitals (DC) is someone who could be earmarked for that role. He added that one of the reasons Australia have not been able to find a finisher is because in the Big Bash League (BBL) the best batsmen bat in the top four. 

"So you've actually got no one that's consistently batting in that area. That's what we've got to find," said the 46-year-old legendary batsman.

"Is it going to be (Glenn) Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh that are going to finish the games, is it going to be (Marcus) Stoinis? I think that's the area that they're more worried about. I saw Stoinis at Delhi last year, he's opened the last few years of BBL and done a great job for the Melbourne Stars, but I needed someone that could finish games for us and he won two or three games off his own bat," he added.

"So, it's there - but they will get better at it the more they do it. How they find a way for these guys to do it more, I'm not sure," said Ponting who is currently in quarantine in a Sydney hotel after returning from the suspended IPL.

And of equal concern, said the former captain, was identifying the best option for wicketkeeper, and suggested that the uncapped Josh Inglis could be in the mix, despite missing out on the preliminary squad for the upcoming tours of the Caribbean and Bangladesh.

"The keeper-batsman is probably the slot they'd be losing the most sleep over right now...'who is going to be standing behind the stumps with the gloves on'?

"They have tried a few blokes - (Matthew) Wade has been there, (Josh) Phillipe has just played as a batter, Alex Carey has been in and out and tried in a few different batting spots."

"Josh Inglis' name could be thrown into the ring as well - I really liked what I saw from him batting in the middle order in last summer's BBL."

 "He (Inglis) plays spin really well and you think about where the World Cup is going to be (in India or the UAE), he could be a name that could come up (for selection)," Ponting added.

Ponting has been part of Australia's T20 coaching staff in recent years and was an assistant for the ODI World Cup in 2019. The T20 World Cup is scheduled to be held in India in October-November.

(With inputs from PTI)

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