Ricky Ponting highlights importance of top-order batsmen in the Australian team

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Ricky Ponting highlights importance of top-order batsmen in the Australian team

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SportsCafe Desk

06/14/2018

Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting was highly critical of the Australian batting order’s performance in the first ODI against England which ended in a defeat at the Oval stadium. The 2019 World Cup hosts beat Australia by three wickets in the first of a five-match ODI series.

Ricky Ponting, widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of his generation, after coaching the Delhi Daredevils in the recently concluded IPL season, took up a spot in the backroom staff of new Australia coach and former Test team-mate Justin Langer for the England tour. Ponting was highly critical of the Australian batting orders performance in the first ODI loss against the home team at the Oval stadium. Australia were beaten by three wickets after a decent knock of 69 by Eoin Morgan ensured the home team chased the target of 215 with six overs to spare. 

"It highlighted again the importance of our top-order batsman taking responsibility and getting some big runs. We lost an early wicket but I thought Marsh and Finch's partnership looked really promising. But both of them getting out in successive overs to Moeen Ali, and all of a sudden we are behind the eight ball.

"It's just little moments like that were someone just has to put their hand up and say 'Right, I am going to be the man that's going to get through here and do what my team needs me to do' and it didn't happen,"  Ponting said ahead of the second ODI, to be played in Cardiff on Saturday.

After the Australian top order failed to fire on all cylinders, Glenn Maxwell (62) and Ashton Agar (40) tried to repair the damage for the visitors but their sixth-wicket stand of 84 couldn't change the course of the game. Ponting, who made a brilliant 140 not out when Australia beat India in the 2003 World Cup final in Johannesburg, said that he was still confident in the group of individuals that have traveled to England an expected them to do better in the second ODI.

"These players need to be hard on themselves and work out how they can improve on a daily basis. It didn't happen (Wednesday) but there is certainly enough skill and talent there to push on and win some games through the remainder of this series," Ponting added.

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