Australia’s assistant coach Ricky Ponting said that the top-order batsmen’s vulnerability against the short ball will need to be addressed before their crucial match against India on Sunday. “You’ve got to find a way to cope and a way to get through hostile spells knowing that it’s not going to last forever,” Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Brought in by his former teammate and Australia coach Justin Langer to help the batsmen at the World Cup, Ponting reckons that India could bring in Mohammed Shami at the expense of either Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal, who took a combined five wickets against South Africa. “Bumrah we know is a very good new ball bowler and I’m sure he’ll mix it up and bowl some short stuff and some full stuff,” said Ponting.
“Bhuvneshwar will probably not worry you too much with his pace or his bouncers. Hardik can maybe rush you a little bit, so maybe they have a decision to make on the overall make up of their side. Do they maybe go with only the one spinner and use (off-spinning all-rounder) Kedhav Jadav as a second spinner and play another fast bowler? We’ll worry about that in the next couple of days and make sure all the boys are prepared,” said Ponting.
The former Australian captain said that he will be seeking answers from the likes of Usman Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell after their dismissals led to Australia slumping to 38/4 in their previous match against West Indies. It was only a sensational fightback led by Steve Smith and Nathan Coulter-Nile that bailed them out and their bowlers did the rest to secure a remarkable 15-run win. Khawaja and Maxwell both fell to uncharacteristic shots after being subjected to a short-ball barrage by the West Indies pacers and Ponting said that they will need to iron out these faults before they face the Bumrah-led Indian pace battery.
“Usman got hit again, so he’s had a few hits in the last few weeks. I haven’t spoken to him (to see) if he’s rattled, but that’s part and parcel of top-order batting against brand new balls against guys who are bowling 140kph an hour. It’s a bit of an uncharacteristic shot from (Maxwell) as well, he’s not a natural hooker and puller of the ball anyway,” said Ponting.
He also added, “These are the things I want to ask him about as well when we finish up tonight, just get inside their heads a little bit. It’s just a little bit of a blip in the radar that we’ll have a chat about and make sure we’re prepared for the next game.”