Gilchrist, Ponting highlight key steps to save Australia’s T20 World Cup | Catch My Job


With Australia’s backs against the wall following their T20 World Cup opener loss to New Zealand, legends Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist weighed in on what Aaron Finch’s men need to do to stay alive in their domestic campaign.

While the pair have enjoyed great success in multiple World Cup campaigns, there were certainly tense moments as the Australians dug deep to ensure their group enjoyed glory atop the podium.

Both were part of the victorious 1999 Cricket World Cup campaign, where the Australians struggled early, losing to New Zealand and Pakistan in matches two and three of the campaign.

Not only did the Australians have to triumph in their remaining group games, the team had to win all of their Super Six stage matches, with no points carried over from their stage.

The team made it seven straight after two losses to steal the trophy at Lord’s and Gilchrist, speaking at the Big Time Preview ahead of Australia’s do-or-die clash against Sri Lanka, highlighted the turning point his side had to turn things around .

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“It’s not an ideal situation for the Australians to be in, a lot to think about, a lot to think about that opening performance, and the win at all costs is to stay alive,” Gilchrist said.

“We had a very big open heart-to-heart meeting (in 1999), there was a little build-up at that time, and it came to a head where we really had to identify a few issues, a few things off the field in the team dynamic.”

Gilchrist believes the 2022 side now have their own situation to deal with, and stresses the need to sit down and ensure nothing is left unsaid that could benefit the team.

“Honesty: I guess that’s the key thing, making sure there are some small off-field issues, of which there are a few now for the Australians, they need to identify and address,” he said.

“And maybe it doesn’t affect them at all, but they just need to make sure they have a clear head leading into the next game.”

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When asked how Australia will implement their plans on the field against Sri Lanka at the Perth Stadium on Tuesday, Ponting believes the fast bowling artillery must make the most of the local conditions.

“I think it’s fair to say that the Sri Lankans can probably expect their fair share of shorter balls there,” Ponting noted.

“It’s a very lively door there, we know that, the bounce there is probably different than anywhere else in the world.” Maybe if you go across the street to VACA where it’s been like that for 50 or 60 years.”

Ponting went further to suggest that short-pitched bowling in T20 cricket could be better utilized regardless of the conditions, as a means of disrupting the flow of opposition batsmen who are content to sit back and wait for fuller deliveries.

“I actually think it’s an underutilized spot in T20 cricket. If you have enough pace, use yours and more,” Ponting added.

“It’s a wicket delivery, if not, more often than not, it’s a dot ball anyway and it’s a way of just making the batsman think about it rather than pounding on the front foot and thinking they can just hit you down the ground.”

“I think that will be the tactic for the Australians during this tournament with (Mitchell) Starc, (Pat) Cummins, (Josh) Hazlewood, (Marus) Stoinis and even Marsh, and if (Cameron) Green plays I think you will see that all those guys pretty much use their quota of short balls to the end.”

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Ponting admits the Aussies won’t get it right in the west as Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka ease into their campaign.

Despite their opening defeat to Namibia, Dasun Shanaka’s side topped Group A on net run rate and the skipper is one of three key men for a potential upset of the Australians to derail.

“I think the two most dangerous players are (Bhanuk) Rajapaksa and Shanak,” Ponting said.

“I saw Rajapaksa up close and personal in the IPL and he did some pretty amazing things there. He is a dangerous striker of the ball.

“Dasun Shanaka had his best six or eight months at international level leading up to this event, through the Asian Cup.

“And they’re both batting in those five and six slots which I think will be very important in Australia, those finishing roles now in the T20 game will be key.”

With the ball, MRF Tires third-ranked T20I bowler and fifth-ranked all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga is a clear threat in Ponting’s eyes.

“He is quickly becoming the leading bowler in the world in the short-form game, even though the wickets in Australia don’t spin much,” Ponting said.

“The bit of movement he gets anyway, a bit like Rashid Khan, I think he’ll be a handful for any opposition.”


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