Ability to play and use spin to define Australia’s WC: Ponting

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes that Australia’s chances at the World Cup will depend on spin – their ability to use Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa effectively, and their batsmen’s ability to play against it. Head coach Justin Langer had laid emphasis in the recent past on the batsmen playing spin better, and Australia’s batsmen showcased a stark improvement on their recent ODI tour of India where they beat the hosts 3-2.
“The thing that will define Australia’s success in the World Cup is, one, how well they bowl spin and, two, how well they play it,” Ponting told The Telegraph on Thursday (May 23). “That’s been their Achilles’ heel the last 12 or 18 months. With [Adam] Zampa bowling well now, Nathan Lyon’s obviously in the squad and Glenn Maxwell’s done a good job with the ball whenever he’s played.“And I think some of our middle order are probably slightly better players of spin now than they were 12 or 18 months ago. With Warner there now and Steve Smith coming back in, the middle order looks a lot better against spin bowling than it probably was.”Having served their one-year bans for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal, both David Warner and Steve Smith have returned to the Australian fold, bolstering their batting with the duo displaying some promising form. Warner was the highest run-getter in the IPL, while Smith’s half-century in the warm-up game would have given him confidence.“They’re both playing really well. Steve Smith still thinks he’s not probably 100% fit just yet – but he’s not far away. And Warner’s been the dominant batsman in the IPL,” Ponting said. “Those two coming in, obviously they’re class players – they’ll have their fair share of issues to deal with from the crowds and stuff when they get over there. But they’re big boys. They’ve been there and seen it all before. I’m sure they’ll be fine.”Aaron Finch copped a lot of criticism following his run of low scores in the last 12 months or so. However, in Australia’s series wins against India and Pakistan heading into the World Cup, the skipper bounced back to be among the runs, strengthening the top order and the runs coming from it.“The fact that Aaron Finch has just had a bit of success lately as captain and had got himself back into the runs after a pretty lean 12 months with the bat, that’ll give him a lot of confidence going into this World Cup. To beat India in India for him as a captain is a big feather in his cap. They’ve got a really good chance – I’ve been saying that for 12 months. It looks like a lot of the work that Justin and the senior players have done around the group is starting to pay off.”Since Australia’s mighty downfall in the last couple of years in the cricketing spectrum, they have roped in legends from the past to assist the current team in their big to resurgance. Ponting, a three-time World Cup-winner, twice as captain, was roped in specifically to work with the team ahead of the World Cup in order to provide his expertise as well as lend his vast experience of being invovled in the global tournaments.