(Reuters) – Australia’s top order can turn things around if opener David Warner makes another slow start, assistant coach Ricky Ponting said ahead of their World Cup game against Pakistan.
Warner came in for criticism after making just 56 runs off 84 balls against India, with Australia eventually falling 36 short of a target of 353 to lose the match.
And against Afghanistan, seen as having the weakest bowling force at the tournament, Warner also scored at a strike rate well below his career average of 95.
“Davey coming back has made runs. By his own admission… (he) probably wasn’t at his absolute best,” Ponting told cricket.com.au, adding that Warner was not able to rotate as he would have liked against India.
Ponting said Australia was in need of “something pretty spectacular” after the slow start but has the ability to do so.
“There’s certainly enough skill and talent to turn it around pretty quickly,” he added.
The slow start against India also raised questions as to why big hitters such as Glenn Maxwell were not promoted up the order to increase the run rate while Usman Khawaja was dropped down the order to allow Steve Smith to go in at number three.
Ponting said it was a matter of having the right combination to tackle spinners in the middle overs before Maxwell can step up the scoring rate in the final stretch of the innings.
“We wanted to have left-hand, right-hand (combinations) with those spinners and we thought Steven plays spin as well as anybody,” Ponting added.
Australia are due to play Pakistan on Wednesday in Taunton.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith)