Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting believes that Mitchell Starc can lead the Australian bowling unit in the upcoming ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 which will be held in India in October.
For spin attack, he preferred Adam Zampa as he has been an effective asset for the Australian side for the past few years.
Ponting named Starc, especially looking into his performance in the recent ODI series against India where he picked batter Suryakumar Yadav for golden ducks twice in the series.
“It’s the overall package of Mitchell Starc. He is six-foot-five, bowls in the high 140-km per hour, he is a left-armer and he swings the new ball back in as Suryakumar found out,” Ponting told host Sanjana Ganesan on the latest episode of The ICC Review.
Considering the pacer’s record in white-ball cricket, he cannot be ignored, particularly when comes to sub-continent conditions as he can pick early wickets for his team irrespective of any condition.
“For lots of strange reasons, there have always been people willing to sit back and take potshots at Mitchell Starc for some of his performances. But if you have a cold hard look at the facts, particularly in white-ball cricket, his numbers are absolutely outstanding.” Australian former skipper added.
“He’s shown in that series just how dangerous he can be with the new ball, regardless of the conditions.” Ponting continued.
To play in sub-continent conditions, every team has to pick their best spinner, and in Ponting’s view, Adam Zampa can fit that role at easy.
“He’s probably been Australia’s key bowler in all white-ball cricket for a long time, along with Mitchell Starc, Starc has been great but Adam Zampa for four or five years now has been a real revelation.”
“He’s been the backbone of the Australian bowling attack which probably led to him being a little bit disappointed not to be picked on a Test tour to India,” Ponting said.
Zampa in the last four-five years has been a reliable source and has proven himself many times, he has led the spin unit for Australia. If Australia uses Zampa at the right moment, then he could come as a trump card for the team.
“But he’s (Adam Zampa) an outstanding performer. For a leg-spinner to become a very, very consistent performer, it’s very rare that teams get on top of him and get hold of him. He’s going to be one of Australia’s trump cards for sure.” Ponting said.
Australian team performance in India where they had beaten India at home with 2-1 will boost their confidence. Also with the last win, Australia has won two of their three ODI series against India since 2019.
Ponting also thinks that Australia should go into the World cup campaign with experienced players in their team. Adding Mitchell Marsh, David Warner, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell to the team, will bring stability to the squad.
“Obviously, in a World Cup, you want guys that have played a bit of cricket, a little bit of experience, so you don’t want to expose young guys in such a big tournament,” Ponting said.
Talking about Australian Batter Mitchell Marsh, said that he had never expected Marsh to open for Australia but he has come as a revelation at the top.
“I never expected Mitchell Marsh to be opening the batting in ODIs for Australia. I could see him opening the batting T20Is, but not really in ODIs, and he was a real revelation at the top. He played as well as I think I’ve ever seen him play.”
The veteran also showed his disappointment towards David Warner not batting up in the order in the last match, he thinks that Travis Head, Warner and Marsh trio should bat up. Whereas, Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Glenn Maxwell are great options for Australia.
“I was surprised to see David Warner bat at four in that last game. That didn’t really make a lot of sense to me because I don’t think he’ll bat there in the World Cup. I think he’ll go back to the top of the order, which will probably mean that they’ll open with the two left-handers.”
“Travis Head, if he stays in that team, has to open the batting. He’s much more dangerous against the new ball and the fast bowlers than he is against spin in the middle order. So, I think they go back to Travis Head and Warner, Marsh will be at three. Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne somewhere in there, and Glenn Maxwell. They’ve got lots of options.” Ponting concluded. (ANI)