Pointing, Gilchrist Share Rescue Plan For Australia In T20 World Cup


Pointing, Gilchrist share rescue plan for Australia in T20 World Cup

The advice comes as Australia is backs to the wall after defeat in their opening T20 World Cup match with New Zealand.

MELBOURNE: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-Oct 25th, 2022) With Australia’s backs to the wall after defeat in their opening T20 World Cup meeting with New Zealand, legends Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist have weighed in on what Aaron Finch’s men need to do to stay alive in their home campaign.

While the pair enjoyed glittering success across multiple World Cup campaigns, there were certainly tense moments where the Aussies dug deep to ensure their group basked in the glory atop the winner's dais.

The duo were both part of the winning 1999 Cricket World Cup campaign, where the Aussies had early struggles, losing to New Zealand and Pakistan in matches two and three of the campaign.

Not only did the Aussies need to triumph in their remaining group games, the side needed to win all their matches in the Super Six phase, having no points carried over from their stage campaign.

The team managed to win seven consecutive matches after the two defeats to steal the trophy at Lord’s, and Gilchrist, speaking on the Big Time Preview ahead of a now do-or-die clash for Australia against Sri Lanka, pinpoints the turning point his side had to turn things around.

“It’s not the ideal situation the Australians find themselves in, a lot to think about, a lot to ponder on that opening performance, and it’s win at all costs to stay alive," Gilchrist said.

“We had a very big open heart-to-heart meeting (in 1999), there’d been a bit of build up at that time, and it came to a head where we had to really identify a few issues, a few things off-field out within the team dynamic."

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

“Honesty: I guess that’s the key thing, making sure if there is any little off-field issues, of which there are a few now for the Australians, they’ve got a bit to identify and work out," he said.

"And maybe it’s not affecting them at all, but they just need to make sure they have clear heads as they lead into this next game.”

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

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

“It’s a very lively wicket there, we know that, the bounce there is probably unlike everywhere else in the world. Maybe if you go across the road to the WACA where it’s been that way for 50 or 60 years."

Ponting went further to suggest that short-pitched bowling across T20 cricket could be better harnessed no matter the conditions, as a means to disrupt the flow of opposition batters satisfied to sit and wait for fuller deliveries.

"I actually think it's an underused ball full stop in T20 cricket. If you’ve got enough pace, use your one an over," Ponting added.

"It’s a wicket-taking delivery, if not, more often than not it’s a dot ball anyway and it’s a way to just get the batsman thinking about, not lobbing onto the front foot and thinking they can just smack you back down the ground.

“It’ll be a tactic I think for the Australians right through this tournament with (Mitchell) Starc, (Pat) Cummins, (Josh) Hazlewood, (Marus) Stoinis and even Marsh, and if (Cameron) Green plays, I reckon you’ll see all those guys use pretty much their quota of short balls right the way through.”

Ponting admits the Aussies won't have it all their way in the west though, with Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka slowly building into their campaign.

Despite an 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 tournament-derailing Aussie upset.

“I think the two most dangerous players are (Bhanuka) Rajapaksa and Shanaka," Ponting declared.

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

"Dasun Shanaka has had his best six or eight months at the international level leading into this event, through the Asia Cup.

“And they’re both batting in those sort of five and six slots which I think are going to be really important in Australia, those finishing roles now in the T20 game are going to be crucial."

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

“He’s quickly becoming the leading spin bowlers in the world in the short form game and even though the wickets in Australia don’t spin much," Ponting said.

"The little bit of movement he gets either way, a little bit like Rashid Khan, I think he’ll be a handful for any opposition.”

Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain is a staff member who writes on politics, human rights, social issues and climate change.