Ricky Ponting pinpoints Australia’s problem that could torpedo Pat Cummins’ dream of winning the World Cup

  • Ricky Ponting has identified where Australia needs to improve
  • The Aussies hardly scored any runs in their last two overs on Saturday
  • Ponting says Australia need to pile up the runs at the end of their innings

Making just one run off the final two overs almost ended Australia’s World Cup-winning run and prompted former skipper Ricky Ponting to label the middle and late effort against the New Zealanders in Dharamsala as ‘regrettable’.

The limping finish, after a combative and unstoppable opening, was not lost on the team’s coaching staff in the aftermath of the thrilling win that has put the Australians on course for a semi-final spot that still seemed a long way off after back-to-back losses . the tournament.

Amid questions over whether Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne can feature in the same side, and with injured all-rounder Marcus Stoinis nearing a return ahead of the next meeting with an embattled English team, more mediocre runs threaten to be crucial for lasting success.

Australia have scored more than 350 in three consecutive matches, but mainly thanks to brilliant opening stands, including 259 from David Warner and Mitch Marsh against Pakistan and then 175 between Warner and Travis Head against the Kiwis.

Warner has an average of over 70 for the tournament, Marsh and Head both have hundreds, but Smith is struggling to make a consistent impact, with 161 runs from six matches, and he and Labuschagne have only one each so far 50 in the tournament.

Ricky Ponting has explained where Australia needs to improve at the Cricket World Cup

The Aussies have turned their form around and defeated New Zealand on Saturday

The Aussies have turned their form around and defeated New Zealand on Saturday

With big scores dominating, batting coach Michael di Venuto said there was no doubt where the Aussies needed to improve if they were to lift the trophy for the sixth time.

“We can certainly be better in that middle period,” he said ahead of the next clash with England.

‘Their spinners bowled well. There are areas we can definitely improve; batting out our overs would have been nice.

‘One run from the last two overs looked like it was going to cost us a lot of money. Losing 4-1 wasn’t ideal to end your innings.

‘It’s about adapting to the situation you find yourself in.

“So if we lose an early wicket, Mitch goes in and plays as an opener. If we lose two early, Smudge (Smith) is in. On this occasion it’s a great opening position, the play is a little deeper so you just have to settle in the middle and adapt.”

While Test star Nathan Lyon stated that he ‘honestly believes’ Australia will play India in the final, Ponting did not miss the Aussies in his post-match assessment, having just managed to defend 388 against the Kiwis, a total which should be at least 10 more runs.

“There will be relief from the Australians, there is no doubt about that. If it had gotten away from them, their batting through the middle of their innings was deplorable,” Ponting told the ICC broadcast.

The Aussies have gone lighter on all-rounders in recent matches, leaving Cameron Green out despite Stoinis’ injury, but his return could be imminent, with Di Venuto stating Stoinis ‘should be right’ for Saturday’s clash with England in Ahmedabad.

But Ponting says Australia must bat well throughout the innings, not just early on

But Ponting says Australia must bat well throughout the innings, not just early on