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Australia need ideal No 3 batsman in ODIs: Ponting

September 10, 2020 19:49 IST
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The ideal No 3 for Australia is a toss up between Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne

IMAGE: The ideal No 3 for Australia is a toss up between Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, reckons Ricky Ponting. Photograph: BCCI

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting feels that the national team management needs to find an ideal No 3 batsman in ODIs, someone who will own that slot in years to come.

The next ODI World Cup is scheduled to be held in India in 2023 and Ponting believes Australia have "work to do" on their one-day cricket ahead of the quadrennial event.

"They need to find someone that's going to bat at No.3 for them for a long time. It's such a pivotal role, they need to find someone who's going to be a long-term player there," Ponting said while talking to cricket.com.au.

 

"Whether that's Marnus (Labuschagne) there (at No 3) and Smith at four, or whether it's the other way round, who knows what it's going to be."

"We'll see how the Aussie boys go, but they've still got some work to do on their one-day cricket, I think," Ponting said.

While Australia lost 1-2 to England in the T20 series, Ponting isn't worried about the shortest and the longest (Tests) formats.

"We know their T20 cricket of late has been good and we know their Test cricket has been outstanding, but there's still a few little holes in their one-day game and hopefully they can patch them up over the next week or so."

Australia lost the T20 series 1-2 against England and will head into the three-match ODI series that begins in Manchester on Friday.

"There's not too many holes, but I think they just have to work out what their brand of one-day cricket is going to be and how they're going to go about it because there's no doubt the talent's all there," he said.

"You look at that squad right now and that group of players you've got over there, it's a very good squad."

Talking about England's World Cup winning skipper Eoin Morgan, Ponting said: "I think back three or four years ago and I thought Morgan was gone. I thought he was done as an international player.

"He was in the IPL, on the bench for Sunrisers (Hyderabad) and couldn't get a game, moving around different franchises as a spare overseas player.

"But now he just seems like he's found another gear and he's probably playing better than he's played in his life."

Australia still searching for their best formula in ODIs, says Finch

Ahead of the three-match ODI series against England, Australia skipper Aaron Finch on Thursday admitted that the side is still searching for their best possible formula in the 50-over format.

Australia and England are slated to face off against each other in three ODIs, and this series will be a part of the ODI Super League.

"It's a tough one because generally for a one-day tour you get on the ground with not a huge amount of time leading up to the series, so it's important that you start really well. Especially with two games in three days, you can't afford to have two bad days, otherwise, the series is over," ESPNCricinfo quoted Finch as saying.

"So I think having that ability to get out of the gates really quick and put a stamp on the series is really important and a lot of that lies with your senior players, no doubt, and making sure everyone's in a good space mentally as they can be. We're still searching for the best formula for us. We know that any time you play England you can't play at 90%, you have to be at 100% to beat them and we're excited about that challenge," he added.

Australia recently lost the three-match T20I series against England after coming up short in the first two matches. The visitors managed to win the final T20I to get some momentum behind them.

However, in ODIs, Australia has struggled off late as the side has lost each of their past four one-day series when played over three matches, and five out of six they have played since winning the 2015 World Cup.

"We're still searching for our best formula and our best 11 players day in, day out in the one-day format. I don't think there's any secret to that. There's been a great opportunity that we probably haven't nailed consistently in this format. We've played some really good cricket in patches and some indifferent cricket in other patches. I think it's important that we start to finalise our best XI and make sure of our best 15 players going forward," Finch said.

Australia has a 21-member squad for the three-match ODI series against England and Finch believes that it will all boil down how the team starts in the first ODI.

"With extended squads travelling in the near future, it's going to be important that we start to get our processes right in one-day cricket. Although we finished 2-1 down in the T20 series, I thought our process and structure was really sound, we just mis-executed in a couple of positions. We're still searching for the best formula for us. We know that any time you play England you can't play at 90%, you have to be at 100 percent to beat them and we're excited about that challenge," Finch said.

Australia and England will lock horns in the first ODI of three-match series at the Emirates Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester on Friday.

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