With the 2019 World Cup fast approaching, the preparations are going on a rapid flow in the Australian camp, who are gearing up to defend the title that they won by defeating joint hosts New Zealand in the finals of the 2015 edition of the tournament. With two brilliant series victories against India and Australia in their own backyards on their back and the return of the two mainstays, David Warner and Steve Smith, the reigning champions are surely looking as one of the top contenders to win the coveted title.
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who captained the national team in two successful World Cup triumphs in 2003 and 2007, reckons that the batters ability to play spin and the performance of the spinners will decide their fortunes in the upcoming showpiece event.
"The thing that will define Australia's success in the World Cup is, one, how well they bowl spin and, two, how well they play it,” quoted Ricky Ponting.
“That's been their Achilles' heel the last 12 or 18 months. With [Adam] Zampa bowling well now, Nathan Lyon's obviously in the squad and Glenn Maxwell's done a good job with the ball whenever he's played,” he added.
Ponting, who is the batting consultant until the 2019 World Cup, reckoned that the middle-order batters are better players of spin bowling. He noted that with the return of Steve Smith and David Warner, the middle-order doesn’t looks vulnerable against spin. "And I think some of our middle order are probably slightly better players of spin now than they were 12 or 18 months ago. With Warner there now and Steve Smith coming back in, the middle order looks a lot better against spin bowling than it probably was," Ponting furthered.
They are both playing really well
Both Smith and Warner are in a great touch ahead of the mega event as the former skipper notched up good scores in the warm-up games against New Zealand XI, while the latter had a fabulous IPL season. “They're both playing really well. Steve Smith still thinks he's not probably 100% fit just yet - but he's not far away. And Warner's been the dominant batsman in the IPL. Those two coming in, obviously they're class players - they'll have their fair share of issues to deal with from the crowds and stuff when they get over there. But they're big boys. They've been there and seen it all before. I'm sure they'll be fine," the former skipper concluded.