Ricky Ponting on Australia’s ODI team: The former Australian captain expects the Australian ODI side to pull up their socks.

Former Australia captain and current head coach of Indian Premier League franchise Delhi Capitals Ricky Ponting wants Australia to find a permanent batsman at No. 3 for their ODI team.

Speaking in an interview with cricket.com.au from UAE, where IPL 2020 will be played, Ponting talked about a “long-term” player needing to play the “vital role”.

“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.

“Whether that’s Marnus [Labuschagne] there and [Steve] Smith at four, or whether it’s the other way round, who knows what it’s going to be,” Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

It is worth mentioning that Ponting is the highest run-scorer at No. 3 in ODIs. In 335 ODIs at No. 3, the right hand batsman had scored 12,662 runs at an average and strike rate of 42.48 and 80.73 respectively including 29 centuries and 74 half-centuries.

Ricky Ponting on Australia’s ODI team

It was during the COVID-19 lockdown that Australia white-ball captain Aaron Finch was musing on Australia’s squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. While two T20 World Cups will be played before the ODI World Cup, the latter is only about three years away from now.

Ponting, who led Australia to World Cup victories in 2003 and 2007, applauded the squad but isn’t entirely satisfied with it. Laying emphasis on “some work” to do for the ODI setup, Ponting hoped for Finch and coach Justin Langer to zero in on a probably squad 24 months before the tournament.

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

“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. You look at that squad right now and that group of players you’ve got over there, it’s a very good squad,” Ponting said.

Ponting further expressed pleasure with uncapped players in Joshua Philippe, Daniel Sams and Riley Meredith finding a place in Australia’s 21-member squad for the ongoing tour of England. While the trio didn’t get to play in the T20I series, the players would be hoping to get a go in the forthcoming three ODIs.

“And I was really happy to see some of those young guys get an opportunity to go on that tour – Riley Meredith and Josh Philippe and Daniel Sams. To be on an Australian tour with some of our all-time best players will be a really good learning curve for them,” Ponting added.

While Meredith will return back to Australia after the ODI series, Philippe and Sams will fly to UAE for the 13th season of the IPL. While Philippe will represent Royal Challengers Bangalore under captain Virat Kohli and head coach Simon Katich, Sams will play for Capitals under captain Shreyas Iyer and coach Ponting.

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