2019 World Cup: Why Ricky Ponting's inclusion in Australia's coaching setup is a masterstroke
Australian Cricket has gone through a torrid time in the last 12 months. After reclaiming the Ashes in 2017-18, the Sandpaper scandal has shattered the faith and belief of the fans regarding the pride and values associated with the Baggy Greens for years.
However, after the disappointing Test and ODI series losses to India at home this summer, Australia have bounced back strongly with a dominating Test series win over Sri Lanka.
Even though the resignation of David Saker as the bowling coach of Australia has set off an alarm, cricket fans down under will be relieved with the inclusion of Ricky Ponting as the team's assistant coach for the 2019 World Cup.
Ponting has the experience of working as the assistant coach of the Aussies team before. But his joining the team for the World Cup will certainly boost the players and the fans who love Australian Cricket.
Ponting has played 5 World Cups for Australia and was part of the victorious team in 3 editions. He also led the national team twice to World Cup glory. In the current state of turbulence when the team needs someone who would bring in the sense of calmness in the team, the former skipper is the right man for the situation.
Through the past few months, the Aussies seem to lack aggressive and dominating intent. These are the traits that people have related to them for the last few decades. Ponting was an aggressive player and captain as well. His presence, words and sharp thinking will surely inject the aggression, domination and positive attitude into the Australian players.
When the Aussies walk out in Bristol on 1st June against Afghanistan for their campaign opener, the defending champions will know that they are not among the favourites to win the World Cup this time around.
Instead, walking out as underdogs could help the Australian players perform better with fewer expectations. Also, with the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner returning to the squad, the coaching staff will be confident about bringing back their lost pride and confidence.
What Ponting will bring in this setup is his experience of winning the World Cup thrice. He also carries with him the knowledge of the modern game. The former right-hander was a terrific player of spin and pace in equal measure.
Ponting also knows the art of tackling the yorkers in the death overs as well as how to play aggressively at the top in order to take advantages of the field restrictions in the first 10 overs. He can also assist the current batsmen by passing on the knowledge of keeping the scoreboard moving by rotating the strike in the middle-overs.
Ponting has prior coaching experience in the IPL for Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils. Adding his brief stint for Australia in 2016/17 to the equation, the legendary batsman has the ability to step up as assistant coach and help head coach Justin Langer prepare Australia for their title defence.