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"Our players can challenge any team in the world in any conditions," says Ponting

Aditya Joshi
696   //    11 Jul 2018, 15:39 IST

Australia v England - ICC Champions Trophy Semi Final
Australia v England - ICC Champions Trophy Semi Final

Despite Australia's extension of their palpable One-Day cricket form, former captain and two-time World Cup winning captain Ricky Ponting believes that the country has enough talented players to turn things around ahead of their title defence in England less than a year from now. He is of the opinion that the depth of cricketers in the country will allow them to bounce back from the recent disappointments and create a combination in the lead up to the World Cup.

Speaking at a promotional event of 7 Cricket, where Ponting has recently been roped in as a commentator, he said, "One thing I do know is we've got still the best depth of any cricket nation in the world and I will continue to say that. We'll keep producing great players. 

"It's only 12 months away from the next one-day World Cup. The last five games - (while) the results did not quite go our way, it gave an opportunity for some younger guys to get some games under their belts. We've got some seriously good players that at their best will challenge any team in the world in any conditions."

While Ponting's point about the depth may be questioned by the hammering Australia's fringe bowlers were subjected to on their tour of England, they have one of the best fast bowling bench strength in the world if all of their eyed players return to fitness ahead of the home summer.

To cite an example, Nathan Coulter-Nile is not even their first choice fast bowler and he has 37 wickets from 21 ODIs, similarly the likes of Jason Behrendorff and James Pattinson are excellent swing bowlers who, if don't break down, will be devastating in English conditions.

In the batting arena, Usman Khawaja may make a return to the coloured outfit, given his great form in England. Doors are open for the veteran cricketers Callum Ferguson and George Bailey who have had excellent domestic cricket returns of late, Cameron White's recall to the ODI side earlier this year will surely give them confidence.

Although, if six of their currently absent cricketers, Steve Smith and David Warner (suspended) and the trio of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood along with all-rounder Mitch Marsh (injured) can return to the side well in time and gel together again, Australia will have quite a competitive side to reckon with.

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