Reports: Ricky Ponting in line to coach Australia's T20 side
What's the story?
According to reports, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting is in line to coach Australia at the World T20 in 2020. A News Corp report claimed that Ponting was in negotiations to coach the T20 side at the next edition of the World T20, which will be held in Australia.
With Australia's T20 tri-series against England and New Zealand clashing with their Test tour of South Africa in February 2018, Cricket Australia might rope in an assistant as the current support staff of David Saker, Brad Haddin and Graeme Hick travel to South Africa to lead an advanced party with just head coach Darren Lehmann handling the coaching responsibility during the limited-overs series against England and T20I tri-series.
In case you didn't know...
When the T20I series against Sri Lanka clashed with Australia's Test tour of India in 2017, Australia appointed an all-star cast to coach the side. Justin Langer was the stand-in head coach for the T20I series while Jason Gillespie and Ricky Ponting were roped in as assistant coaches.
The heart of the matter
Ponting has prior coaching experience as well, having spent two seasons in charge of Mumbai Indians, even leading them to the Indian Premier League title in 2015. Australia's all-time leading run-scorer and three-time World Cup winner has already professed his desire to coach. He has also been linked with a return to the IPL with reports suggesting that he might take charge of Delhi Daredevils ahead of the 11th edition of the tournament.
Following the final Ashes Test, Australia have a five-match ODI series against England and a tri-nation T20I series involving England, New Zealand and Australia. Following the limited-overs assignments, Australia travel to South Africa for a Test series.
Considering Australia's poor form in T20s and Ricky Ponting's impressive track record as a coach in T20s, the decision certainly makes a lot of sense. With Ponting interested in the role and current coach, Darren Lehmann in favor of having split coaches, depending on format, this would be in line with the general thought process in the Australian camp.
The World T20 is the only major competition that Australia are yet to win and the addition of an experienced T20 coach could just be what the doctor ordered to help them claim their maiden World T20 title in 2020.