New Delhi : Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has raised doubts over Steve Smith’s certainty in Australia’s playing XI for the 2022 T20 World Cup and also questioned the team’s approach in selection for the mega event.
The 33-year old Smith earlier this week indicated that he wanted to play more aggressive T20 cricket for Australia as opposed to performing a ‘Mr Fix-it’ role in tough situations.
“They like to attack in a number three position (Mitch Marsh) and then if that doesn’t work, then that’s where Smith has been used in the middle to pick up the pieces after a couple of early wickets,” said Ponting in the latest episode of The ICC Review.
“It’s not an easy role to play. I think in the modern T20 game, no one wants to be playing that role, because it becomes the most difficult role in the game. If you’re two down early, especially in the Powerplay, we know what the stats say; if you then lose three wickets in the Powerplay you lose about 94-95% of games.
So the No.4 slot becomes the difficult one.Do they go with the glue in the middle-order and the flexibility that he provides? Or do they go out-and-out power and load the batting line-up with power? So that’s the big decision the selectors are going to have to make,” he added.
Ponting also gave an example of India’s recent approach to T20 cricket, which has helped them win 23 from their past 27 matches.”There’s been a real focus on the India batters in particular to up their strike rates as individuals, and if you’re not able to do that and be successful doing it then Dravid and Co. have just been trying guys in different spots to find guys who can actually do it,” ICC Hall of Famer said.
“I’ve got a feeling that that might be the way the Aussies go especially on good wickets here in Australia where spin’s probably going to play a part in the tournament because of the size of the grounds but the wickets won’t turn too much,” he added.