Australia can win WC with Smith and Warner: Ponting

Australia can win WC with Smith and Warner: Ponting

MELBOURNE: Australia can successfully defend their World Cup title in England this year with Steve Smith and David Warner back in the fray, newly-appointed assistant coach Ricky Ponting said Sunday.

His upbeat assessment comes despite the misfiring team losing its two most recent ODI series at home, to India and South Africa. The former national captain is hugely experienced in the one-day game, playing at five World Cups and winning at three.

Ponting, a close ally of Langer, will start after Australia’s upcoming one-day tours against India and Pakistan.Smith and Warner are available for selection again from March 29, when their one-year bans for ball-tampering expire. Cameron Bancroft, who was suspended for nine months, is already back playing. Ponting, who played 375 one-dayers and 168 Tests, previously worked as an assistant with Australia’s Twenty20 side in 2017 and 2018. He also accompanied Langer during his first tour — to England — after taking over as head coach from Darren Lehmann last April following the tampering scandal in South Africa.

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