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David Warner and Steve Smith ready for jibes from English crowds in World Cup: Ricky Ponting

"The team needs to as well."

David Warner
David Warner and Steven Smith of Australia shake hands. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The Australian team is waiting for the reintegration of banned players Steve Smith and David Warner, who will be eligible to play for the country after their one-year bans end on March 29. Though neither of them has been picked for the Pakistan ODI series in UAE, the duo is expected to make their international comebacks in the ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

Before that, Steve Smith will turn out for Rajasthan Royals and David Warner for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019, which starts from March 23. Both the players were banned for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in the Cape Town Test between South Africa and Australia.

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Ricky Ponting asks Australia team to be ready for hostilities in England

Ricky Ponting, member of three World Cup-winning teams in 1999, 2003 and 2007, and current assistant coach of the Australian team, feels that the Australian team and the duo of Steve Smith and David Warner should be ready to face a barrage of jibes from the crowd in England when they turn up for the ICC World Cup 2019.

“I’m sure this would have been talked about at a higher level for a long time – how do we integrate them back in? How do they fit in? How is it all going to be seamless? But the hardest part for those guys is going to be the public perception of us, especially in England,” Ponting was quoted as saying in India Today.

Ponting pointed out that the duo is making their comeback in the UK and they should be ready to hear lots of jibes from the crowd there, something on the lines of what the Australian team faced during their limited overs tour to England last year. The crowd at Old Trafford held ‘4’ and ‘6’ signs taped to sandpaper, reminding the Australians about their ignominy in South Africa.

“They’re coming back into a World Cup the UK. They’re going to cop it everywhere they go. They’ve got to know that, they’ve got to accept that and understand that. The team needs to as well because that could also be something that could be unsettling for a team,” said Ponting.

Ponting said that the team needs to be prepared for the absolute worst and if anything better happens, it will be good for the team. He suggested the only way for Warner and Smith to integrate themselves quickly is to score runs and win matches for Australia. He also said this is not a challenge for just the Australian World Cup squad, but for the coaches also, something that he is looking forward to.

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