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ICC World Cup 2019: Ricky Ponting backs Aaron Finch to lead Australia in the mega event

"His captaincy has looked really sharp."

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has thrown his support behind Aaron Finch to lead the team in the upcoming World Cup. The legendary batsman said that the current Australia skipper is unquestionably the man to captain the nation in the showpiece event. Barring the series win in India and the 93-run knock in the third ODI, things have not panned out in an expected manner for Finch.

In January, he became the first Australian captain to lose an ODI series at home against India. His form with the bat was already making things tough for him. Before the 93-run knock in Ranchi, Finch had not scored a fifty in white-ball cricket since slamming a record 172 against Zimbabwe last July. The form of his teammates, coupled with the impending return of Steve Smith and David Warner has piled more pressure on Finch.

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Usman Khawaja was in stunning form with the bat in India, scoring two fifties and as many centuries to walk away with the Man of the Series award. Peter Handscomb also did well and scored his maiden ton during the series. The likes of Ashton Turner, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis also managed to leave their marks. The performances have increased the competition for batting spots ahead of the upcoming World Cup and put Finch under pressure.

However, Ponting believes Aaron Finch is the man to lead Australia as they look to defend their title. “He’s been Australia’s best performed one-day batsman in the last couple of seasons. He’s made more hundreds than anybody else,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.

“Although he’s recently gone through a real tough time, if he can get through the other side of that before the World Cup, it could be – as hard as it sounds on him – it almost could be perfect timing. He’d rather be going through that now than going through that at the start of the World Cup and having your captain completely out of form going through an entire World Cup,” he added.

“His captaincy, from what I’ve seen in the last few months even though he hasn’t been batting that well, has looked really sharp and he’s going to have a great squad of players. He’s the man, for me, to captain Australia throughout hopefully a successful World Cup campaign,” said Ponting.

Tactically sharp:

While Finch’s batting might have left many unimpressed, Ponting is one of the handful of persons who are impressed with his captaincy. Ponting said Finch has looked sharp tactically before lauding him for leading the team well despite his poor form with the bat.

“Tactically what I’ve seen, he’s looked sharp,” he said. “It’s always a challenge (for) the captain, if you’re not going well yourself, to not let anybody know that it’s affecting you.”

“It always affects you as a player when you’re having a bad trot, but the best leaders that I’ve ever seen have been the guys that haven’t got too high when they’ve been going too well, and haven’t got too low when they’ve been going poorly,” he added.

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