ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Bouncer barrage a ‘wake-up call’: Ponting
Australia’s assistant coach to work with top-order batters on short-ball strategy ahead of showdown against India on Sunday
Louis Cameron in Nottingham
7 June 2019, 11:59 PM AEST
Assistant coach Ricky Ponting believes India could consider drafting in another fast bowler for their clash against Australia on Sunday after seeing the reigning champions' top order flattened by a hostile West Indies pace onslaught at Trent Bridge.
Ponting suggested the Aussies’ early wobble in their tight 15-run win over a volatile Windies side could be a necessary wake-up call ahead of their clash with world No.2 ranked India at The Oval.
The three-time World Cup-winner, brought in by coach Justin Langer to work with Australia's batters during the tournament, said he'll seek answers from the likes of Usman Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell on coping with the short ball after their dismissals saw Australia slump to 4-38 in the first half-hour of the game.
Having been hit by Andre Russell in a warm-up game last month, Khawaja was again struck on the helmet early on Thursday, before backing away in uncharacteristic fashion and edging a flailing cover drive.
"I've got some notes written in my book about that exact thing," Ponting told cricket.com.au. "I just want to know what's going through his mind.
"For me, being back involved in the team now, I want to understand what they are thinking about at different times. It's not always just about the execution, it's about what's going inside your mind that causes the poor shots.
"Usman got hit again … so he's had a few hits in the last few weeks. I haven't spoken to him (to see) if he's rattled, but that's part and parcel of top order batting against brand new balls against guys who are bowling 140 kph an hour.
"You've got to find a way to cope and a way to get through hostile spells knowing that it's not going to last forever."
After Khawaja was dismissed, Maxwell attempted a hook shot off just his second ball and skied a simple catch to depart for a duck.
Superb knocks from Steve Smith (73) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (92) saw the Aussies post what proved a match-winning total of 288, but Ponting admitted he has concerns.
Much of Australia's planning for their second match of the tournament centered on playing the short ball after the Windies successfully bombarded Pakistan with bouncers to bowl them out for just 105 in their tournament opener.
"It's a bit of an uncharacteristic shot from (Maxwell) as well, he's not a natural hooker and puller of the ball anyway," said Ponting. "These are the things I want to ask him about as well when we finish up tonight, just get inside their heads a little bit.
"It's just a little bit of a blip in the radar that we'll have a chat about and make sure we're prepared for the next game.
"It could very well be … a wake-up call. Just understanding that if you are under pressure in big games like World Cup games, finding a mechanism or a way to get through (is important).
"It could be just a good learning curve for those guys at the top and hopefully they'll bounce back strong."
Last summer, India defeated Australia in a Test series abroad for the first time in their history on the back of terrific fast bowling from the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, who is also the world's top-ranked ODI bowler.
He's expected to pose an equally, if not bigger, threat with the new ball on Sunday than Windies trio Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell and Russell.
Fresh off a first-up win over South Africa earlier this week, India have typically relied on two high-quality spin bowlers in 50-over cricket to complement their vastly improved pace stocks, which were rounded out by Bhuvneswar Kumar and allrounder Hardik Pandya for the Proteas match.
With reserve quick Mohammad Shami sidelined for that game, Ponting suggested India could consider including him at the expense of one of wrist-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, who took five wickets between them against South Africa.
"Bumrah we know is a very good new ball bowler and I'm sure he'll mix it up and bowl some short stuff and some full stuff," said Ponting.
"Bhuvneshwar will probably not worry you too much with his pace or his bouncers. Hardik can maybe rush you a little bit, so maybe they have a decision to make on the overall make up of their side.
"Do they maybe go with only the one spinner and use (off-spinning allrounder) Kedhav Jadav as a second spinner and play another fast bowler?
"We'll worry about that in the next couple of days and make sure all the boys are prepared."
2019 World Cup
Australia's squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
June 9: India v Australia, The Oval
June 12: Australia v Pakistan, Taunton
June 15: Sri Lanka v Australia, The Oval
June 20: Australia v Bangladesh, Trent Bridge
June 25: England v Australia, Lord's
July 9: Semi-Final 1, Old Trafford
July 11: Semi-Final 2, Edgbaston
July 14: Final, Lord's
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For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE