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Australia's wicketkeeper-batsman turns to batting mentor Ricky Ponting after twice being dismissed playing the pull shot

When Australia gloveman Tim Paine asked Test great Ricky Ponting for some tips on how to play the pull shot, the advice he received was blunt, direct and to the point.

"Play it better," Ponting told Paine.

Paine has been out hooking twice in three innings in his Test return after spending seven years in the wilderness, but has barely put a foot wrong since his shock inclusion for the Magellan Ashes.

Paine's vital half-century keeps England at bay

In his first innings back, he was caught behind edging a trademark unplayable outswinger from swing king James Anderson with the second new ball at the Gabba before posting scores of 57 and 11 in Adelaide.

On both occasions in the second Test, Paine was out caught in the deep playing a pull shot and has since turned to his batting mentor Ponting for some pointers.

"I did ask him about it and he just said 'play it better', which is pretty good advice," Paine said.

Paine looks skywards before his dismissal in the second innings // Getty
Paine looks skywards before his dismissal in the second innings // Getty

"The one in the first innings I just hit a little bit better than I thought and the second innings I tried to hit it over the grandstand.

"I'll certainly be doing some work on it, I'd be silly not to, but I'll still look to take it on, just play it better."

There has perhaps been no better exponent of the pull shot than Ponting.

Ponting rates classic grabs from Paine, Lyon and Starc

During his 17-year international career, Ponting jumped on anything short and wide and flayed it to leg-side in exquisite fashion.

The 168-Test veteran says his upbringing on synthetic wickets and playing against older, faster bowlers was the catalyst behind his trademark stroke.

Ponting has worked at length with Paine on his batting in recent times and points to the wicketkeeper’s Test-best of 92 against India as proof he can bat at the highest level.

Ricky Ponting on the origins of his pull-shot

"Technically he’s very correct. When you watch him in the Big Bash you just think, 'how has this guy not actually scored more Shield runs?" Ponting told after hearing of Paine’s Test recall.

"When he's out there playing well, he looks as good as any of the other batters around the country.

"There’s no doubting there’s a lot of talent there and he’s made a Test match 92 before in tough conditions in India, so let’s hope he can repay the faith the selectors have shown – I’m sure he will."

2017-18 International Fixtures

Magellan Ashes Series

Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird.

England Test squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson (vc), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.

First Test Australia won by 10 wickets. Scorecard

Second Test Australia won by 120 runs (Day-Night). Scorecard

Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Tickets

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Tickets

Gillette ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets

Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets

Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21