Top order needs to deliver: Ponting | cricketnetwork.com

Top order needs to deliver: Ponting

14 June 2018

Former skipper confident Australia can turn things around after first ODI defeat to England

Ricky Ponting says Australia's top-order batsmen must show responsibility and produce big runs, but was confident the side would bounce back from defeat at The Oval in Saturday's second match in Cardiff.

Australia managed just 214 – thanks largely to Glenn Maxwell's 62 and 40 from Ashton Agar – and were bowled out with three overs left in the innings.

After the early loss of Travis Head (5), Aaron Finch (19) and Shaun Marsh (24) put on 40 for the second wicket but Australia then lost 4-43 before Maxwell and Agar launched a salvage mission.

Five wickets in the top seven fell to spin as England's tweakers Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and part-timer Joe Root bowled 19 consecutive overs between them.

England chased it down with six overs to spare for a three-wicket win, but not before a wobble of their own.

"It highlighted again the importance of our top-order batsman taking responsibility and getting some big runs," Ponting said.

"We lost an early wicket but I thought Marsh and Finch's partnership looked really promising. But both of them getting out in successive overs to Moeen Ali, and all of a sudden we are behind the eight ball.

"It's just little moments like that were someone just has to put their hand up and say 'Right, I am going to be the man that's going to get through here and do what my team needs me to do' and it didn't happen.

"These players need to be hard on themselves and work out how they can improve on a daily basis.

"But what I have seen from training the last few days has been outstanding, certainly on the batting side of things. It didn't happen (Wednesday) but there is certainly enough skill and talent there to push on and win some games through the remainder of this series."

Match wrap: England spin to first ODI win

Ponting joined up with the Australia squad last week, and said he had been "really impressed" with the squad and their endeavour on the training paddock, and said he expected something "a little bit special" from the squad.

"From what I saw in training I actually expected a better performance than what we saw (at the Oval)," Ponting admitted.

"Just with the whole vibe around the group I thought we might have seen something a little bit special from them. It wasn't to be."

The Australia squad today travels west to Cardiff, the Welsh capital, and Ponting will spend every moment on the team bus talking to anyone and everyone in the playing group about the game, and how they can improve.

"Being on a tour in England you get four hours on the bus with the boys and I will be able to sit down with the young blokes and talk cricket," Ponting said.

"I love doing it. I know there are a lot of young guys there that love to talk cricket and how we are going to improve for Saturday will come up. That's what I am here for."

Working with close mate Justin Langer as "an extra set of hands, eyes and ears around the place" and "just general cricket chat" Ponting will be in high demand for his expert opinion.

Needed more runs from the top five: Paine

He's been hands-on at training, from running drills and demonstrating ground fielding techniques to working on technical adjustments. His appetite for the game is insatiable, and after Cape Town he likes what sees in the way this squad goes about their business.

"What I have seen (since joining the squad) is a really focused group, a really calm environment and a group of guys that are really embracing this new culture and way forward for Australian cricket," Ponting said.

"I have only been here for a couple of days but I'm listening to what they have to say and everyone couldn't be happier with the environment that's been created.

"There is great buy-in from all the players about the direction Justin and the leaders want to take it and that is half the battle. So far that seems to be the case."

Qantas tours of England and Zimbabwe

ODI squad: Tim Paine (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye

England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (injured), David Willey, Chris Woakes (injured), Mark Wood

T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth

Qantas Tour of England

June 7: Australia beat Sussex by 57 runs at Hove

June 9: Australia beat Middlesex by 101 runs at Lord's

June 13: England won by three wickets at The Oval

June 16: Second ODI, Cardiff

June 19: Third ODI, Trent Bridge (D/N)

June 21: Fourth ODI, Durham (D/N)

June 24: Fifth ODI, Old Trafford

June 27: Only T20, Edgbaston (D/N)

Qantas T20I tri-series Tour of Zimbabwe

July 1: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan

July 2: Pakistan vs Australia

July 3: Australia vs Zimbabwe

July 4: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan

July 5: Pakistan vs Australia

July 6: Australia vs Zimbabwe

July 8: Final

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About the Writer

 @Dave_Middleton
@Dave_Middleton

Dave Middleton is cricket.com.au's senior news editor. From Queensland, he spent 10 years in the UK where he wrote for The Times, The Sunday Times, the Guardian and The Telegraph.