Ricky Ponting, former Australian captain, believes that Mitchell Starc has the potential to lead Australia’s bowling unit in the upcoming ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023, scheduled to take place in India in October. He also favors Adam Zampa as the preferred spinner, given his effectiveness for the Australian team over the past few years.
“It’s the overall package of Mitchell Starc. He is six-foot-five, bowls in the high 140-km per hour, he is a left-armer and he swings the new ball back in as Suryakumar found out,” Ponting told host Sanjana Ganesan on the latest episode of The ICC Review.
“For lots of strange reasons, there have always been people willing to sit back and take potshots at Mitchell Starc for some of his performances. But if you have a cold hard look at the facts, particularly in white-ball cricket, his numbers are absolutely outstanding.” Australian former skipper added.
Ponting’s faith in Starc is based on his recent ODI series performance against India, particularly his dismissal of Suryakumar Yadav with golden ducks twice. According to Ponting, Starc’s overall package, including his height, speed, left-arm bowling, and ability to swing the new ball, makes him a dangerous asset. He also emphasized that Starc’s white-ball cricket record, especially in sub-continent conditions, is outstanding.
Regarding spin, Ponting considers Zampa to be Australia’s best choice. He has been a key bowler in white-ball cricket alongside Starc and has consistently performed well. Ponting also praised Zampa’s ability to avoid being dominated by opposing teams, which he believes will make him one of Australia’s trump cards in the tournament.
The Australian team’s recent success in India, winning two of their three ODI series since 2019, has boosted their confidence. Ponting suggests that the team should prioritize experienced players for the World Cup campaign, including Mitchell Marsh, David Warner, Steve Smith, and Glenn Maxwell, to provide stability.
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Ponting expressed his surprise at Marsh’s success as an opener in ODIs and expects Warner to return to the top of the batting order. He envisions a batting lineup that includes the trio of Travis Head, Warner, and Marsh at the top, followed by Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, and Glenn Maxwell. This combination, according to Ponting, offers Australia numerous options and flexibility in their batting approach.