Ricky Ponting, who is currently part of the Australian coaching staff for the limited-overs tour to England, has heaped praise on England batsmen after their clinical performance in the Trent Bridge ODI on Tuesday (June 19).
After being put into bat, England posted a massive record-breaking total of 481 in 50 overs courtesy centuries from Jonny Bairstow (139 runs) and Alex Hales (147 runs) in addition to swashbuckling fifties from Jason Roy (82 off 61 balls) and captain Eoin Morgan (67 off 30 balls).
The mammoth total also secured the series victory for the hosts as Australia got bundled out for 239 in 37 overs.
"As good as the wicket was, to score 481, we saw a batting masterclass there from Bairstow, Roy and Hales. Eoin Morgan gets the fastest one-day international fifty for England. It was special batting,” Ponting told Sky Sports Cricket.
“Yes, it's a depleted Australian bowling attack, we can accept that, but I think we saw something pretty special today. It just looks like Bairstow's bat is about two foot wide at the moment, he's just not missing the middle of the bat and he's making it look very, very easy. Alex Hales comes in on the back of an outstanding opening partnership and was able to play with unbelievable freedom because his team is never going to get into any trouble," he added.
With this herculean batting effort, England also went past their own record of 444 runs that they put up against Pakistan in an ODI in 2016. Ponting questioned Australian bowlers’ tactics as they took almost 45 overs to adjust their game.
"We didn't get anywhere near this being a close game today but maybe the Australian bowlers could have adjusted a bit earlier, maybe they could have bowled more slower balls early on, tried the around the wicket option earlier on. Even looking back to the first six or seven overs of the Australian bowling innings, they had two slips in place for quite a while. It was evident after the first over that the ball wasn't going to move,” Ricky remarked.
"Sometimes you've just got to accept what you've got and be ultra-defensive from the start, put a few more fielders in front of the batsman's face and see if you can create a bit of pressure that way. Play on the batsman's ego to a certain degree and make him hit it through five guys on the offside," he concluded.
The two teams will now head to Chester-le-Street where they will play the fourth ODI on Thursday (June 21).