Australia’s three-time ODI World Cup winner Ricky Ponting on Friday (May 28) said that the national selectors are “losing the most sleep over” the best option for the wicket-keeping spot that is currently up for grabs for upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in India later this year.
In the recent past, Australia has used players like Alex Carey, Matthew Wade and Josh Phillipe in the T20Is, but team management is yet to finalise a particular name for the wicket-keeping spot ahead of the T20 World Cup and Ponting wants the national side to test an uncapped cricketer.
Ponting, who has been part of Australia's coaching staff in recent years and was an assistant for the ODI World Cup in 2019, has suggested the name of Western Australia and Perth Scorchers’ Josh Inglis as the best option to take the gloves for the side in this year’s T20 World Cup.
However, the uncapped Inglis wasn’t named in Australia’s preliminary squad for the upcoming white-ball tours of West Indies and Bangladesh, but the former Australia captain believes that the wicketkeeper-batsman deserves his chance ahead of the showpiece event.
He further pointed out that T20 World Cup will be held in India or UAE where there are spinning conditions and Inglis plays spin really well, so his name must be thrown in the ring for the wicketkeeping spot in the Australian team for the multi-nation T20 event.
Ponting told cricket.com.au, “The keeper-batsman is probably the slot they'd be losing the most sleep over right now. They've still got some questions to answer as far as what their overall squad looks like and I think the biggest one is 'Who is going to be standing behind the stumps with the gloves on?”
He added, “They have tried a few blokes – Wade has been there, Phillipe has just played as a batter, Alex Carey has been in and out and tried in a few different batting spots.”
Suggesting Inglis' name, the Aussie pointed out: “Josh Inglis' name could be thrown into the ring as well – I really liked what I saw from him batting in the middle order in last summer's BBL. He plays spin really well and you think about where the World Cup is going to be (in India or the UAE), he could be a name that could come up (for selection).”
Ponting further said the “finisher” role remains a headache for Australia, saying the failure of batsmen to consistently deliver in the lower-order is one of the biggest worries for the national side ahead of the T20 World Cup.
He further explained, “The spot I think they've always been worried about is that finishing role, and one of the reasons for that is that all of our best batsmen bat in the top four in the Big Bash, so you've actually got no one that's consistently batting in that area. It's a very specialist position to be able to go in with three of four overs to go, with 50 runs needed and be able to do it.”
Ponting signed off by saying, “We need to find out the finisher. Is it going to be (Glenn) Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh that are going to finish the games, is it going to be (Marcus) Stoinis? I think that's the area that they're more worried about.”