England vs Australia, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Ricky Ponting says injuries, loss against Proteas not ideal developments before semi-final clash

Despite losing to South Africa in their last league match, which resulted in India taking the top spot in the points table, Ponting said Australia have been the best side of the tournament to date.

Press Trust of India, Jul 07, 2019 22:08:48 IST

Manchester: Australia's assistant coach Ricky Ponting has admitted that his injury-ravaged team, beaten by South Africa in the last league game of the World Cup, is facing a tough situation but says the players can find a way to play their best game in the semifinal.

Australia's defeat in their final group stage game to South Africa on Saturday was compounded with injuries to Usman Khawaja (hamstring) and Marcus Stoinis (side) that saw Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh pulled out of the Australia A tour to join the World Cup squad as cover.

England vs Australia, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Ricky Ponting says injuries, loss against Proteas not ideal developments before semi-final clash

File image of Ricky Ponting. Reuters

Shaun Marsh was already been ruled out of the tournament after suffering a fractured wrist in a net session.

The defending champions play pre-tournament favourites England in the second semifinals on Thursday.

"It's not unusual to have disruptions in World Cups. In the last group game before a semi-final is probably a little bit different. If you're totally honest, it's not ideal to have these sort of changes going into a World Cup semi-final, especially now we know we're playing England, the favourites coming into the tournament," Ponting said.

"It's up to us coaches to make it as easy as possible for those guys coming in, talking through scenarios and situations and just trying to keep them as free in the mind as possible," he was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

Despite losing to South Africa in their last league match, which resulted in India taking the top spot in the points table, Ponting said Australia have been the best side of the tournament to date.

"We've beaten England already in the tournament. I think it's fair to say we've been the standout team of the tournament to date. A loss now, although it's not ideal going into a semi-final, it's probably not the worst thing either. It could be a bit of a wake-up, a bit of a freshen up and a bit of a reset. It might just make us a better team.

"Australia's best game has to be in the semi-final, it's as simple as that," he said.

Ponting stressed at the beginning of the tournament that peaking at the back-end of a World Cup, rather than in the initial stages, must be Australia's major priority.

"We've been talking about it, we've been building up, looking for that perfect game of cricket. As good as we've been in the tournament, we haven't done that yet and we were a long way off doing it (against South Africa).

"That's what the focus will be. It's up to the players now to find another level to beat England."

He said Australia had in the past dealt with notable hurdles at the three 50-over trophies Ponting won in 1999, 2003 and 2007.

"I think back to 2003 with (Shane) Warne ruled out before a ball was bowled, (Jason) Gillespie played one game and was ruled out, we had Michael Bevan going into the tournament with injury and Darren Lehmann suspended going in. We had a bit going on there," said the former captain.

"Fast forward to 2007 and Andrew Symonds didn't play the first half of the tournament."

But, asked if he'd had any quite like the ones the team is facing now, the 44-year-old said: "Probably not at the end of a tournament.

For all the latest news, opinions and analysis from ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, click here

Updated Date: Jul 07, 2019 22:08:48 IST






Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 6939 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4056 254