Will be surprised if Usman Khawaja doesn't make Australia's World Cup squad, says Ricky Ponting

'I would be surprised if Khawaja wasn’t in the (World Cup) squad. Khawaja could probably slot down at three when Warner comes in and Steve Smith might bat at four or five,' Ricky Ponting said

Reuters, Mar 20, 2019 12:11:48 IST

In-form batsman Usman Khawaja should be part of Australia’s World Cup plans despite the imminent returns of Steve Smith and David Warner, former captain Ricky Ponting has said.

Khawaja struck 383 runs, including two centuries, in Australia’s 3-2 series win over India earlier this month and Ponting is of the view that the left-hander opener had earned his place at the World Cup.

Usman Khawaja racked up 383 runs in five-match ODI series against India. AP

Usman Khawaja racked up 383 runs in five-match ODI series against India. AP

“I think we all saw over the last few weeks just how skilful a player Usman Khawaja is... and I think when you see him play like that it just makes you wonder why he doesn’t do it a bit more regularly,” Ponting told reporters on Tuesday.

“I would be surprised if Khawaja wasn’t in the (World Cup) squad. Khawaja could probably slot down at three when Warner comes in and Steve Smith might bat at four or five or something just to shore up those middle overs.”

Smith and Warner were suspended for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year and are set to be reintegrated into the team ahead of the 30 May to 14 July World Cup in England and Wales.

Ponting, who led Australia to World Cup glory in 2003 and 2007, said current skipper Aaron Finch would continue to lead the side at this year’s tournament but former captain Smith could still be counted for advice.

“(Smith) is still out on the field, so he can help Aaron Finch out,” Ponting added. “I’d imagine that Aaron Finch would be leaning on Steve Smith a lot for a bit of advice, maybe leading into the games, as far as preparation is concerned.”

Updated Date: Mar 20, 2019 12:11:48 IST


IPL 2019 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Chennai
9 7 2 0 14
2
Delhi
8 5 3 0 10
3
Mumbai
8 5 3 0 10
4
Punjab
9 5 4 0 10
5
Hyderabad
8 4 4 0 8
6
Kolkata
8 4 4 0 8
7
Rajasthan
8 2 6 0 4
8
Bangalore
8 1 7 0 2
See Full Table





Top Stories

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5007 116
2 New Zealand 3570 108
3 South Africa 4397 105
4 Australia 4566 104
5 England 5490 104
6 Sri Lanka 4737 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 7259 123
2 India 8508 120
3 New Zealand 6071 112
4 South Africa 6181 112
5 Australia 5701 108
6 Pakistan 5147 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 5280 135
2 India 5726 122
3 England 3036 121
4 Australia 3613 120
5 South Africa 3366 120
6 New Zealand 3367 116