Ponting urges batsman to stand up and be counted

Australia assistant coach Ricky Ponting says that the top order need to fire in order for the team to get back into the ODI series against England.

The top order flopped in the first ODI slipping to 90 for 5 before Glenn Maxwell and Ashton Agar added a hint of respectability to the total and Ponting wants to see more from the batsmen in Cardiff.

Ponting said: “It highlighted again the importance of our top-order batsman taking responsibility and getting some big runs.

“We lost an early wicket but I thought (Shaun) Marsh and (Aaron) Finch’s partnership looked really promising. But both of them getting out in successive overs to Moeen Ali, and all of a sudden, we are behind the eight ball.”

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The former skipper feels that the young team has the quality to test number one ranked ODI side England in the remaining four matches.

“These players need to be hard on themselves and work out how they can improve on a daily basis,” he said. “But what I have seen from training the last few days has been outstanding, certainly on the batting side of things.

“It didn’t happen (Wednesday) but there is certainly enough skill and talent there to push on and win some games through the remainder of this series.”

Ponting praised the environment in the dressing room fostered by new coach Justin Langer.

“From what I saw in training I actually expected a better performance than what we saw. Just with the whole vibe around the group I thought we might have seen something a little bit special from them. It wasn’t to be,” said Ponting.

“What I have seen is a really focused group, a really calm environment and a group of guys that are really embracing this new culture and way forward for Australian cricket. I have only been here for a couple of days but I’m listening to what they have to say and everyone couldn’t be happier with the environment that’s been created.

“There is great buy-in from all the players about the direction Justin and the leaders want to take it and that is half the battle. So far that seems to be the case.”