Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has shared his opinion on the fate of Aaron Finch-led side in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2022. Notably, the competition has reached an interesting stage in the Super 12, where both groups are tightly contested, and no team from either group has confirmed a spot in the semi-final.
The defending champions are positioned at the third spot in Group 1, and their chances to reach the semis depend on other team results while they have to beat Afghanistan in their last match with a good margin to boost their net run rate. Ponting reckoned there would be some questions asked if the hosts didn’t make it to the semi-final of the global event.
“If they don’t make it through, there’ll be some questions asked, I’m sure because I had them in the top three coming here. I thought the final would be between two of Australia, India and England. The reason I say that was no one gave Australia a chance in the last [World Cup] over in the UAE in conditions that didn’t suit them. But then, they’re [currently] in home conditions, and conditions that all of these guys have been brought up [in] and played a lot of cricket [in],” said Ponting, as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
Ponting, who had inspired Australia to two 50-over World Cup triumphs, has been surprised by his team’s form in the ongoing tournament. The Tasmanian opined that the Aussies have been quite average in all departments, and they have only themselves to blame for the below-par performance.
“I think Australia have been just that little bit off in probably all departments, to be honest. They’ve been a little bit sloppy in the field. A lot of their bowling hasn’t been great, and their batters probably haven’t scored the runs they should have either – particularly probably at the top of the order. If they don’t make it through, they obviously only have themselves to blame,” added Ponting.
Speaking about Australia’s chances to reach the semis, Ponting hoped that somehow the hosts could find a way to go through. He also reckoned that India and Australia could end up playing the final.
“Honestly, who knows who is going to be playing in Melbourne. I hope Australia find a way to get through the group. South Africa are the only unbeaten team left, so they will be dangerous, but I will say what I did at the start, and that is an Australia v India final,” observed Ponting.