Ponting tells where Khawaja should bat despite Warner’s return

Australia batsman Usman Khawaja should be a part of Australia’s World Cup set up despite Steve Smith and David Warner’s return, reckons former captain Ricky Ponting. Usman Khawaja is someone who likes to play characteristic knocks but has quite often failed to create impacts on a large scale.

Khawaja should be part of Australia's WC plans: Ricky Ponting
Khawaja celebrates as he scores 100 vs India at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi

But his recent on-field exploits against India, turned him into a calm and composed batsman. He was the star performer for the team as he scored as many as 383 runs to his name, notching two centuries in team’s 3-2 ODI series win over India quite recently.

Ponting is of the opinion that Khawaja’s resurgence earned his place at the World Cup. “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 at the press conference on Tuesday.

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Khawaja should bat at No.3: Ponting

Punter went on to add that he would be really surprised if Khawaja isn’t chosen for the mega event. Despite the imminent returns of the pair Steve Smith and David Warner, Khawaja should bat at No.3 to make the batting position a bit more balanced according to 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 or something just to shore up those middle overs.”

Smith and Warner were banned from the game for a year due to the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year and are set to get into the scheme of things ahead of the May 30-July 14 World Cup to be held in England and Wales.

“(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.”

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