Australia as strong as any side with Warner and Smith: Ponting

Former Australia captain and the newly appointed assistant coach Ricky Ponting believes Australia are strong as any side with the inclusion of the terrific duo – Steve Smith and David Warner.

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Warner and Smith’s 12-month ban will be over before the World Cup and they are likely to take part in cricket’s biggest event. And Ponting feels the arrival of the duo will be massive boost for the men in yellow.

“India and England are probably the two standout teams right now. But if you add Warner and Smith back into that line-up then I think that team looks as strong as any. I am not just saying that because I am one of the coaches, I actually said it when I wasn’t around the group. Conditions in England will suit our style of play … I think Australia will be the one of the main contenders for sure.”

Ponting also warned that there can be injury concerns during the World Cup and the plans don’t always work due to the unavailability of the players.

“We went to World Cups with Michael Bevan injured, Darren Lehmann suspended, Warney (Shane Warne) went home and Jason Gillespie went home. World Cups very rarely run exactly to plan. All the planning right now is we will have all those guys in the squad and if we do, it looks as good as any squad on paper.”

Ponting has been appointed as the assistant coach of the national side for the World Cup in England this year.