Infotainment Factory: Ponting's 'absolute worst' Smith-Warner call

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Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ponting's 'absolute worst' Smith-Warner call


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England's fans and press will make life hell for Australia at the World Cup with relentless pressure on returning stars Steve Smith and David Warner.

That's the warning from former captains Ricky Ponting and Mark Taylor, who believe it will be a very real factor for the Aussies to contend with during the tournament.

Ponting won a hat-trick of World Cups with Australia (1999, 2003, 2007), the last two as skipper. He told cricket.com.au that Smith and Warner, returning from bans over the ball tampering scandal, would put a target on the Aussies.

"The hardest part for those guys is going to be the public perception of us, especially in England," Ponting said.

"They're coming back into a World Cup in the UK - they shouldn’t be expecting too many pats on the back over there. They're going to cop it everywhere they go. They've got to know that, they've got to accept that and understand that.

"The team needs to as well, because that could also be something that could be unsettling for a team."

Ponting said Smith and Warner, World Cup winners in 2015, should be ready for "the absolute worst" reception from the English.

"I think they are well equipped [to handle the scrutiny], but I think it could be a shock for them by the same token when they come back," Ponting said.

"They have to expect the absolute worst and then anything better than that is going to be a bonus for them. That would be the way I would approach it if I was them."

Ponting, who said that Australia winning and Smith/Warner scoring runs would subdue the crowds, echoed comments made by Taylor on Nine's Sports Sunday.

After seeking form in the Indian Premier League, Smith and Warner will likely make their ODI return for Australia in a warm-up game against England, in Hampshire right before the World Cup. Taylor said the heat would be on as soon as they arrived in England.

"You know what it's like when you go to England. They don't care what's happened in Dubai or Australia - it will be the English media and they'll be all over us," Taylor said.

"They're going to have to deal with that. The players and obviously the staff around them are going to have to deal with that as soon as Australia get to England."

Taylor raised another issue with Smith and Warner's return: the captaincy. He said that keeping out-of-form ODI skipper Aaron Finch in the team was essential to avoid any confusion over who was in charge.

"Because the Warner-Smith factor will be real in England. Big-time real," Taylor said.

"You want a senior player who's going to work well with them, but also be his own man, and that's Aaron Finch."

England's fans and press will make life hell for Australia at the World Cup with relentless pressure on returning stars Steve Smith and David Warner.

That's the warning from former captains Ricky Ponting and Mark Taylor, who believe it will be a very real factor for the Aussies to contend with during the tournament.

Ponting won a hat-trick of World Cups with Australia (1999, 2003, 2007), the last two as skipper. He told cricket.com.au that Smith and Warner, returning from bans over the ball tampering scandal, would put a target on the Aussies.

"The hardest part for those guys is going to be the public perception of us, especially in England," Ponting said.

"They're coming back into a World Cup in the UK - they shouldn’t be expecting too many pats on the back over there. They're going to cop it everywhere they go. They've got to know that, they've got to accept that and understand that.

"The team needs to as well, because that could also be something that could be unsettling for a team."

Ponting said Smith and Warner, World Cup winners in 2015, should be ready for "the absolute worst" reception from the English.

"I think they are well equipped [to handle the scrutiny], but I think it could be a shock for them by the same token when they come back," Ponting said.

"They have to expect the absolute worst and then anything better than that is going to be a bonus for them. That would be the way I would approach it if I was them."

Ponting, who said that Australia winning and Smith/Warner scoring runs would subdue the crowds, echoed comments made by Taylor on Nine's Sports Sunday.

After seeking form in the Indian Premier League, Smith and Warner will likely make their ODI return for Australia in a warm-up game against England, in Hampshire right before the World Cup. Taylor said the heat would be on as soon as they arrived in England.

"You know what it's like when you go to England. They don't care what's happened in Dubai or Australia - it will be the English media and they'll be all over us," Taylor said.

"They're going to have to deal with that. The players and obviously the staff around them are going to have to deal with that as soon as Australia get to England."

Taylor raised another issue with Smith and Warner's return: the captaincy. He said that keeping out-of-form ODI skipper Aaron Finch in the team was essential to avoid any confusion over who was in charge.

"Because the Warner-Smith factor will be real in England. Big-time real," Taylor said.

"You want a senior player who's going to work well with them, but also be his own man, and that's Aaron Finch."

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