From Travis Head to Mitchell Starc: Ricky Ponting evaluates Australian players’ IPL 2024 performances ahead of T20 World Cup

May 28, 2024

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Former Australian captain and current Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach, Ricky Ponting, shared his insights on the performances of several prominent Australian players in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, with a focus on the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

The 17th edition of the lucrative league showcased many stars from the Australian Men’s T20 World Cup squad. Players like Travis Head impressed with their powerful batting, while others such as David Warner and Mitchell Marsh had a mixed tournament overall.

Additionally, seasoned fast bowler Mitchell Starc faced challenges with consistency in the early matches but delivered consecutive memorable performances in the latter stages for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who ultimately won the 2024 IPL title.

Ricky Ponting shares his view on the performances of key Australian stars

Travis Head (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Matches: 15 | Runs: 567 | HS: 102 | AVG: 40.50 | SR: 191.55 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 4

Travis Head was in phenomenal form for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), racking up over 500 runs with an impressive strike rate. His innings often showcased his ability to strike the ball cleanly and powerfully. According to Ponting, this transformation was due to a more relaxed mental state. Ponting noted that Head had shifted his playing style over the last couple of years, leading to these impressive outcomes.

“He’s not worried about the negative of getting out. (In T20 Cricket) You’ve got to go out there and try in the first ball for six. If it comes off, it comes off. You’re away, your team’s away. (Earlier) he was worried about what someone might have said or what the media wrote if he got out playing a certain shot, rather than just going out and backing himself and scoring runs. So, for me, that’s been the real change in him,” said Ponting as quoted by ICC.

Mitchell Starc (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Matches: 14 | Wickets: 17 | Econ: 10.61 | BBM: 4/33

Mitchell Starc struggled with his bowling early on for KKR, but he hit his stride towards the end of the tournament. Ponting believed that the high price tag adds pressure on players and that bowling at Eden Gardens is particularly tough as well. However, the Tasmanian predicted that Starc will make a significant impact in the Caribbean conditions.

“The expectation that comes with the price tag sometimes it makes players push out a little bit harder and try to do more than they need to do. You know, conditions where Mitch is bowling at Eden Gardens, the ball didn’t really swing much there this year, and the ground is like, like it’s a small ground and the outfields like concrete, and when you’re bowling at Starc’s pace, inside edges that just make their way through the field end up going for four. It’s not the easiest place in the world to bowl fast, but, you know, if we go to the Caribbean where the wind’s a little bit slower and the ball’s not flying off the bat quite as hard, then Starc will have an impact,” added Ponting.

Also READ: Pat Cummins reveals the secret behind Australia’s knack of winning ICC tournaments

David Warner (Delhi Capitals)

Matches: 8 | Runs: 168 | HS: 52 | AVG: 21 | SR: 134.40 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 1

Veteran Australian opener David Warner struggled during the IPL 2024, managing only 168 runs with a poor average of 21. Despite this disappointing performance, Ponting expressed confidence that Warner would bounce back in the upcoming global event.

“He (Warner) didn’t really hit scores, and then he got a nasty hit on his hand. Basically, had the worst bone bruising and his contusion on the back of his hand that he’s ever seen. He’s a feisty little competitor that once the World Cup comes around, he hits the Australian colours back on again,” explained Ponting.

Mitchell Marsh (Delhi Capitals)

Matches: 4 | Runs: 61 | HS: 23 | AVG: 15.25 | SR: 160.53 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 0

Like Warner, Mitchell Marsh, who will captain Australia in the T20 World Cup 2024, also faced challenges with both his batting and fitness. Marsh’s stint in IPL 2024 was brief; he scored just 61 runs in four games before an injury forced him to return home. Ponting remarked that some players are naturally suited to leadership roles, and Marsh is one of them. The former Australian skipper also mentioned that Marsh is well-respected by his teammates, who enjoy playing under his leadership.

“He still, obviously, he left us at Delhi as well four or five games into the season with a hamstring tendon injury that I’m not sure he’s quite over just yet. But talking about (captaincy) he’s a rookie, but captaincy sits really well with him. He’s never going to be anyone that overthinks it too much. He’ll take responsibility for what he needs to have tactically and I think, you know, one thing I know about Mitch is all the players love him. All the players respect him and will love playing under him,” Ponting added further.

Also READ: T20 World Cup 2024 – Complete squads of all 20 teams

For latest cricket news & updates, visit CricketTimes.com.

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