Australia assistant coach Ricky Ponting believes that David Warner could end up as the leading run scorer of the 2019 World Cup if he continues to play like he did against Pakistan on June 12.
“If he (David Warner) keeps playing like that (his innings of 107 against Pakistan) for the rest of the tournament, he’s probably going to be the leading run scorer,” Ponting said.
In Wednesday’s game, Warner thrashed Pakistan with a match-winning knock of 107 off 109 balls, including 11 fours and a six. The innings bagged Warner the Player of the Match award, as Australia defeated Pakistan by 41 runs.
Ponting believes Warner has taken off the handbrake which has allowed him to play more freely.
“You could see by the way he moved into his shots picking up the length early, he hit a lot of pull shots early in his innings, which is always a good sign for him.
“He has taken the handbrake off which has allowed himself to play with a bit more freedom. If he keeps playing like that for the rest of the tournament, he’s probably going to be the leading run scorer,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
The former Australia skipper also revealed that he spoke to Warner ahead of the Pakistan match and advised him to just “see ball, hit ball”.
“I think in the back of his own mind to a certain degree, I think he was a little bit more worried about getting out than scoring runs. We said to him after the last game, ‘mate, just go out and see ball, hit ball’. He got off to a good start and continued on for 30 or 40 overs,” he said.
Donning the Yellow jersey after serving a one-year ban for his involvement in the ball-tampering fiasco, Warner was not at his best in the initial games of the ongoing World Cup.
The southpaw consumed 114 balls to score 89 not out against Afghanistan. In the next game against the West Indies, he didn’t manage to stay long at the crease and got out for mere 3.
Against India, the swashbuckling left-handed opener scored 56 runs off 84 balls with a strike rate of 66.67 which is quite contrary to his natural game.
With 255 runs in four matches, Warner now sits behind only Bangladesh’s Shakib al-Hasan (260 runs) at the top of the tournament’s run-scoring charts.
Australia face Sri Lanka next at the Kennington Oval on Saturday June 15.