Australia’s cricketers in front of Ricky Ponting are “like eight-year-old girls around Justin Bieber”, feels the team’s World Cup skipper Aaron Finch about the batting great, whose mere presence gives them a fillip.
In February, Ponting was appointed as an assistant coach for Australia’s World Cup campaign, specifically working with the limited overs batsmen.
Ponting has previously worked short-term with Australia’s ODI and Twenty20 squads.
“The boys all want to impress ‘Punter’,” Finch was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“Everyone wants to impress Punter, you should see them – it’s like eight-year-old girls around Justin Bieber when Punter’s around the changeroom,” he said, drawing comparisons between Ponting and the famous Canadian singer-songwriter.
“It’s embarrassing, but it’s great,” Finch said of the legend who won the World Cup three times including twice as captain.
After a tough series at home against India, Australia turned things around and registered victories in India and against Pakistan.
Finch played his part in the revival of fortunes, forming a fine opening partnership with Usman Khwaja.
Since making a drought-breaking 93 against India at Ranchi, Finch had three big scores and his team eight consecutive wins.
“That was really exciting for me, it meant so much to see how happy others were for me to get some runs,” he said.
“The lessons that I learned and the support that I got from players and everyone was unbelievable, and it really makes you think about the care that there is for the individual player.”
Finch admitted there were “a few scars” noticeable among the members of the ODI outfit which had been involved in the preceding South Africa Test campaign that was marred by the ball-tampering saga, and that it took the new-look squad some time to find its feet.