Glenn Maxwell, the Australia all-rounder, lavished praise on Ricky Ponting and revealed how he had inspired Australia to chase down a mammoth 244 in a T20I against New Zealand at Eden Park last year.
Ponting, who has been appointed Australia’s assistant coach for the 2019 World Cup, was in the same role on a temporary basis in February 2018, when Australia and England were in New Zealand for the Trans-Tasman Tri-Nation series.
The Black Caps had posted a daunting to 243-6, and Maxwell revealed the Australian dressing room was downbeat during the interval before Ponting infused confidence in the batsmen.
“It was matter-of-fact – ‘we’re going to chase these runs down, comfortably – not just reach the target, we’re going to chase these runs down with an over to spare’,” Maxwell told cricket.com.au.
“Our players heard that and went ‘all right, no worries’, and then we looked around at D’Arcy Short, David Warner, Chris Lynn, myself and Aaron Finch – we looked at that top five and went ‘there’s not many better top fives in the world, so let’s go out and do this’.”
Australia went on to scale the target in 18.5 overs with five wickets in hand. “That’s the sort of confidence that he gave us as a team,” said Maxwell. “Not only by the words he said, but through the conviction with which he said them.”
Maxwell said Ponting, who won three World Cups (two as captain), was an invaluable addition to the Australian support staff heading into the premier event in England and Wales later this year.
“He makes you feel like you can walk on water sometimes,” said Maxwell. “He’s a good person for the batters to talk different tactics with because he can read someone’s technique really well. And he’s an unbelievable coach in the way that he coaches technique and the basics of the game.
“He can spend five minutes with you and work out any flaws and strengths that can slightly help, without changing your game too much. He can even change your mindset with just a conversation because of his amazing ability.”