BOTH ARE MATCH WINNERS
Everyone in the team is really feeling for Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja after they suffered tournament-ending injuries.
Shaun has been a huge part of the ODI team the past 18 months and one of those guys you just absolutely love playing alongside.
The same goes with Usman. Breaking his way into the ODI team, scoring 1000 runs in ODIs this year alone and playing some great knocks this tournament – it’s devastating that he will miss the finals.
Injuries are something that come with having a career in sport, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, especially when they come at the backend of a World Cup.
We’re all right behind Shaun and Usman and hope they’ll be right back into it soon.
The silver lining is that we have fairly seamless replacements in Pete Handscomb and Matt Wade. They have both been playing with the A squad the last couple of weeks here in the UK.
Wadey is coming off a 1000-run domestic season and some big Aus A runs. Pete was brilliant in the most recent ODI tours. Both guys are matchwinners and will be brilliant if they get a chance.
PUNTER’S ‘TWO LITTLE KIDS’
Ricky Ponting has been a brilliant addition to the touring party for this tournament. For a guy who played 168 Tests and 375 one-dayers, he still brings so much energy, expertise and love of the game.
The boys love having him around. He’ll take some of them out for golf every couple of days, others out for coffee.
You rarely see him walking around without Davey Warner or Glenn Maxwell hanging off his hip. We joke that they’re his two little kids that he carries around.
Wadey is coming off a 1000-run domestic season and some big Aus A runs. Pete was brilliant in the most recent ODI tours. Both guys are matchwinners
The boys love him. He’ll throw balls for hours in the nets and talk to every batsman after training and games, but his impact is so much more than that.
He’s a cricket ‘snuff’ and still spends so much time watching the game. That, as well as his experience of being captain of the world’s best team for 10 years, is giving us great insight into opposition players.
He’s great to talk to, always really relaxed and a big influence around the group.
We have an advantage in that six of us were in involved in the 2015 Cup. It’s a massive difference because they’ve done it before and you know the other teams realise that.
Experience helps you relax and concentrate on your skills and big moments don’t overawe you as much as maybe they did at the start of your career. Looking over and seeing Punter, a man who won three World Cups and two as captain, gives you an extra boost.
The spirit has been great and we’ve enjoyed playing a tournament in England where we travel around by bus rather than taking flights. There are usually five or six of us up the back, playing cards.
Davey has been choosing the music the last few times and he sings at the top of his voice. We find it quite funny up the back of the bus, but the rest of the guys turn up their headphones a bit higher.
He usually goes old school. But he’s no Henry Olonga, the former Zimbabwe player who was a hit on The Voice this year. Put it this way, I don’t think I’d be turning my chair around for him.