(Reuters) - Australia still have the best depth of any cricket nation, former skipper Ricky Ponting has said while backing them to turn around their poor one-day international form in time to defend their World Cup title in England and Wales next year.
Five-time World Cup winners Australia were whitewashed 5-0 by hosts England in the ODI series which concluded last month, extending their poor ODI run having won only 16 of their last 18 matches.
“There are 16 one-dayers to be played between now and the next World Cup,” the 43-year-old said at a Channel Seven promotional event.
“I’ll guarantee you when you put the Australian group of 15 players down on a sheet of paper, that group will line up as good as any other team in the world.”
Ponting, who captained Australia in their 2003 and 2007 World Cup victories, said the ODI series against England helped young players to get some games and he believes the team will keep producing great players.
“One thing I do know is we’ve got still the best depth of any cricket nation in the world and I will continue to say that,” he added.
Ponting also supported coach Justin Langer who took over reins of the team in May this year.
“The environment Justin Langer will create around that team will be a place that everyone will just get better, they’ll just improve, they’ll love the environment,” he said.
“I’m really excited about what the future holds not just right now but for the next 20 years.”
Australia will host South Africa in November for three ODIs and one Twenty20 and will then host Virat Kohli-led India for three T20s, four test matches and three ODIs.
Reporting by Anirban Paul in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly