England clash more than a warm-up: Ponting

Australia assistant coach Ricky Ponting says Saturday's clash against England is more than just a warm-up game for the Cricket World Cup.

ricky ponting assistant t20 coach looks on during the twenty20 international match between australia and england at blundstone arena in hobart australia
RICKY PONTING, assistant T20 coach looks on during the Twenty20 International match between Australia and England at Blundstone Arena in Hobart, Australia. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Ricky Ponting says there will be an edge to Australia's practice match against England on Saturday and he's warning the hosts they'll be the team under most pressure when the World Cup starts.

The world champions made light work of beating the West Indies in an unofficial practice match on Wednesday.

However, they face a much tougher assignment against a red-hot England side in Southampton as part of their build up towards the World Cup opener against Afghanistan on June 1.

Despite having never won a major 50-over tournament, England under Eoin Morgan have been transformed from the laughing stock of world cricket four years ago when they failed to get of the group stages.

They go into the game on the back of a 4-0 win over Pakistan and 12 months after inflicting a first-ever 5-0 ODI series whitewash over Australia that included a record 242-run victory at Trent Bridge.

"I think there's always a little bit there whenever Australia and England play," said Ponting, who is working as an assistant to coach Justin Langer during the World Cup.

"We'll be doing everything in our power to win the game. Even today, you could see with the attitude of the boys on the field.

"It was just a warm up game, but we want to win and we want to continue building on the things we've building on for the last few months."

Ponting concedes England deserve to be tournament favourites but said going in to a World Cup in top form is not necessarily the right recipe for success.

"If anything you can almost get a feeling of going into the first part almost feeling underdone," he said.

"You then try to build up and start playing your best cricket through the middle of the tournament and towards the end and hopefully peak at the right time."

Ponting, who won the World Cup three times, twice as captain, said England's brilliant form means nothing if they cannot lift the trophy on July 14 at Lord's and believes the pressure of doing it on home soil could be crippling.

"I agree with the way they've been playing," he said.

"But World Cups are completely different than any other tournament you play and they'll have more pressure on them playing at home than anybody else well.

"India are still a very dangerous one-day side as well.

"They've got probably the best fast bowling brigade they've had in a long time, as we saw in Australia during the summer.

"You put Kohli and Rohit Sharma in a batting line up in good, English conditions then they could be very dangerous.

"England probably are the favourites but we'll wait and see how they play in the big games."


AAP