Ricky Ponting wants Australia top-order batsman to take more responsibility after England defeat

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Ponting is currently a part of Justin Langer's coaching staff.

Former captain Ricky Ponting has warned Australia’s top-order batsmen must step up their game and deliver ‘big runs’ after their first ODI defeat to England on Wednesday.

The Aussies struggled against England’s slower bowlers and were all out for just 214 runs after being made to bat in their three-wicket defeat. England’s spin duo of Moeen Ali and Rashid Khan accounted for five of the seven top-order batsmen.

It took a 84-run stand between Glenn Maxwell and Ashton Agar to help the Aussies reach a respectable total after the damage done by England’s spinners earlier on. Ponting, who became a late addition to the coaching staff of Langer for the limited-overs matches against England, stated that the top-order needed to stand up and take more of the responsibility.

“It highlighted again the importance of our top-order batsman taking responsibility and getting some big runs,” said Ponting.

Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh had put on a 40-run partnership for the second wicket after Travis Head fell early but both the batsmen then fell in quick succession to Moeen’s off-spin.

“We lost an early wicket but I thought Marsh and Finch’s partnership looked really promising. But both of them getting out in successive overs to Moeen Ali, and all of a sudden we are behind the eight ball,” Ponting explained.

Australia struggles against the off-spin of Moeen Ali.

Australia struggled against the off-spin of Moeen Ali.

“It’s just little moments like that were someone just has to put their hand up and say ‘Right, I am going to be the man that’s going to get through here and do what my team needs me to do’ and it didn’t happen,” he added.

“These players need to be hard on themselves and work out how they can improve on a daily basis.”

The highly successful former Australia skipper remains confident that the team can bounce back strongly when they take on England in the second ODI at Cardiff on Saturday.

“It didn’t happen (Wednesday) but there is certainly enough skill and talent there to push on and win some games through the remainder of this series,” he said.

“Being on a tour in England you get four hours on the bus with the boys and I will be able to sit down with the young blokes and talk cricket.

“I love doing it.”

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India v Afghanistan LIVE: Debutants come storming back in final session as India lose six wicket on first day

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Vijay is looking good at the crease with India on top.

Afghanistan face sky-high expectations at home ahead of their historic first-ever Test match starting Thursday against India. It will be a historic moment for Asghar Stanikzai’s team when they step out for their maiden five-day outing against the world’s number one Test side.

India’s stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and has no hesitation on batting first at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru. The Afghan’s Test bow hasn’t gone to plan so far with openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay putting up a rapid unbeaten 158-run stand before lunch was taken.

Dhawan slammed a quick-fire century in just 87 balls to become the first Indian to score a century before lunch on day one of Test match. He fell shortly after the interval for 107 (96) as he became Afghanistan’s maiden Test dismissal with Yamin Ahmadzai being the wicket-taker.

After India were on top for most of the day, Afghanistan came storming back in the final session to pick up five more wickets as the hosts ended the day at 347-6.

Catch all the live updates below.

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Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann takes offence at sandpaper card stunt by English fans in first ODI

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Lehmann was evidently not happy with the advertising stunt at the Oval.

England cricket fans rubbing salt in the wounds of the Aussies in the ongoing ODI series between the two countries has not gone down too well with Darren Lehmann.

The former Australia coach, who resigned in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal which occurred during Australia’s tour of South Africa, was not happy with some of the shenanigans which occurred during the first ODI between the two sides on Wednesday at the Oval.

Before the start of the match, an advertising stunt saw pieces of ‘Australian ball-tampering grade sandpaper’ being handed out to fans entering the ground.

It was reported that over 5, 000 of these cards were confiscated by authorities inside the ground.

The stunt was in response to the ball-tampering episode in which Cameron Bancroft had been caught on camera shining the ball with a sandpaper.

Lehmann took to Twitter to express his disapproval at the advertising stunt to British journalist Alison Mitchell. The journalist had posted an image of the sandpaper cards being handed out to fans outside the stadium.

Lehmann wrote, “Your better than that @AlisonMitchell?”

It has to be said that before the start of the series, Australia’s newly appointed coach Justin Langer and ODI captain Tim Paine had stated that they expected to cop some punishment from their Ashes rivals during the five-match ODI series and one-off T20I.

I’m pretty lucky being in the middle I can’t hear anything,” Paine had said at the press conference before the start of the series.

“I haven’t spoken to the (other guys) but there wasn’t any talk of copping too much stick out there which is nice.

“Maybe if we win a few games they might.”

Australia were beaten by three wickets on Wednesday as England took a 1-0 lead in the series.

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