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After dismal T20 results on recent tours to the Bangladesh and West Indies, Australia legend Ricky Ponting has questioned Australia's depth, but feels the squad can still fight for the World Cup if their strongest side is available.
Australia finished the twin visits with a 2-8 record in the two T20 contest, topped off by being bowled out for 62 in the final match against Bangladesh in Mirpur, which is their lowest T20 total.
While Ponting recognized the difficult conditions in Bangladesh, he was concerned that the performances deteriorated as the matches progressed. Only Mitchell Marsh's reputation as a batsman has improved, despite the bowling attack's overall performance.
"The lack of knowhow and skill in those conditions brought us undone again, It's been the achilles heel for Australian cricket for as long as I can remember - more so in Test cricket, but we've always found a way to be very competitive in Sri Lanka and India in white-ball cricket. Just goes to show the depth around Australia cricket is not where it needs to be so there's some work to do there,” Ponting told Tim Paine on the Test captain's SEN radio show.
"The T20 World Cup is not far away so hopefully we get all the boys fit and healthy, because I still think with everyone fit and healthy in the UAE that Australian team can push really hard to win the title. Let's keep our fingers crossed we can put our strongest XI on the field" he added.
With captain Aaron Finch ruled out of the Bangladesh series due to a knee injury, which meant Australia were missing up to eight players who could be considered among first picks including David Warner, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis from the batting order.
"There were a lot of names not there…but it almost seemed they got worse during that series, There's no doubt those conditions were really difficult, but that's the worry for me. They've been there long enough and done some training on wickets you'd have thought were quite similar to what they played on yet the further the series went, whether a lack of confidence or skill or game awareness, I'm sure they would have been shattered,” Ponting added.