Ponting wants Indian-origin pacer Sandhu in Australia squad for World Cup

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Melbourne, Dec 29: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has named three potential bowlers to be included in the final-15 of the World Cup 2015 squad, which includes Indian-origin medium-pacer Gurinder Singh Sandhu.

World Cup fixtures

Ponting is impressed with the domestic form of pace pair Jason Behrendorff and Sandhu, while the triple World Cup winner believes that the 20-year-old Aston Agar could also be included as a specialist spinner.

Ponting backs Sandhu for World Cup

"Jason Behrendorff from the Perth Scorchers has been a standout for me so far in the Big Bash and his domestic record is also good," Ponting told SEN's Summer Breakfast programme.

The New South Wales-born Sandhu, whose parents hail from Punjab, has bagged 52 wickets in 29 List-A matches at an average of 24.36. Ponting opines that the 6 foot 3 inches-tall bowler is a good limited-over proposition.

"And Gurinder Sandhu is the other one. I think he's a terrific short form bowler. He bowls well at the death in T20 games which is probably an area that Australia haven't really ever excelled in the limited-overs game," he said.

Ponting also feels that Agar, who made his Test debut at Trent Bridge last year, scoring a remarkable 98 batting at No. 11 in world-record stand with Phillip Hughes, could provide Australia a dynamic spinning option.

"I would actually throw Ashton Agar's name in there as a bit of a smokey (an Australian slang for a horse whose form has been kept secret).

"I haven't talked much about this before but I was just looking and thinking about what they might do with a spinner for the World Cup, and we know that Agar's a very handy lower batsman and a good fielder as well. I think he's someone who could slot into a World Cup one-day side really nicely."

'Maxwell has got so much talent'

The 40-year-old Ponting, who retired from all forms of the game in December 2012, feels that young all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is another dynamic player in line for the 50-over showpiece event. "I think expectation is the thing that's weighing him down a little bit at the moment," Ponting said of Maxwell's poor form of late.

"As I try to say to him, that's just down to the way he plays his cricket. He's got so much talent … the ability to do some unbelievably freakish things. He's got to find a way within himself to become a consistent cricketer for the Stars and Victoria and hopefully for Australia."

Australia have submitted a list of 30 probables to the ICC without disclosing the names in public and are expected to come up with the final-15 on or before January 7, 2015.

PTI

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