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Ponting backs Finch, Warner to fire against Pakistan

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London, June 11: Australia's assistant coach Ricky Ponting has labelled the Aaron Finch-David Warner opening partnership among the best in the ongoing World Cup and expects them to perform against Pakistan in their next fixture.

The opening duo was not at their usual best and struggled against India in Sunday's match which Australia lost at the Kennington Oval.  

Both the players were kept on their feet and not allowed to score quickly during Australia's record chase of 353, which they fell short by 36 runs against the Men in Blue. 

Finch was made to toil hard for his runs in the beginning and just when he seemed to be getting into the groove, he got run-out at his individual score of 36.

On the other hand, Warner struggled from the start against the Indian pacers and never got any momentum during the course of his innings. He managed to score just 56 of 84 balls (strike rate of 66.67). More uncharacteristic was the amount of dot balls he played. Warner played out 50 dots in Australia's unsuccessful chase of 353, including 14 in a row at one point.

But Ponting believes that the Warner-Finch duo is capable of matching it with the very best.

"Finch and Warner are probably as good as openers in the world," Ponting told cricket.com.au. "Finchy has turned things around really well in the last five or six months, Davey coming back has made runs.

"By his own admission today, (Warner) probably wasn't at his absolute best. He hit the field too often early on and wasn't able to rotate as he would have liked," he added.

The former Australian skipper believes the current team has enough skills and talent to turn things around. 

"There's certainly enough skill and enough talent to turn it around pretty quickly," said Ponting. 

Australia will go into Wednesday's match as the more confident side as they had whitewashed Pakistan in the five-match ODI series in the UAE earlier this year. 

However, it would still not be an easy task for the defending champions to go past Sarfaraz Ahmad and his team, who would be brimming with confidence after their emphatic win over tournament favourites England in their last completed match.

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