When Aaron Finch was sweating it out in the nets, Ricky Ponting, who led the hosts to a hard-fought series win over the Indians in 2007-08, kept an eye on his footwork and stroke-play before having an extended chat with Finch. @ Twitter/Cricket Australia
When Aaron Finch was sweating it out in the nets, Ricky Ponting, who led the hosts to a hard-fought series win over the Indians in 2007-08, kept an eye on his footwork and stroke-play before having an extended chat with Finch. @ Twitter/Cricket Australia

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting was called in on Thursday to help Aaron Finch solve his batting woes ahead of the second Test at Perth’s Optus Stadium. Finch, the skipper of Australia’s limited-overs squad, was dismissed for a duck in the first innings at Adelaide and then added 11 in the second. This was Finch’s third Test after making his debut against Pakistan in the UAE.

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According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday, Ponting was the guest of honour during Australia’s warm-up session. When Finch was sweating it out in the nets, Ponting, who led the hosts to a hard-fought series win over the Indians in 2007-08, kept an eye on his footwork and stroke-play before having an extended chat with Finch.

“I know he’s always in and around our group, he has been for probably the last six or eight months,” captain Tim Paine said of Ponting.

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“One of the things we’re trying to do is get a lot of our ex-players back. Him in particular, he makes our batting group walk a bit taller.”

Australia lack an experienced batting line-up since the departure of Steve Smith and David Warner, currently serving suspensions. Among the top six batsmen, Australia have only Usman Khawaja, who averages around 40 in first-class cricket as compared to the top six Indians, who average all above 50.

Meanwhile, Paine wants Finch to back himself in the Tests. “We encourage all our players to back their strengths,” Paine said.

“Finchy’s been successful in international cricket, played really well in the UAE. He’s like other players, he just needs that one score to get that more self-belief at Test level that we know he has at international T20 and one-day cricket. You’re not going to succeed in international cricket unless you stick to your strengths.

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“Finchy knows the best way he goes about his batting. We’ve got to keep him on track and make sure he does that. If he does he’ll come good for us.”