Melbourne: Ahead of the Ashes, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has shared a piece of advice with Usman Khawaja, saying that the 32-year-old batsman should impose himself more in the game.
"I think when he's scoring quite freely, he's a much better player and that's going to be the challenge for him again here. The English quicks will have some pretty good plans for him and he's just got to take it on a little bit more and impose himself on the contest a little bit more. If he does that, I'm sure he'll play well," Cricket.com.au quoted Ponting as saying.
Ponting also recalled Khawaja's performance during the Test match series against India saying that the left-handed batsman was not at his best as he did not force himself to put pressure on the Indian bowlers. India had won the series by 2-1.
"He probably wasn't at his best in that India series back at home. Talking to him about it, he probably went back into his shell a little bit. He knew how they were going to bowl, and he probably just didn't put enough pressure back on the bowlers. He sort of sat and tried to wait on them and they were just too good most of the time," he said.
Ponting also called Khawaja a 'classy player' while praising his technique.
"I've not got enough good things to say about Usman as a player. I think he's a very classy player. I don't think anyone ever questions his technique when he's playing well. It's just when he gets that little bit defensive ... that his technique starts to be shown up a fraction. But when he's moving his feet and he's out hitting the ball, I think his technique is really good," Ponting said.
The first Test match between Australia and England will start on August 1.