How Ricky Ponting inspired Australia's record T20I chase in Eden Park

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Australia had been set a mammoth target of 244 by New Zealand at Eden Park, back in February 2018, when a talk by Ricky Ponting spurred the batsmen on to chase the target down.

Until then no team had chased anything like that in T20Is. Australia's bowlers had been battered and bruised in front of a capacity crowd at Eden Park, and New Zealand were strong favourites to defend the target.

But Australia were unstoppable when they came out to bat. David Warner, the captain, and D'Arcy Short walked out to open and raised a rapid 121-run stand, both scoring well into their 50s and laying the foundation for what eventually turned out to be a comfortable chase.

Glenn Maxwell, who along with Aaron Finch had helped lay the finishing touches by scoring a rapid 31, revealed how Ponting, who was assistant to then-coach Darren Lehman, inspired Australia to take the chase head-on.

"It was matter-of-fact – 'we're going to chase these runs down, comfortably – not just reach the target, we're going to chase these runs down with an over to spare'," Maxwell told cricket.com.au.

"Our players heard that and went 'all right, no worries', and then we looked around at D'Arcy Short, David Warner, Chris Lynn, myself and Aaron Finch – we looked at that top five and went 'there's not many better top fives in the world, so let's go out and do this'.

"That's the sort of confidence that he gave us as a team. Not only by the words he said, but through the conviction with which he said them. The confidence that he gave the group when he walked into the change-room was undoubted, and just something different."

Ponting was recently appointed Australia's assistant coach ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019, and the team will look to draw from him in tense moments during the marquee event.

"He makes you feel like you can walk on water sometimes" Maxwell had said after winning the award for Men's International T20 Player of the Year at the Australian Cricket Awards in Melbourne last Monday.

"He's a good person for the batters to talk different tactics with because he can read someone's technique really well. And he's an unbelievable coach in the way that he coaches technique and the basics of the game.

"He can spend five minutes with you and work out any flaws and strengths that can slightly help, without changing your game too much. He can even change your mindset with just a conversation because of his amazing ability."

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