'Not at his best': Ricky Ponting explains David Warner's strike rate against India

Australian coaching member Ricky Ponting has defended David Warner’s performance against India despite his team’s first defeat at the World Cup.

India set a mammoth 352 for Australia to chase down, but despite getting runs Warner scored his slowest ODI fifty to date with a strike rate of just 71.84.

The opener came under fire during the match with commentator and Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara hinting Warner needed to “free himself up”.

David Warner during the match against India. (Getty Image)

His opening partnership with Finch didn’t get off to the best start either with the captain run out after a mix up.

But Aussie batting legend Ponting said while Warner admitted he found it hard to score against India, the team were happy how they went about chasing down the huge score.

“I think Finch and Warner are probably as good as any openers in the world,” Ponting told Cricket.com.

“By his own admission [Warner] today he probably wasn’t at his absolute best.

“But as I said, he hit the field too often early on and wasn’t able to rotate as he would have liked.”

Ponting said the Aussie team was open to mixing and changing the batting line-up in order to chase down big totals.

Against India, Smith and Khawaja swapped positions and Ponting said it to mix up the left-right hand batsman against the spinners.

“We wanted to have left-hand, right-hand with those spinners and we thought Steven plays spin as well as anybody, so that was the only reason," Ponting said.

"It happens quite a lot in the modern game where you see that right-hand, left-hand combination, especially if they've got a lot of spin.

"If it's past 35 overs, you're probably not going to do it [bat Khawaja at four], Maxwell is going every day of the week after that.”