Ponting wants more from mercurial Maxwell

Ian McCullough

Ricky Ponting has called on Glenn Maxwell to become the batting kingpin which Australia's one-day side desperately needs after another dispiriting loss to England.

Maxwell top-scored with 62 in Wednesday's three-wicket defeat at The Oval in an under-par total of 214.

It was the lowest all-out score by an Australian side batting first in a ODI in England after winning the toss.

Maxwell came to the crease at 4-70 and put on 84 runs with Ashton Agar for the sixth wicket but his departure effectively ended any genuine hopes of victory.

The Victorian perished in somewhat unfortunate fashion when his perfectly timed leg flick that appeared to being heading over the rope was snaffled superbly on the boundary by a sprinting Jonny Bairstow.

Maxwell had entered the game out of form with scores of one and three in the warm-up matches and an average of just over 14 during a lean IPL campaign with the Delhi Daredevils.

Ponting has been brought in by coach Justin Langer to help out with a largely inexperienced side and has been impressed with what he's seen from the big-hitting 29-year-old.

The former Test captain, having coached Maxwell in Delhi, believes once he finds some consistency, he can become the most dangerous white-ball batsman in the world game.

"I think I understand Glenn very well," Ponting said.

"He doesn't have to prove it to anybody. He's just got to work out the best way for him to play.

"He is at his best when the team is in trouble. When he goes out at 3-250, that is when he makes silly mistakes.

"When we were in some trouble (at The Oval), he played a good knock."

"Well done to Glenn, but I am sure he will be analysing his own innings and thinking he could have done a bit better.

"To be bowled out with three overs to go, if he was there at the end, he could have had a hundred and it's 270 and a different game."

Ponting, also working as a commentator for the five-match series, says the Australian batsmen need to improve quickly for Saturday's second match in Cardiff and is confident they're good enough to do so.

"These players need to be hard on themselves and work out how they can improve on a daily basis," he said.

"At The Oval, it highlighted again the importance of our top-order batsman getting some big runs.

"Someone needs to put their hand up and say I am going to do what the team needs me to do.

"But what I have seen from training, certainly batting-wise, it was outstanding. There is enough talent to push on and win some games."