Cricket World Cup 2019: Ricky Ponting's word of caution to David Warner, Steve Smith

Steve Smith and David Warner in 2016.
Steve Smith and David Warner in 2016. Photo credit: Getty

Australian great Ricky Ponting has cautioned disgraced duo David Warner and Steve Smith that they should prepare for a hostile reception in England.

Warner and Smith are expected to be selected for the upcoming World Cup, their first taste of international cricket since the ball tampering scandal.

With an Ashes series commencing two weeks after the tournament, Ponting believes local fans will look for a mental edge over the batting Goliaths before a huge English summer.

Ponting is concerned the Barmy Army's banter could even sidetrack Australia's World Cup defence.

"You'd like to think that those guys are having conversations now, so they're not leaving it to the last minute and just be exposed to this thing that could be derailing to a team," Ponting told cricket.com.au.

"I'm sure this would have been talked about at a higher level for a long time - how do we integrate them back in?

"How do they fit in? How is it all going to be seamless?

"But the hardest part for those guys is going to be the public perception of us, especially in England.

"They're coming back into a World Cup in the UK - they shouldn't be expecting too many pats on the back over there.

"They're going to cop it everywhere they go. They've got to know that, they've got to accept that and understand that.

"The team needs to as well, because that could also be something that could be unsettling for a team."

Ricky Ponting.
Ricky Ponting. Photo credit: Getty

Ponting, the most successful World Cup captain in history, with 27 wins in 29 matches, said there is no special secret to overcoming the hostility.

The solution is actually a simple one - score runs and win games.

"The way they'll integrate themselves back in quickly and have some of the public helping them out is for them to be scoring runs. If they're scoring runs and the Australian cricket team is winning, it'll be a whole lot easier.

"If it's the other way around, and they're not scoring runs and the Australian team is losing, then it's going to be hard."

And scoring runs is exactly what another former Australian great thinks Warner and Smith will do.

Shane Warne told cricket.com.au that he was backing Warner to win player of the tournament, as Australia win back-to-back tournaments.

"If you think of the top five batsmen playing International cricket right now and before they were banned, Smith and Warner would be in the top five, probably with Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Kane Williamson," Warne said.

"For Australia to have two of those, and such class with great records and experience, there's no doubt they'll be in the World Cup side."

Warner and Smith's re-introduction to the Australian set-up could be against New Zealand with the two teams playing two warm-up games a week before the tournament.

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