Ponting reveals key ingredient driving Australia’s success
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Ricky Ponting believes the strong bonds between current Australian players is a sign of a good team.
The former Australian skipper played in some of the greatest teams this country has produced and he can see similarities in the current squad.
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"I actually think there's a few pairs in this team, which is why I really like the look of this current team," Ponting told cricket.com.au.
"David Warner and Joe Burns get along really well, you can see in the way they run and communicate in their opening partnership.
"Marnus and Warner have done pretty well when they've batted together and Smith and Labuschagne are like twins, they're hanging out together all the time."
Ponting has no doubt that strong relationships off the field can lead to better performances on the pitch, particularly for batting and bowling partnerships.
"There's some really good dynamics happening around the group, which is crucial in good teams, certainly in good teams I played in," Ponting said.
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"We had that brotherhood of mainly the batters all sticking together and the bowlers sticking together but we had some pretty special partnerships, bonds in those groups."
Labuschagne in particular has benefited from spending a lot of time with arguably the best bastman in the world in Steve Smith.
The Queenslander reeled off his third straight century on day one against the Black Caps to push his average over 60 just behind Smith's career mark.
It wasn't that long ago that Labuschagne was averaging in the mid to low 30s in Test and first class cricket.
However Ponting knew from the first time he saw him bat on home soil that Labuschagne had potential to be a consistent Test run scorer.
"I actually said when he played his first game in Australia he looked as good as any of our batters," Ponting said.
"He made a really good 30 and then got out to a really good catch to short mid-wicket.
"He's made some changes, a few little technical things and he's been hanging out with Steve Smith and getting the mental side of the game right, that's what it looks like.
"It's been an amazing transformation.
"He averages over 40 in first-class cricket now, six or seven months ago that was in the low 30s.
"He's certainly come on in leaps and bounds which is fantastic for him and Australian cricket."
Labuschagne will resume on day two on 110 not out looking to add to his impressive record since being recalled at No.3 during the Ashes.