Aaron Finch has been given a Ricky Ponting masterclass on the eve of the second Test as he seeks to nail down his spot at the top of Australia's batting order.
Ponting was a guest of honour at Perth's Optus Stadium on Thursday, when Tim Paine confirmed Finch would open alongside Marcus Harris in Australia's second Test against India.
Ponting, national coach Justin Langer and Finch had a quick discussion out in the middle as Paine's side warmed up and inspected the pitch.
When Finch hit the nets, Ponting kept a watchful eye on his footwork and stoke play before wandering down to have an extended chat.
"I know he's always in and around our group, he has been for probably the last six or eight months," Paine said of Ponting.
"One of the things we're trying to do is get a lot of our ex-players back. Him in particular, he makes our batting group walk a bit taller."
Ponting and Finch aren't strangers. They linked up at Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai in 2015.
Finch missed the latter stages of Mumbai's charge to that year's IPL title because of a hamstring injury but Ponting's mentoring left a big impression.
"It's his first coaching job and he was absolutely outstanding," Finch told AAP at the time.
"Being one of the best players in the world for a long time, he commanded that respect to start with and straight away he had the boys' attention.
"But what impressed me was his energy and drive for the players to get better, plus his attention to detail."
Debate continues to rage about whether Finch should open for Australia, be deployed in the middle order or dropped.
Finch scored zero and 11 in his first home Test, with only an Ishant Sharma no-ball saving him from the ignominy of a pair.
Mike Hussey initially thought Finch should open against India but has since changed his mind.
"No.5 might be a better option," Hussey said at a Fox Cricket event.
"Finch coming in against hopefully a tiring attack, when the ball's a bit older, can be pretty damaging.
"He plays spin pretty well too, maybe that could be a better option for the team."
Australian Associated Press