Ricky Ponting (Photo Source:Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Former Australian cricketer and one of the most successful captains in the history of the game, Ricky Ponting, predicted Australia’s playing eleven for the much anticipated World Test Championship final against India. The Aussie icon backed Scott Boland to make it into the eleven if Josh Hazlewood misses out on the summit clash at the Oval next month.
A couple of injury concerns in the Australian team have opened the doors for Scott Boland, who is being backed by former skipper Ricky Ponting to replace a doubtful Josh Hazlewood for the clash against India. Even though Boland did not enjoy a happy outing against the Indians earlier this year, Ponting feels the conditions in England will suit his bowling style.
While Ponting voted for an unchanged top-order, featuring Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith and Travis Head, he felt veteran Aussie all-rounder Michael Neser is also in the reckoning after an impressive stint in country cricket.
“I think Warner will play. I’m listening to everything that’s been spoken about the last few months, that Warner will play along with Khawaja, opening the batting. Marnus Labuschagne three, Steve Smith four, Travis Head five, Cameron Green six, Alex Carey seven, Mitchell Starc eight, Pat Cummins nine, Nathan Lyon 10. Scott Boland will be the guy that will come in Hazelwood’s place,” Ponting said on the latest episode of The ICC Review.
I think the batting side of things pretty much picks itself: Ponting
While the Australian team are pondering over the selection of either Boland or Neser to replace Hazlewood, Ponting feels that the no.1 ranked Test side has got their bases covered in the batting department. He highlighted Travis Head’s relentless approach and Cameron Green’s emergence in the middle order as a big boost for the Aussies.
“There has only really been one batting question mark in the last 12 months, and that has been the opening spot with David Warner and how long he’s going to continue to play. With Travis Head doing what he’s done lately in that middle order, and Cameron Green really emerging on the scene in the last 12 months as well, I think the batting side of things pretty much picks itself,” he added.
Ricky Ponting’s predicted Australia XI
Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland (if Hazlewood is unfit)