Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting called Australia a “slight favorite” over India to win the ICC World Testing Championship Final against India starting on June 7 at The Oval. At an event ahead of the WTC final between India and Australia at The Oval, Ponting said his team was a slight favorite to win the title. He said conditions at the Oval were more suitable for Australia than for India. The great Australian also said that the lack of cricket played by Australia recently and the heavy dose of competitive cricket in the IPL 2023 for Indian players could also decide the outcome of the match.
“Australia is a slight favourite. Conditions are more suitable for Australia than for India. These two teams have beaten more opponents than they lost. They deserved to finish first and second. Nearly all Indian players have played the extremely competitive cricket in the IPL. One side comes to this match fresh, while the other is tired. A lot of these factors will affect the match,” Ponting said.
Ponting also said that he would like the concept to be used during his playing days so that he can get some experience playing in the final as well, which he compared to the World Cup final.
The great Australian believes that pacer Michael Neser, who replaced the injured Josh Hazlewood in the team, can sit out in favor of pacer Scott Boland, who will take Hazlewood’s place in the eleven-man squad.
“Nesser has been playing well at county cricket lately. Boland’s records are incredible. In Australia, when there was nothing on the surface to help the bowlers, Boland was our best bowler. I think he will take Hazlewood’s place.”
Nesser was in good form, scoring 19 wickets in the Premier League for Glamorgan. He also won the century against Sussex.
In seven matches for Australia in the 2021-23 WTC, Boland took 28 wickets with a 13.42 average and a 2.18 economy. His best bowling numbers are 6/7.
Ponting, who was one of the top batsmen of the 2000s, called his rival and legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar the “leader of the pack” of the great superstars of his era.
“When I was going through that time, Sachin was the leader of the pack. Jacques Callis was great too,” Ponting said.
Both Ponting and Sachin have always been excellent hitters. In 664 matches, Sachin scored 34,357 runs with an average of 48.52, with 100 centuries and 164 fifties, with a best of 248*. On the other hand, Ponting is below the Indian in third place with 27,483 runs on a 45.95 average in 560 matches, with 71 centuries, 146 fifties and a best run of 257.
Ponting said that the rivalry between India and Australia is “one of the greatest rivalries” in the sport.
India and Australia face off in 106 tests. India have won 32 matches, Australia have won 44, while 29 matches have ended in draws and one draw. With India’s two Test series wins in Australia over the past few years and their dominance at home over the Aussies, India’s record has improved over the past few years.
Of the 16 series of Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia from 1996 to 1997, India won 10 series and Australia won five, one of which ended in a draw.
India squad: Rohit Sharma (k), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, K.S. Bharat (JK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Aksar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaidev Unadkat, and Ishan Kishan (week).
Reserve players: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Mukesh Kumar and Suryakumar Yadav.
Australia Team: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (n), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (n), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labouchagne, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Steve Smith . (VC), Mitchell Stark, David Warner
Reserve players: Mitch Marsh, Matthew Renshaw.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by the NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated channel.)
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