In a surprising move ahead of the ICC World Test Championship final, Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting has defied conventional wisdom and reputation-based selections to pick a combined XI from the formidable lineups of India and Australia. Ponting, known for his astute cricketing acumen, has opted for recent form as the guiding principle in assembling his unique team.
Ponting backs Rohit Sharma as captain
At the top of the order, Ponting has chosen a left-right combination with Rohit Sharma and Usman Khawaja opening the batting. While Khawaja’s consistent performances in recent years earned him a spot, it was Rohit’s extensive experience as a leader that led Ponting to appoint him as the captain of the combined Test XI.
Ponting recommended Rohit’s exceptional leadership skills and highlighted his crucial role in leading India to a Test series victory against Australia earlier this year. The former Australian skipper also acknowledged Rohit’s recent test form, particularly his remarkable century on a challenging pitch that set him apart from other contenders. Rohit’s form in the IPL may not have been the best but he showed glimpses of form during the test series against Australia.
Ponting’s bowling attack
When it came to selecting the bowling attack, Ponting couldn’t ignore the exceptional talents of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. Cummins, regarded as one of the best fast bowlers in the world, was an automatic choice for Ponting due to his consistency and impact. Meanwhile, Ponting lauded Starc’s evolution over the past year, citing it as some of the best form he has displayed in Test cricket.
Ponting’s inclusion of Mohammed Shami raised a few eyebrows, considering his selection was influenced by the IPL performances of the red-ball specialist. Despite the discrepancy in formats, Ponting was impressed by Shami’s recent outings and believes he deserves a place on the team.
In the spin department, Ponting turned to Australia’s off-spinner Nathan Lyon, emphasizing the praise he receives from subcontinental batsmen. Lyon’s ability to trouble and challenge batsmen on turning pitches made him an appealing choice for Ponting. spin department is the Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who has recently had a successful season with the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.
A strong middle order
The middle order comprises the formidable quartet of Marnus Labuschagne, Virat Kohli, Steve Smithand Ravindra Jadeja, adding enormous depth and experience to the lineup. With Alex Carey as the wicketkeeper, the team possesses a strong batting and bowling unit capable of challenging any opposition.
While Ponting’s combined XI might raise a few eyebrows, he is confident that the team he has assembled would be a formidable force against any opponent. With a perfect blend of recent form and established talent, Ponting’s unique perspective challenges the tradition al notions of reputation-based selections and sets the stage for an intriguing World Test Championship final.