Ricky Ponting, a legend from Australia, has once again backed out-of-form batsman Virat Kohli but advised India should contemplate a drastic batting order change if they qualify for the ICC World Test Championship Final at The Oval in June. Kohli has scored 111 runs in five innings during the current Border-Gavaskar against Australia and will face the same opposition if India wins the fourth Test in Ahmedabad this week and clinches the last slot in the World Test Championship finals.
Ponting addressed Kohli’s batting struggles with presenter Sanjana Ganesan in the most recent edition of The ICC Review. The former Australian captain seems unconcerned with Kohli’s lack of a huge score in the current series. Ponting said, “I’m not looking at anyone’s form in this Test series because, for a batsman, it’s been an utter misery.”
Ricky Ponting predicts potential change
“For Virat, I’ve said it before I repeat it over and again. Indeed, it may seem like he is in a bit of a slump at the moment, and he may not be scoring the runs that we all want him to score. Yet, champion players always find a way. “And undoubtedly, you are aware, he is also a realist. And as batters, we are all aware that when we are suffering and not making runs, nobody has to tell us. You are generally aware of it.
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“But, I raise my hand every day of the week without even the slightest regard for Virat Kohli. Because I am certain he will recover.” Ponting is aware that the conditions in England in June will be considerably different from those on the subcontinent, and he feels India should consider altering their batting order if they go to the World Test Championship final.
At the top of India’s batting order, veteran right-hander KL Rahul was recently replaced by Shubman Gill, but Ponting believes both players can play at The Oval. Rahul has made two of his seven Test hundreds in England, including a magnificent 149 at The Oval in 2018. Ponting believes that the 30-year-old might be used in India’s middle order.
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“With the departure of KL Rahul and the addition of Shubman Gill, both of these players have some Test match experience, and you could conceivably have both of them in the same squad,” Ponting stated. “Maybe Shubman could bat at the top of the order, while KL might perhaps slide down to the middle order since he has already played cricket in those (England) conditions, although at the top of the order.
“But, one thing we know about the United Kingdom is that the ball swings for significant parts of the day. And if the weather conditions are favorable, the ball tends to swing for a whole inning.” Ponting advised both India and Australia to adjust to the English conditions and choose their strongest Eleven for the one-off Test. “Since it is a one-off Test match, it will be crucial to choose the side you believe will have the greatest success in those circumstances,” Ponting said.
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“The Oval can be a very, very nice location to bat when the sun is shining; it’s possibly the best pitch in the Nation. I believe this would be the conclusion for India. It would just be a matter of evaluating the circumstances and maybe forgetting about the most recent series. “The circumstances here (in India) are pretty severe. If it were Australia and India, they would each evaluate the circumstances and choose the side they believe had the greatest chance of winning.