Ricky Ponting, the former Australian batting maestro, has given his opinion on the combined India and Australia playing XI for the Test Championship final. India and Australia were the top two seeds in the Test Championship standings and will now fight it out for the ultimate prize in England. A lot is on the line when two of the top Test teams battle it out in front of a packed crowd at the Oval.
Ricky Ponting spoke in a latest interview for cricket’s governing body and has chosen only four Indians in his combined XI which has riled up some Indian fans. In the batting department, Ponting has opted for a left hand-right hand combination as he went for Rohit Sharma (he is the captain of the side as well) and in-form Australian opener Usman Khawaja. This was a hard choice as Ponting had to leave out players like Shubman Gill and Australian stalwart David Warner.
The middle-order picked itself as he went for run machines at number three, four and five. Marnus Labuschagne and Virat Kohli will continue at their respective positions at three and four with Steve Smith slotting in at number 5. There was a case of Cheteshwar Pujara in the XI but this was a 50-50 call and the former Australian skipper went for his countryman instead.
Who did Ricky Ponting pick as the WK and in the bowling department?
Ravindra Jadeja is the sole all-rounder in this line-up and Ponting made the right choice as his form in all formats has been exceptional and is also a great fielder which adds to his case over Australian all-rounder Cameron Green. Alex Carey was more of an obvious choice, just because of his more experience in overseas conditions and Test match experience over young Indian keepers Ishan Kishan and KS Bharat.
The fans got riled up at some choices made in the bowling department by the three time World Cup winner. The biggest one was leaving out Ravichandran Ashwin and choosing Nathon Lyon in the XI. Both are absolutely great players but fans in the comment section have made sure that Ponting knows where he went wrong.
Two obvious picks in the department were Pat Cummins and Mohammed Shami, who have been in stellar form and are players who can bowl accurate lines and lengths. Ponting then chose Mitchell Starc instead of the in-form and lethal Mohammed Siraj which has also not been nicely accepted by the fans around the world.
Fans react to Ricky Ponting choosing a combined XI for the Test Championship final:
Ricky Ponting's combined Indian and Australian XI for the WTC Final. pic.twitter.com/S1kYY9HRa4
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) May 28, 2023
Ashwin in place of Lyon and Gill in place of Khawaja
— Shantam Chakraborty (@Shantam_64) May 28, 2023
How did he pick lyon over Ashwin
— Rahul (@RaaRahul89) May 28, 2023
WTC turned into BBL 😯
— DRP 🇮🇳 (@its_DRP) May 28, 2023
Bro just played reverse uno on us with 4 indian players in the team😂🤦🏻♂️ 🔄 ipl
— Suraj Nair (@_i_m_srj) May 28, 2023
Trust me , you put only Australia squad by saying Combined . Still it would be better . This WTC is either going to be one sided or very tough for India
— Ratikant Das (@Ratikantpro2) May 28, 2023
The modern wall is missing #pujara the decider of the test match 💥💥
— Jagadeesh Kumar (@jagadeesh1133) May 28, 2023
Unfortunate he did not pick Ravi Ashwin ..WHo is going to be game changer according to me ..Let's See @ashwinravi99
— #CommonMan (@namowani333) May 28, 2023
pat cummins anyday better captain then rohit sharma
— BackFoot || open mudgal committee envelope (@82_MCG_classic) May 28, 2023
If there was @RishabhPant17 available, he would definitely get in this combined XI.
— Rohit Rawat (@SkyBlueFTW23) May 28, 2023
Rohit to lead? Very poor choice
— Amjad J Bagban (@amjadjehangir) May 28, 2023
Without Travis head this team is 💩💩💩, goat of cricket
— GOAT RO45HIT (@sachinq518) May 28, 2023