'Get him early': Ricky Ponting warns Australia about India star 'who has been thorn in their side' ahead of WTC final
India face Australia in the much-anticipated final of the World Test Championship starting from June 7.
India and Australia face off in the 2023 final of the World Test Championship starting on June 7. This will be India's second consecutive appearance in the all-important one-off Test, having lost to New Zealand in 2021, while Australia are making their first appearance. While the rivalry between the two sides has led to some pulsating contests in the past, Australia have not been able to beat India in a Test series home or away since 2015.
The match is however expected to be a close one due to the conditions that will be on offer at The Oval in England. Former Australia captain and batting great Ricky Ponting has said that Pat Cummins's side will be making plans for two batters in particular - Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara. "The Australian team will be talking about Virat, no doubt about it, and they’ll be talking about Pujara. They’re the two,” Ponting said on The ICC Review.
Ponting said that Australia will especially have to be wary of Pujara. “Pujara has been a thorn in their side a lot in the past, and in Australia, and this wicket will potentially be a lot more like an Australian pitch. They know that they’ll have to get him early,” opined the former Australian captain. The No. 3 batter, has 2,033 runs and five centuries in 24 Tests against Australia.
Ponting also noted that Kohli seems to have left his prolonged period of poor form behind him. Kohli had scored 186 the last time the two sides faced each other in red ball cricket. It was his first Test century in well over three years. It was also part of a general return to century-scoring form after he had broken a prolonged drought of tons with his first-ever T20I hundred at the 2022 Asia Cup. After their last Test against Australia, Kohli enjoyed personal success in the 2023 IPL, in which he scored two centuries, that too in consecutive matches.
“They also know that Virat over the last few weeks is probably just about back to his absolute best, albeit in T20 cricket. He told me that the feeling he’s getting right now is that he’s almost back to his best, and that’s an ominous warning for the Australians going into a one-off game,” said Ponting.
- Ricky Ponting