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India vs Australia: Ricky Ponting predicts big change in Australia playing XI for Sydney Test

Leg-spinning all-rounder Marnus Labuschagne was added to Australia’s squad for the fourth and final Test against India in Sydney, beginning Thursday.

cricket Updated: Dec 31, 2018 12:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs Australia,Ricky Ponting,Australia playing XI
Ricky Ponting (L) and Australia's coach Justin Langer walk in the ground.(AFP)

Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting believes that Australia will be making major changes to their playing XI after the hosts were defeated by India in the third Test match in Melbourne on Sunday.

Leg-spinning all-rounder Marnus Labuschagne was added to Australia’s squad for the fourth and final Test against India in Sydney, beginning Thursday and the former skipper believes that there could be quite a few tough decisions made going into the last Test of the series.

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Ponting believes that Labuschangne will replace Finch in the playing XI for the fourth Test match in Sydney. He said that the youngster should be included in the squad with Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja opening the innings for the hosts, followed by Shaun Marsh and then the Queenslander.

“I’ve seen Labuschagne has come into the line-up so to me straightaway that means Finch has to miss out and Usman will open the batting, I’d imagine,” Ponting told cricket.com.au. “That’s how it looks – Labuschagne probably bats four, (Travis) Head five and Mitch Marsh six – I think that’s the way they’re going to line up.

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“I can’t really think what else they can do. The selectors and the captain and coach have obviously had a long chat about what they want and what they expect. We’ll see how they line up.”

“He looked impressive a couple of times in the UAE in the Tests over there,” Ponting continued. “(He) bowled well, which is something they’re probably thinking about for the SCG Test as well. To be honest I haven’t seen a lot of him … I’ll reserve my judgment until I see a little more.”

First Published: Dec 30, 2018 20:34 IST