India vs Australia: ‘Who will open, who will bat at four when Virat Kohli goes?’ - Ricky Ponting says ‘India have more questions to answer’
“The one thing we haven’t spoken enough about is yes India were really good here last time, but with those guys (Smith and Warner) missing at the top of the order, that leaves a big gap in any team,” Ponting was quoted as saying by Cricket.com.au.Updated: Nov 20, 2020, 07:51 IST
India captain Virat Kohli made a huge decision ahead of the Australia series to take paternal leave after the first Test in Adelaide. It meant that Kohli will miss the remainder of the three Tests in Australia, something that has become a topic of discussion in cricketing circles. Can the Indian team challenge the Australia team that will have Steve Smith and David Warner in their own backyard in Kohli’s absence? This is a question in the minds of everyone - and former Australia captain Ricky Ponting thinks that the Indian dressing room will also be facing these questions.
“The one thing we haven’t spoken enough about is yes India were really good here last time, but with those guys (Smith and Warner) missing at the top of the order, that leaves a big gap in any team,” Ponting was quoted as saying by Cricket.com.au.
“India will feel that without Kohli there (for three Tests), for his batting and leadership, that’ll put all sorts of pressure on different players. You’d think (Ajinkya) Rahane will take over the captaincy, which will put extra pressure on him, and they’ve got to find someone to bat at that really important No.4 spot,” he added.
“I don’t think they’ll be clear in their own mind, even now, what their batting order will look like for the first Test. Who’s going to open, who’ll bat at four when Kohli goes?,” Ponting further said.
A lot of the media speculations have been going on about whether Joe Burns will play as the opener along with David Warner in the first Test or will young Will Pucovski be given a chance. Ponting said that India have bigger questions in front of them than Australia’s dilemma over their openers.
“The questions that are being asked around Australia with Pucovski and Green, I think India have got a few more questions to answer,” he said.
“(Fast bowlers Mohammad) Shami, Jasprit Bumrah – will it be Ishant (Sharma), with it be Umesh Yadav, will it be a young guy like (Navdeep) Saini or (Mohammad) Siraj? They’ve got a lot of questions to ask as well. And which spinner? They’ve got a few spinners in their squad and they’ve got to figure out which one to pick for the pink-ball game in Adelaide,” he signed off.
India will play 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is and 4 Tests in Australia.