'Not even India's second-picked team': Ricky Ponting 'shocked' at Australia's loss to 'India A'
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting expressed 'shock' over the result. "I'm quite shocked that Australia weren't quite good enough to win this series. The cold hard facts of it are pretty much that was the India A team that played this Test match and still won," said Ponting.
The already-depleted Indian team were hit with more bad news ahead of Brisbane Test. Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah had suffered an injury during the Sydney Test, while R Ashwin, Hanuma Vihari, and Ravindra Jadeja were too left wounded. All four players were expected to miss the final Test, and the Ajinkya Rahane-led side was forced to play an inexperienced team.
India's bowling was being led by Mohammed Siraj, who was playing only his 3rd Test. The other bowlers were Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini, who both were playing their 2nd Test, along with debutants T Natarajan and Washington Sundar.
But despite the lack of experience and all the odds stacked against them, India pulled off a miraculous comeback win in Brisbane to win the series 2-1.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting expressed 'shock' over the result. "I'm quite shocked that Australia weren't quite good enough to win this series. The cold hard facts of it are pretty much that was the India A team that played this Test match and still won," Ponting told cricket.com.au.
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"Considering everything the Indian team has been through in the last five or six weeks, with the captain leaving, all the injuries they've had – they've been through 20 players – (Australia) have been at full-strength, bar Davey (Warner) missing early on, so it's really hard to comprehend.
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"It's probably not even (India's) second-picked team because you think of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma and those guys who didn't even make it out here. Rohit Sharma turns up for the last two Test matches only."Ponting said India won all the key moments throughout the series and that was the difference between the two sides.
"They've played really good, tough, hard Test match cricket day-in and day-out. India have won all the big moments in every Test match and Australia have fallen short. That's been the difference between the two teams.
"They (India) have done it really well and they thoroughly deserve to win the series ... because (of) how resilient they've been."
"Washington Sundar looked like he had played 50 Test matches through the course of this game and never looked out of place," Ponting said.
"Shardul Thakur was the same in his second Test match, picked up seven wickets and scored 60-odd handy runs in the first innings.
"I've been around the IPL a long time so I know the talent that they do have in India, but when you've got to step up on a big stage in a Test match against Australia it's a different story."
"We gave Australia the benefit of doubt the last time India were here because Warner and (Steve) Smith weren't there. But this time, Australia's at full strength and India are on the bones of their squad – they're playing net bowlers in Test matches and they're still winning. That's the worry for Australia.
"We're probably digging deeper than even an Indian A team and they've still been good enough to win two Test matches here in Australia, and good enough to win one in Brisbane, which just doesn't happen," Ponting signed off.