Days after announcing his Australia XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) Final against India, former Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting has revealed his combined India-Australia XI ahead of the much-awaited red-ball clash at the Oval in London.
Ponting made the decision to choose Rohit Sharma and Usman Khawaja as the left and right-handed openers respectively from both squads. Furthermore, Ponting appointed Rohit as the captain of his selected team. He expressed his admiration for Rohit’s leadership skills, particularly highlighting his instrumental role in leading India to a 2-1 Test series triumph against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year.
“I’m going left hand-right hand, so I’ll go for Rohit Sharma as the other opener. He’s not just entirely form-based either. I wanted him to be captain of the side,” said Ponting on the latest episode of the ICC Review.
The Tasmanian picked Marnus Labuschagne as No. 3 batter and for the subsequent two spots, Poting went with modern-day great batters; Virat Kohli and Steve Smith. Ponting showered accolades on Labuschagne for his remarkable start to his Test career, highlighting his impressive performances. Additionally, Ponting emphasized that both Kohli and Smith possess exceptional records in the longest format of the game, with numerous centuries to their credit.
“He’s (Labuschagne) improved and comes on in leaps and bounds to be where he is now, right at the top of the world Test Batting Rankings. Pretty hard to go past the next couple I’ve got in the batting line-up, which are Virat Kohli and Steve Smith. If you talk about great players of the last decade, both of these guys will be right at the top of anyone’s list. Both with exceptional Test records and both make a lot of hundreds,” added Ponting.
The Western Australian named Ravindra Jadeja as the sole all-rounder and entrusted Alex Carey with the wicketkeeping responsibilities. In addition, he opted for a trio of fast bowlers comprising Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Mohammed Shami, alongside specialist spinner Nathan Lyon.
Ricky Ponting’s combined India-Australia Test XI:
Rohit Sharma (c), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Ravindra Jadeja, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Mohammad Shami
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