Former Kangaroo captain Ricky Ponting believes that the Indian team will not be sure about their batting order when the charismatic captain Virat Kohli returns home after the first Test against Australia. The Cricket Board of India (BCCI) has granted paternity leave to 32-year-old Kohli, so that he can live with his wife during the birth of their first child.
Ponting said – India will miss Kohli in Test series
Cricket.com.au quoted Ponting as saying, “In the absence of Kohli (for three Tests), various Indian players will feel the pressure, because of their lack of batting and leadership.” He said, ‘You think (Ajinkya) Rahane will take over the responsibility of captaincy, but this will put extra pressure on him and he will have to find someone else to bat at the very important number four.
Ponting said, ‘I don’t think they are still clear what their batting order will be in the first Test. Who will start the innings, who will bat at number four when Kohli leaves? ‘ The Indian bowling attack will be led by Jaspreet Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. If Ishant Sharma recovers from an injury suffered during the Indian Premier League, India will give him a place in the team, while Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini are also part of India’s Test team.
Ponting believes that due to so many options, India will have to find answers to more questions than the host. India created history by winning the Test series for the first time on the Australian soil in 2018-19.
The hosts, however, played in that series without their star batsmen David Warner and Steve Smith, who were facing a ban in 2018 due to their role in the ball tampering episode.