WTC Final, IND vs AUS: Why Ricky Ponting is rooting for Scott Boland if Josh Hazlewood is unfit?
WTC Final happens on June 7 between Australia and India at The Oval. Meanwhile, Ricky Ponting feels that pacer Scott Boland will be an ideal choice in the playing XI if an unfit Josh Hazlewood misses out, and here's why.
The date is drawing closer to the ultimate Test match between Australia and India for the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final happening at The Oval in London. While the former has a star-studded squad that would also lead to a star-studded playing XI, there are concerns over pacer Josh Hazlewood's fitness, who continues to recover from his injury.
Meanwhile, legendary former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has vouched for fellow pacer Scott Boland to replace Hazlewood and get a chance in the playing XI, as he feels that his splendid form so far in Australia has been impressive. Although Boland has not played Tests in England, his outing in India earlier this year was decent.
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“Boland’s record when he’s played over the last 12 months has been absolutely outstanding. He’s one that would really, potentially thrive in these English conditions. We’ve seen what he’s been able to do in Australia when there has been a bit of assistance off the wicket there and with the ball. So, I think he’ll get the nod ahead of [Michael] Neser,” Ponting said during the ICC Review Show.
Backing Neser for the WTC Final, Ponting added, “He will be a terrific bowler in English conditions. We have already seen that in County cricket. He’s perfectly suited to those conditions. He was probably a little bit unlucky not to be named in this squad right from the start, and certainly even in the Ashes squad, right from the start, just with the conditions.”
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However, Ponting believes that despite Hazlewood's availability concerns, Australia will stick to the line-up that has earned it success lately, including explosive veteran opener David Warner, who has been seriously out of form. “Now that I know that Hazlewood’s probably not there, I think it probably pretty much picks itself. I think Warner will play. I’m listening to everything that’s been spoken about the last few months, that Warner will play along with Khawaja, opening the batting,” he continued.
“There has only really been one batting question mark in the last 12 months, and that has been the opening spot with David Warner and how long he’s going to continue to play. With Travis Head doing what he’s done lately in that middle order, and Cameron Green emerging on the scene in the last 12 months, I think the batting side of things pretty much picks itself,” concluded Ponting.