‘Who bats at four when Kohli leaves?’: Ricky Ponting warns Ajinkya Rahane before taking over as India’s captain in Virat’s absence – cricket
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes there will be more pressure on Ajinkya Rahane when he rises to lead India in Virat Kohli’s absence in the last three tests against Australia.
“India will feel that without Kohli there (for three Tests), because of his batting and leadership, that will put all kinds of pressure on different players,” Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“You’d think (Ajinkya) Rahane will take over the captaincy, which will put extra pressure on him, and they have to find someone to hit that really important No. 4 spot.
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Kohli will be available only for the Adelaide day and night test match before flying back to India to be with his wife Anushka Sharma, who will give birth to their first child.
Although the BCCI has yet to announce the captain of India for the last three tests, Vice Captain Rahane is more or less confident of leading in Kohli’s absence.
“I don’t think they are clear in their own mind, even now, what their batting order will be like for the first Test. Who’s going to open, who’s hitting at four when Kohli leaves? Ponting added.
Ponting said that more than Australia’s batting lineup, it will be Kohli’s men who will be under pressure and unsure about their batting order during the test series.
“The questions that are being asked in Australia with Pucovski and Green, I think India has a few more questions to answer.
The Indian Bowling Attack will be comprised of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in the lead roles. Tourists will flock to Ishant Sharma if he recovers from a lateral injury sustained in the IPL, while Umesh Yadav and Navdeep Saini are also part of the India test team. With so many options, Ponting feels that India will have more questions to answer than the hosts.
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Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, will it be Ishant, will it be Umesh Yadav, will it be a young man like Saini or Siraj? “They also have a lot of questions to ask. And what roulette? They have a few spinners on their team and they have to decide which one to choose for the pink ball game in Adelaide, ”Ponting said.
India made history by winning its first test series on Australian soil in the 2018-19 series. However, the hosts were then without their star hitters David Warner and Steve Smith, who were serving bans for their involvement in the 2018 ball-handling incident.
“The one thing we haven’t talked about enough about is yeah, India was really good here last time, but with those guys (Smith and Warner) lacking at the top of the order, that leaves a huge gap in any team.” Ponting said. .
(With PTI inputs)