Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting feels Team India need to find a way of playing both Shubman Gill and KL Rahul in their playing XI if they reach the World Test Championship (WTC) final. The high-octane clash is scheduled to be played in June later this year.
Rahul was dropped from the team after the first two Tests against Australia and picked Gill for the third Test in Indore. However, Ponting stressed how different the conditions for the WTC final will be compared to those in India and shed light on how good Rahul’s record has been in England.
KL Rahul already has two Test centuries in England and so Ricky Ponting wants India to play both him and Shubman Gill in those conditions. Here’s what he said in the ICC Review:
“Maybe Shubman could start at the top and KL could potentially move down into the middle order, because he’s played cricket in those (English) conditions before, albeit at the top of the order.
“But one thing we know about the UK is that the ball swings for long periods of time during the day. And if the overhead conditions are suitable, then the ball tends to swing right the way through an innings.”
Ricky Ponting on the importance of picking a team based on conditions
Ricky Ponting also opined that with the weather in England always being a factor, both teams will need to pick their XI based on the conditions. While he agreed that The Oval is one of the best batting pitches in England, Ponting also spoke about how overhead conditions could change the situation.
“Because it’s just a one-off Test match, it will be really important to pick the team that you think is going to have the most success in those conditions,” he said. “The Oval can be a really, really good place to bat as long as the sun is out, it’s probably as good a wicket as any in the UK.
“So I think that’s what it would come down to for India. It would just come down to assessing the conditions and then maybe forgetting about this last series that’s just been played.”
India will confirm their place in the WTC final if they beat Australia in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad, beginning on Thursday, March 9.