Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting is interested to see how the Indian team responds after a chastening loss in the first Test against Australia in Adelaide. Australia completed a stunning comeback on the third day of the opening Test against India to register an eight-wicket victory, taking the lead in the four-match series. The hosts maintained their perfect record in the pink-ball Tests and Ricky Ponting expects them to come harder.
India sustained a meltdown of massive proportions on the third day of the Test as Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood shared nine wickets between them to dismiss them for 36. Hazlewood kept the Indian batsmen on their toes with a probing line and length bowling while Cummins also chipped in with four wickets, notably of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli that left the visitors dazed. India, who started the day with a 62-run lead, could eventually manage only 89 runs.
Ricky Ponting underlined that the Indian team would have suffered some severe wounds and run the risk of suffering a series sweep. The Tasmanian opined that with Virat Kohli set to miss the last three Tests, there’s hardly anyone to motivate them after a crushing loss like this. Ponting called for Rishabh Pant to slot in the middle order to strengthen their batting.
“Now there’s some serious wounds opened up. There could be a good chance of a sweep. Let’s hope we do get a result in Melbourne and if we do, I think India’s going to find it really hard to bounce back and win the game. We’ll learn a lot about them, won’t we? With Kohli not being there as well, there’s almost no one to pick them up after a loss like that. They’ve got to make a couple of changes. Rishabh Pant has to be in the middle-order. With Kohli not being there, they’ve got to strengthen their batting; he’s got to come in,” Ponting said as quoted by ANI.
They’re going to go even harder the next game: Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting further said that Prithvi Shaw’s position at the top of the order would also come under the scanner as India need to lift themselves from this stunning a defeat. The 168-Test veteran expects Australia to be even more dominant now as they have sensed a sniff.
“They’ll look at Prithvi Shaw at the top of the order. I’m sure but there’s one thing to make selection changes there’s another to lift the spirits back up again and make sure they’re mentally right for the next challenge because the Australians are not going to go away now. Now they’re getting a bit of a sniff they’re going to go even harder the next game,” he added.