Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc have bowled a combined total of 2592 balls in four Tests against India so far; and Ricky Ponting wants the pace bowling trio to get rest for the ODI series, which begins on January 12th in Sydney. Moreover, the Aussie Test great says he would be surprised to see any one of them playing a part in the white-ball cricket against India. Meanwhile, the three-match ODIs will end on January 18th in Melbourne; the second ODI is scheduled for January 15th in Adelaide.

Rest the pace bowling trio – Ponting

Though the fast bowlers haven’t been at their brutal best during India Tests, Ponting still wants them to get proper rest. Putting the weight behind his statement, Ricky mentioned they are the backbone of the team, and their fitness, along with Nathan Lyon’s one must be of utmost priority.

Ricky Ponting, Pace Bowling Trio
Ricky Ponting feels the Aussie pacers must get rest for the India ODIs. Image Courtesy: Getty

However, as the Sri Lanka Tests are lined-up after the ongoing SCG game, Ponting wants Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc to come fresh. Meanwhile, the two-match Tests against Sri Lanka will begin on January 24th at the Gabba, Brisbane.

“I’d be really surprised if any of these three actually play in that one-day series,” Ponting told cricket.com.au. “It’s vital we keep those three guys fit, and with Nathan Lyon as well. They are the backbone, they are the attack we’re going to have going into the Sri Lankan series.”

“They’ll be put in cotton wool after this Test match and given the right amount of break and time to get ready for the Sri Lanka Tests.”

Ponting surprised over Mitchell Marsh’s exclusion

Marnus Labuschagne, Ricky Ponting
Marnus Labuschagne got included in place of Mitchell Marsh for SCG Test. Image Courtesy: Getty

Marnus Labuschagne, a top-order batsman and a part-time leggie got picked ahead of Marsh, and Ponting was all but surprised with this call. Knowing how much of a burden the pace bowling trio has taken so far, Ricky thought Marsh’s overs in between could have helped Australia.

Meanwhile, at stumps on day one at the SCG, India was 303 for four. Labuschagne, who returned to the XI didn’t receive any brownie points for his part-time bowling. He not only conceded 25 runs in four overs, but the leg-spinner also got hit for three fours off Pujara in his first over itself.

However, looking at the flat track at the SCG, Ponting reckoned thing would only get tough for the bowlers. He further said with the way Labuschagne has bowled; the pressure would only get built on the pace bowling trio.

“I was surprised Mitch Marsh hasn’t played this game,” Ponting said. “Looking at the pitch, it looked flat and like it was going to be hard work for the bowlers. But now that workload is going to come back on our three quicks.” 

“If Marnus can’t bowl a bit better than he did in his first over they are going to have to bowl a lot more overs than anyone would have wanted them to.”