Former Australia captaincy, Ricky Ponting reckons that the Sydney Test ending will be denting the confidence of the hosts, but he also praised the resolve shown by the Indian team. Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari managed to bat for around 43 overs on day five of the third Test to help India walk away with an epic draw and head into the final Test at the Gabba, with the series level at 1-1.
As per the quotes in cricket.com.au, Ricky Ponting said, “I think you have got to give a lot of credit to India and the steely determination they showed through the course of yesterday afternoon and today. The resolve that they showed, Rishabh Pant was outstanding, Vihari and Ashwin were impenetrable. Full credit to them but it is one the Australians… that will hurt them I think.”
Rishabh Pant played a counter-attacking knock of 97 runs on Day 5 and despite having some serious injury concerns looming large for the visitors, Ponting has said that Pant can be expected to play as a pure batsman for the final Test, and Wriddhiman Saha can come in as the wicketkeeper.
Elaborating the same, Ricky Ponting said, “India again is going to have a couple of injury concerns out of this game so they have got to find another couple of guys to bring in. If they were to play another batter, they could play that batter at five and Rishabh stays at six and Saha can come in at seven.”
India and Australia will be locking horns with each other in the series finale of the four-match series at the Gabba, Brisbane, beginning January 15. Ponting reckons Australia will be ahead of the visitors ahead of the final Test as the hosts have an impeccable record at Brisbane.
The 22-year-old Will Pucovski had shown discomfort during the third Test and was spotted icing his shoulder before he left for scans on the final day.
Explaining the same, Ponting said, “The thing I am worried about with (Pucovski), a guy playing his first Test match, not to be back out in the field at the end of the day, to me that is a real worry. If you are a young bloke and the Test match is on the line I know I would have done absolutely everything I could to get back out there. It probably makes more sense to go back to having Wade go back to the top and bring Travis Head into the middle order.”