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Kishan provides a bit of X-factor needed to push for a win: Ponting

Last updated on 29 May 2023 | 03:25 PM
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Kishan provides a bit of X-factor needed to push for a win: Ponting

The former Aussie skipper also believes that India should include Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI for the final

India will lock horns against Australia in the summit clash of the World Test Championship at The Oval from June 7. Ahead of the marquee game, Ricky Ponting feels India should opt for as many X factors in the playing XI to rattle Australia. 

"If I was India, knowing the importance of this game and you have to win this Test match, I'd be going with Ishan Kishan in this game. He provides that little bit of X-factor that you need when you might be pushing for a win in a Test match," Ponting said in the latest episode of ICC Review Podcast. 

"Obviously, if Rishabh Pant is fit, he is playing, and he provides that X-factor for India. I think Kishan just provides that little bit more X-factor, who would do a good job with the gloves."

"He can provide that really high-scoring run rate that is required in a one-off Test match to push for a win. I'd be going with as many X-factor players as I could and put some real pressure back on Australia," he added. 

In the absence of Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, the Indian team management have drafted Ajinkya Rahane in the squad after his scintillating form in the Indian Premier League and domestic tournaments. 

"Rahane has had an incredible IPL as well. It's funny, isn't it, how IPL runs can now get you picked back into a Test match squad. Jinks has been on the outer for the last couple of years in Test cricket, but everyone saw how confident he looked and how well he played in the IPL, and that was enough to get him back in."

"He has been there and done it before in Test cricket. It was probably a bigger hurdle for him to climb to get back into playing really good T20 cricket than it is for him to go back and play good Test cricket."

"His make-up is much more suited to the Test game than to T20 cricket. He has rediscovered some confidence, and if he does get picked, I won't be surprised to see him get runs in that Test match."

"He has always been a really high-quality player, and we saw him, even with his leadership qualities here in Australia, in that last series to turn things around," he further added. 

The former Aussie skipper also believes that India can draft Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI, mainly due to their ability to contribute with the bat as well. 

"I think they will pick Jadeja and Ashwin because Jadeja can hold that No. 6 batting spot. His batting has improved so much that they can pick him as a batter now that might just bowl a few overs if required."

"There is no doubt that Ashwin is a more skilled and better Test bowler than Jadeja is, but if Jadeja can hold down that batting spot and then as the game goes on, getting into the fourth and fifth day if it does start to turn, then you have got that really high-class second spin bowling option if required."

"Historically, the Oval pitch has been a very good batting wicket. It's generally offered something for the fast bowlers on day one, but not a lot. But I have also played some games there where it has turned a lot. If it starts a little bit dry, it can turn a lot," he concluded. 

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