Ricky Ponting believes Marcus Harris and David Warner will be Australia’s openers in the tour of Pakistan, scheduled to start in March, and hoped for the former to get an extended run in the Test side after coming into his own in the Boxing Day Test where he top-scored for the Aussies.
Harris averages less than 25 after 13 Tests, but at MCG he played a match-winning hand, and showed more resilience on the first day in Sydney before being dismissed for 38.
Ponting believes playing in the subcontinent will also help in Harris’ development as a batsman.
"If Warner and Harris are firmly entrenched in the team, then they're the openers for that (Pakistan) tour," Ponting told cricket.com.au.
"One thing that I know about very good international cricket teams is that very few that don't have good opening batters and very few good teams don't have good opening bowlers.
"If you can get those two combinations right and you can lock them in for long periods of time, then that's when you have some success.
"With Harris looking the part and starting to look a little bit more confident, hopefully he gets a really good long run at it now.
"It will actually be good for his development to play some cricket in those types of conditions as well."
Harris and Warner have now put on back-to-back 50-run partnerships, and in wake of the duo finally starting to click as a pair, Ponting asserted that he wouldn’t be tinkering with the opening combination for the Pakistan series.
"I just think (this current) opening combination that's still quite embryonic and hasn't had a lot of success together yet," said Ponting.
"They've just put back-to-back 50-plus partnerships together in the last couple of games, which is some good signs for them, considering in England last time they averaged about seven-and-a-half as an opening pair
"We always talk about how important that dynamic is between openers … so I certainly wouldn't be tinkering with it."
Harris, in the last Test of the previous summer, took the spot of Will Pucovski, who prior to the Ashes suffered yet another concussion. Pucovski will soon start playing professionally again, and Ponting believes the 23-year-old will be on the light to Pakistan if he can prove his fitness and get some runs under his belt.
"All he can do is get back into playing some good competitive cricket again, whatever that might be," said Ponting of Pucovski.
"Get back into the groove of batting, get back into the groove of scoring runs and making make sure that he's available for that for selection for that (Pakistan) tour.
"If he does get some cricket under his belt, you'd like to think that he would that he would get picked on that tour if they think he's if they think he's physically ready.
"Because I think the sooner we can get him back in and around the group, the better it's going to be for him."