Ricky Ponting believes this Australian player might outshine Virat Kohli in the test series commencing from 6th of December.
Though Virat Kohli is considered as the world’s number one batsman of this era, all eyes would be on his performance as he heads towards the test series against Australia beginning 6th of December. However former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting expects Australia’s Usman Khawaja to outshine Kohli in the test series and come up on the charts.
Though, statistically, Virat is only one step behind from Steve Smith, with 692 runs at an average of 86.50 during the last tour at 2014, Ponting feels that the situation at Adelaide and Perth might not be suitable for Virat making him weaker.
“(Khawaja) will just pip Kohli,” Ponting said while talking to cricket.com.au. “Kohli will play well I’m sure because he does everywhere he goes and had a great series against Australia last time. Just where they’re starting in Adelaide and Perth – if they leave something in them, Kohli is a bit more vulnerable in those conditions than Melbourne and Sydney.”
Speaking of Khawaja, the 31-year old had a spectacular year, as he scored 565 runs in mere 7 test with a couple of hundreds. Khawaja’s confidence at the moment is pretty high as he had shown his strength against Pakistan in UAE
“He [Khawaja] is on top of his game, his record in Australia is outstanding. As much of a threat that the Indian fast bowlers might pose, I think he’s got a game that can cope with it here in Australia. I’m going with him to be the leading run scorer and man of the series.”
“Right now he’s in a really good place, the selectors backed him through that UAE tour, gave him a chance and he came out (better) on the other side of that. With the skill that he’s got and maybe a bit more belief in his own game than ever before, I think he’s got the perfect package to have a great summer.”
Ponting also expects that Australian might win the series. Hie predicts a score of 2-1. He wants to see pitches that have some life, in that case their batsmen will be in a better position when compared to India.
“I’d love to see the pitches have a little bit in them because I think our batters will bat better against their (bowlers) with something in them than their (batters) will against ours. We’re talking 40 years of history with India coming to Australia and not being able to win because of the fast, bouncy nature of our pitches so I’d love to see them that way.”
“If it’s a wicket in Perth like I saw for the one-dayer against South Africa then I can’t see India making too many at all – that was a one-dayer and that (pitch) went all over the shop, with good pace and good bounce.”
“With Adelaide being like it’s been the last couple of years, having a little bit more grass in the surface (will suit Australia). I’d like to see a little bit of grass left on them for the first two and then I think Australian can put the series to bed after two Tests.”
“India need to get off to a really good start (in the series). “If they get behind the eight ball if those first two games then they might fight back and win one Sydney or Melbourne, but it will be too late,” he stated.
Both the teams have their strengths and weaknesses. At the moment having Virat, Rohit, Prithvi like players batting lineup is highly strong, whereas, Australia has the best of the bowling attack. Hence it will be an exciting series to watch out for.