New Delhi. Australia’s great batsman Ricky Ponting believes that every Australian bowler will have their eyes on Virat Kohli’s wicket in the World Test Championship final next month, as his confidence has increased significantly after his excellent performance in the IPL.
Australia’s most successful former captain said on the occasion of the preview of the ICC World Test Championship final between India and Australia at England’s Oval from June 7. I spoke to Virat during an IPL match in Bangalore a month ago and he told me that he felt he was back to his best form.
Kohli scored his sixth IPL century against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday and has so far scored 538 runs in 13 matches.
On the occasion of the unveiling of the World Test Championship mace, Ponting said,; I am sure that all the bowlers of Australia will have their eyes on his wicket. The final match will be between India’s top and Australia’s fast bowlers and will get the gift of the best Test cricket.
He said that India will miss fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah. He said,;; Some players of the Indian team are injured. KL Rahul is not there and Bumrah will also be missed. But Mohammad Shami is in form and it is hoped that both the teams will be able to field their best XI otherwise the cricket lovers will be very disappointed. Ponting, the head coach of Delhi Capitals, will be seen commenting on this match after Delhi’s last match in IPL on Saturday.
He also said that because the Oval’s pitch is like domestic pitches, Australia will get an advantage. He said,;; The conditions of the Oval are favorable for Australia and I think that the Australian team will get the advantage. It is generally understood that the match will be between the Indian spinners and the Australian batsmen, but the pitch of the Oval initially favors the batsmen and the spinners play a role from the third to the fourth day. while only four Australian players are in this league. When asked about the impact of IPL on the preparations, he said that there are two aspects to look at everything.
He said,;; It can be seen in two ways. Virat is scoring runs continuously in IPL and his confidence has increased while Australian cricketers have not played so much but will come with mental preparation. However, he has neither scored runs nor taken wickets in the last few years, said Ponting. The Indian players playing here must not be thinking only about IPL. Definitely, their workload management will be taken care of and now only the playoffs and finals are left, so the players have enough time to rest. He also said,;; Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne are in England and are adjusting to the situation. Sean Abbott and Michael Nesser are also there so that they are ready if any fast bowler gets injured.
Describing Test cricket as paramount, he said,;; When I was in school, I used to run home early to watch the Test match. Nothing beats Test cricket for me and after saying goodbye to the game, your achievements in Tests and first class give a lot of satisfaction. T20s dominate these days but the real test is Tests. I am lucky to have played 168 Tests.
Describing the rivalry between India and Australia as big, he said,;; In the last two decades we have seen it become one of the biggest rivalries in cricket. I have played some of my best innings against India in Australia, including two back-to-back double centuries in Adelaide and Melbourne. He takes full care of his players. He said,;; Captaincy is 50 percent on the field and the rest off it. I know Rohit from Mumbai Indians days when I advised him to hand over the command after leaving the captaincy. He takes full care of his players and I am sure will motivate them to perform at their best.