Australian great Ricky Ponting has come up with his probable Australia XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) Final against India scheduled from June 7 at the Oval in London. The former Aussie captain picked talented fast bowler Scott Boland as the third main pacer in his starting XI amidst doubt over Josh Hazlewood‘s availability for the summit clash.
Speaking about Boland, Ponting said that the English condition would favour the 34-year-old pacer, who could make the most of it. He also went on to laud Boland for his recent performances on Australian soil and asserted that the latter has the edge over Michael Neser regarding replacing Hazlewood.
“Boland’s record when he’s played over the last 12 months has been absolutely outstanding. He’s one that would really, potentially thrive in these English conditions. We’ve seen what he’s been able to do in Australia when there has been a bit of assistance off the wicket there and with the ball. So I think he’ll get the nod ahead of Neser.” said Ponting on the ICC Review show.
It is noteworthy that the Australian team for the WTC 2023 final features two of the world’s most lethal fast bowlers in the form of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, who Ponting picked as the two frontline pacers in his probable eleven. Meanwhile, the veteran cricketer further also went on to add the in-form all-rounder Cameron Green to his team.
Among batters, Ponting chose David Warner and Usman Khawaja as his openers, with Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith at no. 3 and no. 4. In the meantime, he assigned fifth, sixth and seventh positions to Travis Head, Green and Alex Carey.
“Now that I know that Hazlewood’s probably not there, I think it probably pretty much picks itself. I think Warner will play. I’m listening to everything that’s been spoken about the last few months, that Warner will play along with Khawaja, opening the batting. Scott Boland will be the guy that will come in in Hazelwood’s place,” Ponting told the interviewer.
“With Travis Head doing what he’s done lately in that middle order, and Cameron Green really emerging on the scene in the last 12 months as well, I think the batting side of things pretty much picks itself,” he added.
Ricky Ponting’s predicted Australia XI:
David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland.