India vs Australia: Tim Paine and Co need to do exactly what visitors did coming into MCG to bounce back, says Ricky Ponting
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting said Tim Paine and co need to do exactly what India did coming into the Boxing Day Test
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting said Tim Paine and co need to do exactly what India did coming into the Boxing Day Test, which the touring side won by eight wickets and levelled the Border Gavaskar series 1-1 with two matches to go.
Australia went 1-0 up after a thumping win at the day-night Test at the Adelaide Oval. Even without the likes of Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, and Ishant Sharma, the Indian team bounced back in the second Test as they thrashed the hosts and sealed the game inside four days.
Ponting, who is worried about the way the Australians are playing right now, has said there's "some soul searching" to do for the home side ahead of the New Year's Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
"Shoe is on the other foot, they have just got to do exactly what India did coming into this week. And there's some soul searching to do and Justin Langer would be very disappointed with the output from a lot of the players this week. Tim Paine has just spoken about that now," Ponting said on 7Cricket.
The Australians have been sorely missing the services of David Warner at the top of the order, while the World No. 1 Steven Smith is yet to click in the ongoing series.
"They need Warner back, they need Smith to score runs, they need Labuschange to find the form of last summer as well. (Labuschagne) has not looked to be in as good a touch as he was last summer and those three players are just so vitally important to this Australian line up, it's as simple as that," Ponting told cricket.com.au.
When India travelled to Australia in 2018-19, the home side was without Warner and Smith and that reflected in the eventual result as Kohli and Co went on to record India's maiden Test series victory Down Under.
"We saw the last tour out here (in 2018-19) with Smith and Warner not being there how frail Australia looked then. Right now, Smith basically hasn't been there, Warner hasn't been there and Marnus has made a couple of 40s but had all sorts of luck and not been able to capitalise. It just goes to show how important they are," added Ponting in the interview.
According to the cricket.com.au report, Warner looked good while batting and running in the MCG nets during the Boxing Day Test and since the third Test is still nine days away, the talented opener looks on track for a comeback.
Initially, Will Pucovski was drafted to open with Warner in the Test series. Unfortunately, the Victorian batsman suffered a concussion during a practice match and was ruled out of the first two Tests. Even though there is still no clear information about his recovery, Pucovski's Shield coach Chris Rogers has said the 22-year-old would be available for selection ahead of the SCG Test.
"I think it's pretty obvious – if Warner's fit then Burns just goes out," Ponting made himself clear. The former skipper went on to explain that the Australians will have to build big partnerships in the upcoming game in order to put the pressure back on Team India.
"It's all about partnerships and they haven't had any partnerships through the first couple of games. The cracks are probably painted over from Adelaide. (Australia) made 191 there, 195 and 200 here. That's not batting in Test match cricket. And the worry I've got is how long it takes them to get those runs. That's my issue," added Ponting.