Ricky Ponting names Australian pacer who can trouble Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma in WTC 2023 final
Australian great Ricky Ponting has backed Michael Neser to be included in Australia’s squad for the ICC World Test Championship final but would go for another pacer in the decider against India. Australia will play India in the ICC World Test Championship final from June 7 at The Oval. All-rounder Neser is appearing as another pace bowling option for Australia but will first need to make it into their 15-man WTC squad if confirmed by Sunday, May 28.
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The 33-year-old Neser staked his claim for a place in the final WTC team after a stellar performance in the County Championship, which saw him take 19 wickets and 311 runs in five matches. Neser has played only two Tests for Australia – in 2021 and 2022, both at the Adelaide Oval – but has the chance of a late call-up to the WTC final squad as Josh Hazlewood (side) and Marsh (adductor) return from injury Is.
“He will be a fantastic bowler in English conditions. We’ve already seen that in county cricket. He’s perfectly suited for those conditions. He was probably a bit unlucky not to have been named in this squad from the start, And of course even the Ashes team, from the beginning, just with the conditions,” Ponting said on the latest episode of ICC Review. “Neser has taken a few wickets recently. He also scored a very good century in the second innings of that last county match that he played. The set he has really suited him very well for England,” Ponting said.
Ponting feels Australia would otherwise revert to the line-up that has served them so well in the recent past and guided them to the top of the WTC standings. Australia finished the 2021-23 WTC cycle with 152 points from 19 Tests for 66.67% of their possible points, while India were the best with 127 points from 18 Tests and 58.8%.
Australia great Ponting is expected to name late-blowing pacer Scott Boland in the playing XI for the ICC World Test Championship final, starting June 7 at The Oval, should Josh Hazlewood not be fit.
Ponting said, “Boland’s playing record over the last 12 months has been absolutely fantastic. He’s a really, really potential player to flourish in these England conditions.”
Ricky Ponting Predicted Australia XI (if Hazlewood is unfit): Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland.