Ricky Ponting, a former captain of Australia, believes that Team India should have selected all-rounder Hardik Pandya for the forthcoming World Test Championship (WTC) final.
India and Australia will square off in the WTC final II at London’s Oval from June 7 to June 11. The Baggy Greens will be playing in their first World Team Cup final after India was defeated by New Zealand in the first competition in 2021.
Cricket all-rounder Hardik Pandya made his debut in 2017 and has since participated in 11 Tests, 74 ODIs, and 87 T20Is. He has played in 17 Test matches, scoring 532 runs at an average of 31.29 with 104 fifty-plus scores and taking 17 wickets at a 31.05. He has 1584 runs at an average of 33.00 and 72 wickets in ODIs. He has 1271 runs scored and 69 wickets taken in T20Is.
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Pandya has performed admirably in limited-overs cricket, especially considering his propensity for scoring rapid runs and snagging important wickets. He has shown to be an invaluable member of the team and has been instrumental in many of India’s victories in limited-overs cricket. Pandya hasn’t had much of an effect in Test cricket, though.
“Hardik Pandya could be that X-factor”- Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting, a batting icon, believes that India should have included Hardik Pandya in their lineup for the World Test Championships final matchup against Australia in London because of his all-around skills, which may have been the deciding factor in the one-off match. Ponting, though, believed Pandya should have participated in the June 7–11 winner–takes–all match at The Oval. Firstly, because he bowled for Gujarat Titans, the team he captains, in essentially every game of the recently finished IPL.
“…I thought about the other day for India in this game is how valuable someone like Hardik Pandya could be in a one-off Test match,” Ricky Ponting wrote for the ICC Review.
“I know he is on record saying that the Test match game is probably a little bit hard on his body. But for a one-off game… he’s been bowling every game through this IPL and he’s bowling quickly. He (Pandya) could be that X-factor there just to pick in a one-off game, come in and see what he can do with bat and ball. He could be the difference between the two teams” Ricky Ponting added.
Hardik Pandya guided Gujarat Titans to their first IPL title in 2022, but they were defeated by Chennai Super Kings in this season’s final on Monday.