AUS v IND 2020-21: Ponting says Australia have a "good chance" to end with a clean sweep in Tests

Ricky Ponting spoke in the aftermath of India's disappointing 8-wicket loss in the first Test.

Indians went 1-0 down in the series after a terrible batting collapse | GettyFormer Australia skipper Ricky Ponting believes humiliating loss in the first Test in Adelaide has opened up "serious wounds" within the touring Indian camp, adding that his countrymen now stand a "good chance" to end with a 4-0 series sweep. 

After taking a 53-run lead at the halfway mark, the Indians were dismissed for their lowest-ever Test score in the second-innings, making just 36 runs in 21.2 overs and succumbing to an eight-wicket defeat. 

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"Now there’s some serious wounds opened up. There could be a good chance (of a sweep)," Ponting told as the Aussies took a giant stride towards regaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. 

"Let’s hope we do get a result in Melbourne and if we do, I think India’s going to find it really hard to bounce back and win a game."

Injury-hit visitors will also have to overcome the absence of their leader and premier batsman Virat Kohli from the next Test starting December 26 as he returns home on paternity leave, with deputy Ajinkya Rahane stepping up. 

"We’ll learn a lot about them, won’t we? With Kohli not being there as well there’s almost no one to pick them back up after a loss like that," said Ponting, also batting for some changes in the Indian XI. 

"They’ve got to make a couple of changes. Rishabh Pant has to be in that middle order. With Kohli not being there they’ve got to strengthen their batting, he’s got to come in," he said.

"They’ll look at Prithvi Shaw at the top of the order I’m sure but there’s one thing to make selection changes there’s another to lift the spirits back up again and make sure they’re mentally right for the next challenge because the Australians are not going to go away now. Now that they’ve got a bit of a sniff they’re going to go even harder next game."

In the Australian camp, Joe Burns looks set to continue opening in Melbourne after a fine half-century in the second innings in Adelaide. Ponting said if experienced opener David Warner recovers in time from his groin strain, he walks back straight into the side in place of Burns' interim partner Matthew Wade. That, even if Will Pucovski too overcomes his concussion scare. 

"If David’s fit he comes straight back in … they’ve got a decision to make then on (Cameron) Green and (Matthew) Wade. That’s the only obvious thing there," Ponting said.

"If both and Pucovski and Warner are fit I think Will will have to wait again. On the back of Burns getting fifty they’ve got to keep going with him, that’s the right call and that’s fair enough."

"There’s a couple of little things there for the Aussies to think about but India will have a lot more headaches than them," he added. 


By Kashish Chadha - 20 Dec, 2020

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