Batting legend Ricky Ponting feels that Queensland's Joe Burns can replace Aaron Finch if the opener misses the third Test against India in Melbourne, with Peter Handscomb too walking a thin rope as per him.
Finch was sent for x-rays on a damaged right index finger on Sunday, December 17 after being forced to retire hurt following a painful blow on the glove while facing Mohammad Shami.
The injury actually aggravated the pain that Finch was carrying since being hit badly twice by Mitchell Starc during practice sessions this summer.
"I saw Finch a couple of days ago and he had a big, black bandage around his finger then with some extra padding, so it was already a bit tender anyway," Ponting told cricket.com.au, "But some of the camera angles we saw today it looked like it was badly bruised on the bottom side, maybe spilt, and the bone might have been coming out. We just hope it's not that bad."
"Joe Burns is the obvious one to come in and open. He's the opener around the country who's scoring the most runs at the moment. I'm sure there'll be a few names thrown around there," the former skipper suggested Burns be rewarded for his 472 runs at 47.2 in the JLT Sheffield Shield this season.
Ponting also spoke about Handscomb, who, with his innocuous technique extremely vulnerable to the full-length balls, has now had four failures - 34, 14, 7 and 13 - across his every innings in the series.
"There's no doubt he's struggling. I wouldn't be surprised if there's talk about his spot is up for grabs for the next Test either. It seems like he's making the same mistakes he made before he was dropped last time. Let's hope he's not left out. You want to see selectors show faith in some of these guys," the 43-year-old, who retired from the game in 2012, added.
Ponting was also asked whether Peter Handscomb's technique is at all suited for the realms of Test match cricket and he truthfully said, "Not like it is at the moment, no. I think we're seeing very similar dismissals more often than not."
"What we've got coming up, we've got venues in Melbourne and Sydney where the ball probably won't move around as much so that will make a technique like his a little bit better but there's an Ashes series around the corner where the ball is going to swing a lot.
"I think with a technique like that you're always going to struggle when the ball is moving," he signed off.