“Two ways to look at it,” Ponting feels Indian players better off playing IPL than resting ahead of WTC final

India have 13 players in their WTC final squad taking part in the IPL whereas Australia have only four.

India and Australia will square off in the WTC final | GettyThe 2023 edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to end on May 28. Soon after the cash-rich tournament, India will face Australia in the World Test Championship (WTC) final at the Oval from June 7-11.

While questions have been raised over India’s preparation for the WTC final as most of the players are featuring in the ongoing IPL season, former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting believes it isn't a disadvantage for the Rohit Sharma-led side.

Notably, India have 13 players in their WTC final squad taking part in the IPL whereas Australia have only four.

"There are two ways to look at it. For someone like Virat, is he better off playing and scoring runs on a consistent basis and have confidence going into a game? The Australian bowlers back home haven't played much cricket. So, the Indian batting will be immensely prepared with runs under their belt. Shami will be better skillwise than what Pat Cummins is, as the latter hasn't played any cricket for a few months now," Ponting said at an ICC event on Friday (May 19).

"What the Australian players have done, though, is that Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne are in England and getting used to the conditions, giving themselves the best chance. Michael Neser and Sean Abbott are also there in the extended squad for Australia, so they are playing there and bowling in case there's an injury to any of Australian fast bowlers. So, I don't think there's an advantage either way," he added.

Ponting, who is associated with the Delhi Capitals as head coach, shared a peek into how the Aussie cricketers playing the IPL are gearing up for the WTC final.

"I've had Mitchell Marsh and David Warner at Capitals, Cameron Green is in Mumbai and all the Indian players are obviously here playing. Their training would've changed over the last couple of weeks. They'll be training differently. They won't be just thinking about the next IPL game they play. Some of the bowlers will be on workload management to make sure they're ready to play a Test match," he stated.

Ponting expects Australia and India to produce an aggressive brand of cricket in the World Test Championship final.

"Cricket-loving world deserves to see an unbelievably good Test match with a result. We don't want to have a drawn game. So I'd be saying to both captains, just think about making sure there's a result at the end. If it means that you got to put yourself with your team on the line to potentially lose the game, to give yourself a chance to win, go and do it," he remarked.


By Salman Anjum - 20 May, 2023

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