Ricky Ponting was confident that Ashwin would have performed better than Jadeja as India vs Australia World Test Championship (WTC) final 2023 continued.
Rohit Sharma and Ricky Ponting had differences of opinion before the World Test Championship (WTC) final 2023 between India and Australia, and these differences continued on the first day of play at The Oval. After Rohit downplayed Ponting’s claim about Australia having a slight advantage due to the conditions, Ponting heavily criticized Rohit’s decision to exclude premier spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and play an additional fast bowler.
Choosing to bowl first, Rohit explained that it was a difficult decision to exclude Ashwin. However, they made this choice based on what was deemed best for the team, considering the pitch conditions and the cloudy weather. India opted for Ravindra Jadeja as the sole spin-bowling all-rounder, while Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, and Umesh Yadav were selected as the four fast bowlers.
Ricky Ponting criticized India’s team selection, stating that they had chosen a lineup specifically for the first innings of the Test match. During the first session, while commentating, Ponting expressed his view, saying that India had fallen into the trap of selecting a bowling attack suitable only for the initial innings.
‘Ashwin could’ve bowled better than Jadeja in 2nd innings’: said Ponting
The ex-captain of Australia was confident that Ashwin would have performed better than Jadeja as the Test match continued, particularly due to the presence of four left-handed batsmen in the Australian team.
The reason for my surprise regarding Ashwin’s exclusion is the number of left-handed batsmen in the Australian team. I firmly believe that Ashwin would have bowled better than Jadeja as the Test progressed. The major decision they had to make was between Thakur and Umesy, I was inclined towards Thakur as he could provide support to the main bowlers, Shami and Siraj. Jadeja could have been used for a few overs to apply pressure.
Ponting and Karthik criticized: India bowled too short with the new ball
Ponting and Dinesh Karthik expressed their dissatisfaction with the lengths of the Indian pacers, namely Shami, Siraj, Shardul, and Umesh, during the initial overs of the match. While Siraj stood out as the standout bowler and managed to dismiss Usman Khawaja without scoring, the other bowlers either delivered excessively short or inaccurate deliveries.
Karthik remarked that although the shorter deliveries may appear visually appealing, it is the ones pitched around the 5-meter mark that are more likely to take wickets.
Ponting added that if the Indian bowlers had executed their deliveries well, around 60% of them would have been pitched fuller and around 20% on a good length. He emphasized that bowlers should accept the occasional drives from batsmen and suggested having mid-off and mid-on fielders positioned straighter and deeper to encourage them to bowl fuller.
On the other hand, David Warner stood out as the most impressive among the Australian batsmen. Despite the early dismissal of Khawaja and facing a challenging spell by Siraj, Warner displayed determination and gradually shifted to a more attacking approach when Umesh Yadav started bowling. Unfortunately, just when Warner seemed poised for a big score, he got a glove on a delivery down the leg side from Shardul Thakur, resulting in his dismissal for 43 runs.
In WTC Final, Australia went to tea on Day 1 at 170/3 with Steve Smith (33) and Travis Head (60) at the crease.