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India vs Australia | Australian Batsmen Have Made Way Too Many Mistakes: Ponting

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: January 4, 2019, 4:25 PM IST
India vs Australia | Australian Batsmen Have Made Way Too Many Mistakes: Ponting

Usman Khawaja. (Image: AP)

Ricky Ponting feels Australia's batting group have made way too many mistakes and that has led to the team's downfall in the ongoing Test series against India.

India's immovable object at No.3, Cheteshwar Pujara has plundered 521 runs from a record 1,258 balls faced in the four-match series, while the likes of Rishabh Pant (350 runs) and Virat Kohli (282 runs) too have been amongst runs. Meanwhile, for Australia, only Travis Head has managed to breach the 200-run mark in the series, which India lead 2-1.

"As far as I'm concerned, this batting group through this series has made way too many mistakes," Ponting told "Technical, mental, whatever those mistakes may be, they’ve made a lot of mistakes.

"It hasn't necessarily been the first mistake they've made either that's led to them getting out. They've made a lot of mistakes then eventually got out.

"To be fair, India have probably had the best of the batting conditions. The first part of the game in Melbourne was the best time to bat, and now (day one and two) is going to be the best time to bat here in Sydney.

"You look at the top five run-scorers and four of them are Indians and we've got Travis Head sitting at No.5 with 217 runs when Rishabh has got 350 as their keeper-batter. That highlights how little impact our batsmen have had on this series."

The former Australian skipper had earlier predicted that Usman Khawaja will outscore Kohli in the series, but all the left-hander has managed is one half-century in the first three Tests.

"I think he (Khawaja) has played well," Ponting said. "He's struggled to rotate the strike more in this series than ever before. He's faced a lot of balls.

"He played really well in the second innings in Perth in a really critical position and got 72 in a good partnership with (skipper Tim) Paine that got the Aussies a big enough lead to go on and win that game.

"He's the classiest player we have and probably hasn't got the rewards out of the series that he would've wanted to."

India amassed 622 for 7 in their first innings and have kind of already batted Australia out of the game. Ponting said Khawaja and Shaun Marsh will have to step up if Australia want to save this game.

"The important thing for the Australians is they have to bat really big," he said.

"Even if it means it's going to be a drawn game, they have to bat really big because if you look back to Adelaide and certainly the first innings in Melbourne, they let a couple of really good opportunities slip there by not making enough runs in the first innings.

"To do that it's going to come down to the senior players, Khawaja and Shaun Marsh. The Aussies need those two guys to stand up."
First Published: January 4, 2019, 4:25 PM IST

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