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India vs Australia: There's a Lot of Uncertainty Around the Indian Team Now, Says Ponting

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: December 18, 2018, 3:08 PM IST
India vs Australia: There's a Lot of Uncertainty Around the Indian Team Now, Says Ponting

(AFP)

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Ricky Ponting advised Australia 'not to relax' after their victory over India in the second Test in Perth. Ponting said Australia now have a template on how to beat India, and must build on it going into the third Test in Melbourne on December 26.

"Just not relax," Ponting told cricket.com.au when asked about the way forward for Australia. "They've set a bit of blueprint this week (of how to beat India) with the way they've played. They just have to build on that now. There's no doubt with one win a bit of belief comes but they can't just rock up in Melbourne and expect India are going to play like they did here."

The former Australia captain said both teams haven't been at their best, but expected India to improve as the venues for the next two Tests are likely to suit them more than Perth.

"I still think both teams have been a long way off their best because their batting has not been anywhere near as good as what the bowling side of things have been," he said.

"If you think about the MCG and SCG, they are conditions that will suit the Indians more than Adelaide and Perth. The Aussie boys will have their work cut out, but as long they play the brand of cricket they know that they can play – and I think they showed some great aggression this week, I hope that continues for the next couple of weeks – if they can do that then I think they're going to be hard to beat."

Ponting, however, added that India have more problems in personnel at the moment given they've been forced to call in Mayank Agarwal and Hardik Pandya to the squad.

"I compared the two teams at the start of the series and I didn't think India could win here just because of the frailties of their batting and I think that's been highlighted this week," he said. "They've had to call in another opener, they've brought in another all-rounder as well to try and bolster that middle order.

"They've got as much on their plate as the Australian boys have, if not more now that they've lost this game. There is a lot of uncertainty around their group and they haven't got long to turn things around."

The last year's Boxing Day Test in Melbourne saw a dull draw in the Ashes, with the pitch being rated poor. Ponting expected that to change.

"We’re not really sure what we’re going to get out of the surface, " he said. "One thing it won’t be, it won’t be like it was last year. I think they got a pretty loud and clear warning as to what is demanded of the pitch down in Melbourne.

"Reading between the lines I think they have been experimenting with the amount of grass and moisture they’ve left on it for the Shield games. I think Melbourne will have a little bit of grass on it and moisture and then flatten out to be a pretty good one after that."
First Published: December 18, 2018, 3:08 PM IST
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