By India Today Sports Desk: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has said that he would pick Ishan Kishan to start in the World Test Championship Final as he provides the X-factor. India is set to face Australia in the WTC Final at the Oval on June 7.
Speaking on the ICC Review podcast, Ponting said he would pick Kishan to start as he provides that bit of X-factor that could help India win the WTC Final. Kishan replaced the injured KL Rahul in India’s squad for the WCT Final.
“I’d pick Ishan Kishan. If you want to be crowned the world champion, you have to win the game. Hence, why there is a sixth day that has been added to give both teams the best chance of a result. I’d be going with Ishan Kishan because I think he just provides that little bit of X-factor that you might need when pushing for a win in a Test match,” said Ponting.
He went on to say that India could also think of calling up fast-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya for the one-off WTC Final. Pandya led Gujarat Titans to the IPL 2023 Final but lost to CSK in a last-ball thriller in Ahmedabad.
“The other really interesting thing that I thought about the other day for India in this game is how valuable someone like Hardik Pandya could be in a one-off Test match,” Ponting added.
Ponting said Pandya is bowling well recently and performed well in the IPL, saying he can come and perform with both bat and ball. Pandya scored 346 runs and picked up three wickets in IPL 2023.
“I know he is on record saying that the Test match game is probably a little bit hard on his body. But for a one-off game, he’s been bowling every game through this IPL and he’s bowling quick. He could be that X-factor there just to pick in a one-off game, come in and see what he can do with bat and ball,” said Ponting.
India will be aiming to lift their first ICC trophy in almost 10 years when they take on Australia in the WTC Final at the Kennington Oval in London on June 7.