Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has come out in support of the Indian batting maestro Virat Kohli, who has been struggling to score runs in the longest format of the game. It has been over three years since Kohli last scored a century and 15 test innings since he last scored a half-century in the longest format of the game.
Questions are being raised on Kohli’s form as he could only manage to score 111 runs in the five innings in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Test series. Several experts and cricketers including the likes of Matthew Hayden and Mark Waugh have given their verdict on Kohli’s century drought in the format, however, Ponting has come up with a very interesting take on this.
Ricky Ponting Backed Virat Kohli
Speaking in the recent episode of the ICC Review, Ponting and host Sanjana Ganesan reviewed Kohli’s current batting struggles. Ponting said:
“I’m not looking at anybody’s form in this Test series because, for a batsman, it has just been an absolute, it’s been a nightmare. For Virat, I’ve said it before I say it over and over. Champion players always find a way, and yes, it might seem like he’s in a bit of a drought at the moment and he might not be scoring the runs that we all expect him to score,”
Further, talking about ongoing India vs Australia series, Ponting has called for a change in the Indian batting order in England if India qualifies for the World Test Championship, considering how the conditions are completely different from their home.
He also believed that KL Rahul and Gill might both be included in the starting lineup at the Oval. Due to the fact that Rahul, 30, has two of his seven Test hundreds in England, including a spectacular 149 at The Oval in 2018, Ponting thinks he might be utilized in India’s middle order. He said:
He added: “And certainly, you know, he’s a realist as well. And we all know as batsmen, when you’re struggling and not scoring runs, you don’t need anybody else to tell you. You’re pretty aware of it yourself. But no, I’m every day of the week putting my hand up and not even showing any sort of concern for Virat Kohli. Because I know he will bounce back,”
Because of his track record in English conditions, Ponting believes that KL Rahul should bat in the middle of the order and Gill should open. He further advised both India and Australia to choose their best XI that can succeed during the one-off Test spectacle while taking the English conditions into consideration.
He also stated if the overhead conditions are suitable, the ball swings for a long period of time or even from the beginning of an inning. He said:
“The Oval can be a really, really good place to bat as long as the sun is out, it’s probably as good a wicket as any in the UK,”