'India should've picked Suryakumar but they have a Pant-like player': Ponting's outrageous 'X-factor' pick for WTC final
When India and Australia begin their World Test Championship match at The Oval on June 7, the spotlight on cricket in the world will totally switch from the exciting IPL 2023 season to the game's conventional format. As the match gets closer, talks about the team, a potential starting Eleven, and the predicted result are gradually intensifying, with Australia great Ricky Ponting serving as the catalyst. Suryakumar Yadav's exclusion from the Indian Test lineup surprised him on Friday, but he chose an extraordinary "X-factor" for the summit match.
As a result of Shreyas Iyer's injury and India's desire to capitalise on his T20 performance, Suryakumar received his Test debut earlier this year during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series. He was later cut from the initial roster for the WTC Final because he had not performed well in the one opportunity he got. Thereafter, the 32-year-old was included in the squad as a reserve player alongside Mukesh Kumar and Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Ponting responded "yes" when asked if Suryakumar ought to have been a member of the starting lineup, acknowledging his surprise at the exclusion. However, the former Australia captain singled out an Indian teammate who resembled Rishabh Pant and praised him as a "X-factor" for the WTC final.
Ishan Kishan, however, has since been added, adding still another X-factor. With his capacity to keep and bat in the middle order, he is likely the player who most closely resembles Rishabh Pant in terms of style of play. If they do play those players, they ought to be allowed to play a competitive type of cricket, he said.
KL Rahul, who sustained an injury during the current IPL 2023 earlier this month, was replaced by Ishan as the team's second option for wicketkeeping after KS Bharat. Ishan has yet to play his first Test cricket match for India.
"With their injury problems, India can choose from a few different approaches, particularly in batting. The three-time ODI World Cup champion added, "I had Rahul in the eleven before he was hurt; now that he isn't there, they need to choose Ishan or K S Bharat."