Not Pujara, Not Shubman, Ricky Ponting Picks Combined Test XI for the ICC World Test Championship Final

Australia cricket legend Ricky Ponting has assembled a formidable combined Test XI from the two teams set to clash in the ICC World Test Championship final. Ponting’s selection is based on recent forms rather than reputations, focusing on creating a balanced and competitive team. Here is the lineup chosen by the former Australian skipper.

Rohit Sharma (India, Captain) Ponting named Rohit Sharma as the captain of the combined Test XI due to his extensive leadership experience. Sharma’s recent form and ability to excel as an opener earned him a spot in the team.

Usman Khawaja (Australia) Ponting selected Usman Khawaja as the opening partner for Sharma. He praised Khawaja’s outstanding performances over the past few years in Australia and away from home.

Marnus Labuschagne (Australia) Labuschagne earned the number three position in the lineup for his remarkable contributions in recent years. Ponting hailed Labuschagne’s progress since his introduction to Test cricket, placing him among the world’s top batters.

Virat Kohli (India) Considered one of the greatest players of the last decade, Virat Kohli’s exceptional Test record and strong comeback in the series against Australia made him an obvious choice for the middle order.

Steve Smith (Australia) Ponting included Steve Smith in the lineup, recognizing him as one of the best players of the past decade. Smith’s exceptional Test performances and ability to consistently score centuries made him an invaluable addition to the team.

Ravindra Jadeja (India) Ponting opted for all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to hold down the number six or seven spot in the team. He highlighted Jadeja’s significant improvement in batting over the last few years, making him a valuable asset.

Alex Carey (Australia, Wicketkeeper) Ponting selected Alex Carey for the combined Test XI, praising his exceptional wicketkeeping skills. Carey’s Test career has grown significantly in the past year, and his performances in challenging conditions were laudable.

Pat Cummins (Australia) Pat Cummins, one of the premier fast bowlers in world cricket, was an automatic choice for Ponting. His skill, consistency, and ability to contribute with both bat and ball made him an integral part of the team.

Mitchell Starc (Australia) Ponting lauded Mitchell Starc for outstanding contributions to Test cricket over the past year. Starc’s improved consistency and a wider range of skills made him an excellent choice as a frontline fast bowler.

Mohammad Shami (India) Despite being a red-ball team, Ponting acknowledged Mohammad Shami’s exceptional performances in the IPL and outstanding Test record in recent years. Shami’s skill with the new ball and overall form warranted his inclusion.

Nathan Lyon (Australia) Ponting selected off-spinner Nathan Lyon as the team’s second spinner. Lyon’s reputation and high praise from subcontinental batters made him an obvious choice to complete the bowling attack.

Ponting expressed confidence in the competitiveness of his chosen combined Test XI, highlighting its strength and balance across all departments. He believed that this lineup would pose a significant challenge to any opposition.

As cricket fans eagerly anticipate the ICC World Test Championship final, Ponting’s selection intrigues the upcoming clash between India and Australia.

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