Following the conclusion of IPL 2023, attention has immediately turned to the ICC World Test Championship, where India will face Australia in the championship match beginning on June 7 in London. India qualified for the WTC final for the second time in a row after losing to New Zealand in 2021.
Due to numerous ailments, India will be without a number of its first-choice talents in the starting XI, including KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, and Jasprit Bumrah.
Rahul was most recently eliminated after sustaining a right thigh injury during the IPL for which he subsequently had surgery.
He was replaced by wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan, who has not yet played for India in a Test match, by the BCCI.Ricky Ponting, though, believes that India could let him to make his debut in the crucial WTC final since he brings a little bit of X-factor.
I would choose Ishan Kishan. You must win the match if you want to be named the global champion. In order to offer both teams the greatest opportunity of success, a sixth day has been added. Ishan Kishan would be my choice because, in my opinion, he simply offers the extra edge you would need to push for a victory in a Test match, I informed the ICC.
Ishan, 24, has appeared in 48 first-class matches and scored 2985 runs at an average of 38.76, including six hundreds and 16 half-centuries.
In addition, Ponting believes that Hardik Pandya, an all-rounder, might be included to the team given his recent success in white-ball cricket. In September 2018, Pandya last participated in a Test.
“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,” remarked Ponting.
“I am aware that he has said publicly that the Test match cricket is perhaps a little taxing on his physique. He has, however, been bowling every game throughout this IPL, and he bowls quickly. In a single game, he may be the X-factor, so choose him and see what he can accomplish with bat and ball, the speaker said.
Pandya ruled himself out earlier this year when asked whether he was considering a Test return and even aiming for a position in the WTC final team, stating he wanted to put in the work first.
“No. I have a really strong moral character. There is still 10% of what I need to accomplish. Not even 1% of people include me. So it would be unethical for me to show up and replace someone. I'll work hard and earn my position if I want to play Test cricket. I won't be eligible for the WTC final or any next test series until I feel like I've earned my place, Pandya had stated.