Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting reckoned that limited overs’ skipper Aaron Finch should open the batting for his team in the upcoming Test series against India.
The sides are set to lock horns in the four-match Test series that kicks off from December 6.
“He’s (Finch) had a lot of success around the world opening the batting in T20s and one day internationals – if he can go in with a similar mindset and not worry too much about opening the batting in a Test match in Australia against the red ball, I’m sure he’ll have some success,” said Ponting, as quoted by cricket.com.au.
But the right-hander is all set to bat down the order in a Sheffield Shield match for Victoria with both captain Peter Handscomb and coach Andrew McDonald insisting on sticking with their openers in the form of new Test call-up Marcus Harris and Travis Dean.
Ponting nonetheless reckoned that Finch should be made to open to give him match practice ahead of the Test series.
Victoria don’t want to break up their opening partnership – I think they should for Aaron Finch’s benefit. I think they should let him open for one game and slide Travis Dean down. Just to give him red ball (practice) opening the batting before he goes into the Test match,” Ponting said.
“Finch is a bit of an anomaly really that the last few years he’s done most of his batting for Victoria in the middle order. Then because they go to the UAE where conditions probably weren’t going to be that new-ball friendly they gave him the chance to open.
“So he deserves to stay in the team and open,” he opined.
The 43-year-old also backed Harris for the other opener’s slot.
“I remember when he first came into the WA side, speaking to Justin Langer about him and he thought he was potentially an Australian player in the making.
“Things didn’t really work out for him in WA (but) he decides to move to Victoria and his last few seasons have been very good.
“No batsmen have really dominated domestic Sheffield Shield cricket over the last few years but if you look at the numbers and the way he’s performed this year, he deserves his chance to be opening the batting,” said the former right-hander heaping praise on Harris who racked up 437 runs in four matches in the Sheffield Shield this summer, at a jaw-dropping average of 87.
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