- Ponting Advocates For Boland's Inclusion In Australia's WTC Final Squad
- Boland has been impressive in his Test career so far
- Ricky Ponting has also expressed support for including Michael Neser
Ricky Ponting, the former captain of Australia, believes that if Josh Hazlewood, the fast bowler, is unable to play due to injury, Scott Boland is likely to be included in Australia's starting eleven for the ICC World Test Championship final against India, which is scheduled to begin on June 7 at The Oval.
Boland has been impressive in his Test career so far, taking 28 wickets in seven matches, including a remarkable performance of 6/7 against England at the MCG in 2021.
With Hazlewood's fitness in doubt after recovering from a minor side niggle and returning early from IPL 2023, Boland is seen as a crucial asset for Australia in the WTC Final against India.
Although Boland has yet to play a Test match in England and went wicketless in his only Test appearance in India earlier this year in Nagpur, he is highly regarded and likely to be given the opportunity in this important match.
'Boland's record when he's played over the last 12 months has been absolutely outstanding. He's one that would really, potentially thrive in these English conditions.'
'We've seen what he's been able to do in Australia when there has been a bit of assistance off the wicket there and with the ball. So I think he'll get the nod ahead of Neser,' said Ponting on the latest episode of The ICC Review show.
Ricky Ponting has also expressed support for including all-rounder Michael Neser in Australia's squad for the WTC Final. Neser, who played only two Tests in 2021, has made a strong impact during his time with Glamorgan in the County Championship.
In five matches, he has taken 19 wickets and scored 311 runs, showcasing his skills with both bat and ball. Ponting believes that Neser's impressive performance in the County Championship makes him a valuable addition to Australia's squad for the WTC Final.
'He will be a terrific bowler in English conditions. We have already seen that in County cricket. He's perfectly suited to those conditions. He was probably a little bit unlucky not to be named in this squad right from the start, and certainly even in the Ashes squad, right from the start, just with the conditions.'
'Neser has just come off some wickets. He got a very good hundred as well in the second innings of that last County game that they played. He's one of that no-fuss sort of guys that is a very skilful player, and the skill set that he has is actually very well suited to England,' he added.
Ricky Ponting believes that unless there are concerns about Josh Hazlewood's availability, Australia will likely maintain the same lineup that has been successful for them and helped them secure the top position in the WTC standings. This includes David Warner continuing to open the batting, despite not having performed as well in Test cricket recently.
'Now that I know that Hazlewood's probably not there, I think it probably pretty much picks itself. I think Warner will play. I'm listening to everything that's been spoken about the last few months, that Warner will play along with Khawaja, opening the batting.'
'Marnus (Labuschagne) three, (Steve) Smith four, (Travis) Head five, (Cameron) Green six, (Alex) Carey seven, (Mitchell) Starc eight, (Pat) Cummins nine, (Nathan) Lyon 10. Scott Boland will be the guy that will come in Hazelwood's place.'
'There has only really been one batting question mark in the last 12 months, and that has been the opening spot with David Warner and how long he's going to continue to play. With Travis Head doing what he's done lately in that middle order, and Cameron Green really emerging on the scene in the last 12 months as well, I think the batting side of things pretty much picks itself,' he concluded.
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