Ricky Ponting solves Australia’s Test batting order puzzle

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Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has backed the current limited over captain Aaron Finch to open batting alongside uncapped Marcus Harris for Australia in the upcoming four-Test series against India. "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.

Usman Khawaja, who has not been playing for Australia in tests recently has been drafted in the XI by Ponting.

Victoria's decision to bat Finch at No.3, rather than replicating the likely Test opening partnership alongside Aaron Harris, has sparked debate in the build-up to the Shield match. So he deserves to stay in the team and open.

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"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", Ponting explained. "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". In the UAE, he played one of the all-time great rear-guard innings an Australian has ever played.

"Spinner if I had to pick, I would go with Kuldeep, I know what Ashwin can do, he can bowl tight, I am just not sure how many wickets he would pick in these conditions especially starting in Adelaide and going to Perth".

Despite being a match-winner in home conditions, R Ashwin has not been entirely successful in alien conditions and Ponting too believes that the offie might not be successful in Australian conditions and hence, he would play a wrist spinner in Kuldeep Yadav. Don't worry if they're all left-handed or if they're all right-handed. "They've got to find guys who are good consistent run-scorers, not just now, but there's an Ashes series not far away and they need to show some faith in who they believe are the right people", he added. The XI features Marcus Harris at the top with Finch, his side comprises of three fast bowlers in Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cumins with Mitchell Marsh being the all-rounder.

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