Drop Aaron Finch and open with Usman Khawaja: Pointing’s advice for rattled Australia

first_imgFormer Australia captain Ricky Ponting is of the opinion that the home side should drop Aaron Finch from the playing XI for the fourth and final Test against India in Sydney starting January 3.Ponting feels that Finch has been given a long enough rope to prove his credentials as an opener in the Test team but he has failed miserably which is why the Aussies need to think differently for the New Year Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.Ponting wants Australia to include uncapped all-rounder Marnus Labuchagne in the playing XI and open the batting with the in-form Usman Khawaja in Sydney.”I’ve seen Labuschagne has come into the line-up so to me straightaway that means Finch has to miss out and Usman will open the batting, I’d imagine,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.”That’s how it looks – Labuschagne probably bats four, (Travis) Head five and Mitch Marsh six – I think that’s the way they’re going to line up. I can’t really think what else they can do.”The selectors and the captain and coach have obviously had a long chat about what they want and what they expect. We’ll see how they line up,” Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.Finch has registered scores of 27, 0, 28, 11, 50, 25, 8 and 3 for a total of 97 runs in the series so far at an average of just over 16.Khawaja has performed a little better with 167 runs at 27.83 with a highest score of 72.The SCG is traditionally Australia’s most spin-friendly Test venue and Ponting believes Labuschagne could play a role as the second spinner behind Nathan Lyon.advertisement”He looked impressive a couple of times in the UAE in the Tests over there. (He) bowled well, which is something they’re probably thinking about for the SCG Test as well. To be honest I haven’t seen a lot of him I’ll reserve my judgment until I see a little more,” Ponting added.Through a chaotic few months and in the years building up to his maiden Test tour Queenslander Marnus Labuschagne has never stopped believing in the Baggy Green | @AdamBurnett09 https://t.co/l5A76UFlZo pic.twitter.com/6yFUtNbH8tcricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 31, 2018The most successful Australian skipper also pointed out that the batsmen are mental mistakes while technical issues have also crept into their game.”There are mental mistakes being made and a lot of technical issues that need to be addressed pretty quickly. But they’re not going to find those (answers) in three days.”So it’s going to come down more to the mental side of things and we’ll see if they’re up for the battle or not in Sydney. There’s a still a series on the line being 2-1 down, they have to win in Sydney so let’s hope they respond really well,” Ponting concluded.With India 2-1 up in the four-match series, the focus now shifts to the fourth Test in Sydney which will offer more spin to the tweakers giving the tourists an added advantage as Ravichandran Ashwin is close to match-fitness and should return to the side for the New Year Test.Also Read | Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara difference between India-Australia: Justin LangerAlso Read | India the real deal now, can combat in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand: Allan BorderAlso Read | This is the best Indian bowling attack to come to Australia: Ricky Pontinglast_img