Domain Tests v India

Ponting has doubts on India this summer

The Australia great thinks conditions might not suit India during the upcoming Test series

Jonathan Healy

19 September 2018, 01:50 PM AEST

Former Test captain Ricky Ponting expects India to struggle in Australia this summer if conditions are conducive to swing bowling.

India have had trouble adapting to conditions in Australia in recent years, with the number one ranked Test nation still yet to ever win a series in Australia and without a single Test victory Down Under from their past two Test tours.

And Ponting thinks that trend may continue this summer if conditions suit Australia's bevy of fast bowlers during the four-match series that commences in Adelaide on December 6.

"If the ball does swing around a lot or seam around a lot then I think India will find it difficult in Australia," Ponting said on Tuesday as Cricket Australia announced a new partnership between BKT Tires and the KFC Big Bash League.

"I think any time we saw India struggle through the England series was when the ball moved.

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"As soon as the ball started to move in the air, or seam, the Indian batsmen will always struggle.

"It’s no different to when Australia go to the subcontinent and the ball spins from day one. We always struggle with that as well."

Ponting said winning away from home is a challenge all Test nations currently face and believes only the very best of teams can consistently triumph in foreign conditions.

"It’s a 22-yard strip and you’ve got to find a way to get the job done," he said.

"Most teams find it difficult (to win in Australia) and that's the way Test cricket has been for a long time.

"I think South Africa are the team over the last 10 or 15 years that have been able to do it more than anyone else. "

Just how India fares this summer will depend a lot on in-form skipper Virat Kohli, who scored two centuries and a whopping 593 runs at an average of almost 60 during his side's recent Test series in England.

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Despite those impressive numbers, Kohli came under scrutiny for his performance as captain in England, with former skipper Sunil Gavaskar among the critics to question his on-field captaincy during the 4-1 series loss.

But Ponting sprung to the defence of Kohli and said much of a Test captain's job is monitoring what goes on off the field, rather than decisions on it.

"I've never sat back and tried to analyse what playing captains do as I know when I was captain on field is about 30 or 40 percent of what you need to be in control of," Ponting said.

"The rest of it happens behind closed doors or in the change rooms and quite often back in the hotel when you’ve got time to yourself.

"Trying to find ways to spend time with your teammates, learn about them inside out and trying to find a way to make them perform better on the field.

"It’s not so much about a bowling change or a field placement as that part of the game is highly overrated as far as I'm concerned.

"The tactical stuff is normally worked out a few days before the game and then you go with your gut instinct about the game out on the ground once the game starts."

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