Ricky Ponting, former captain of the Australian cricket team, believes that Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara will be the key players for India in the upcoming World Test Championship final at the Oval. Both players have impressive records against Australia in Test cricket.
Pujara, in particular, has been a thorn in the side of the Australian team, having scored more runs and centuries against them than any other team. In the 24 Tests he has played against Australia, the 35-year-old has scored 2033 runs and five centuries. Kohli has also enjoyed success against Australia in the longest format, accumulating 1979 runs in 24 matches, with his highest score of 186 coming in the fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy earlier this year.
Ponting revealed that the Australian team will meticulously study and plan their approach against Kohli and Pujara, fully aware of their crucial roles for the Indian team. Ponting explicitly stated, “There is no doubt that the Australian team will be discussing Virat and Pujara extensively. They are the key players.”
He further stressed the significance of dismissing Pujara early due to his impressive track record against Australia.
Kohli’s recent form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has also caught the attention of Ponting. Kohli scored 639 runs for Royal Challengers Bangalore in 14 matches, indicating that he is back in good form.
Ponting revealed that Kohli himself expressed his belief that he is nearing his peak performance level. This development serves as a warning to the Australian team, as Kohli’s return to top form could prove troublesome for them in the one-off match.