Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya’s inclusion in the Indian squad for the World Test Championships final against Australia would have made a significant impact, according to former Australian captain Ricky Ponting.

Ponting believes Pandya’s all-round abilities could have been the deciding factor in the one-off game. Although Pandya has not played a Test match since 2018 due to fitness concerns, Ponting observed that Pandya had been consistently bowling for the Gujarat Titans in the recently concluded IPL.

Ponting expressed his thoughts in an article, suggesting that Pandya’s inclusion as an X-factor could have made a difference in the WTC final, which is scheduled to begin on June 7 at The Oval.

Pandya, who has played 11 Tests so far, has scored 532 runs at an average of 31.29 and taken 17 wickets. In ODIs, he has scored 1584 runs at an average of 33.00 and taken 72 wickets in 74 matches, while in T20Is, he has scored 1271 runs and taken 69 wickets from 87 matches.

Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin and Shardul Thakur are the main all-rounders in the squad.

The squads:

Australia: Pat Cummins (captain), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Josh Inglis, Todd Murphy, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner.

Reserves: Mitch Marsh, Matt Renshaw

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, KS Bharat, Shubman Gill , Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Axar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadakt, Umesh Yadav.

Reserves: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Mukesh Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav