IND vs AUS: Ricky Ponting predicts Ravindra Jadeja to be the leading wicket-taker of the series

Former Australian cricketer Ricky Ponting predicted that Indian left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja is a “nightmare” to the Australian batters after his five-wicket haul on day 1 in Nagpur on Thursday.

Speaking on ICC Review the former Australian skipper said, “As the series goes on, if his(Jadeja) body holds up and he can get through the four Test matches, I think he could very well be the leading wicket-taker in this entire series.”

Ponting explaining Jadeja’s bowling said, “Because of how he bowls on those sort of wickets – the pace that he bowls, the line that he bowls to right-handers in particular, where he is pitching the ball on the stumps all the time, and one would turn and one will slide on.”

The Aussie further went on to explain the dismissal of Australian batter Steven Smith who was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja on 37. “Like we saw, with the dismissal of Steven Smith today I mean they’re two identical deliveries. One just happened to turn and the other one went straight on and went back through the gate and bowled him,” Ponting said.

Australia was bowled out for 177 runs on day one with spinners picking eight of the 10 wickets.

The 48-year-old speaking about the pitch said “I expected today’s wicket to play as it has. I got a look at it like everyone did a few days ago, and that’s when all the talk started about the surface. But India’s best chance of beating Australia is to prepare for turning wickets. One, because our batsmen will find it difficult, but also because they would think that their spin bowlers are better than Australia’s as well.”

Speaking about the Aussies’ tactics to player two offspinners in Nathan Lyon and debutant Todd Murphy he said, “And the fact that Australia is playing the two right-arm off-spinners here, one of those guys on debut. That’s definitely where India has the advantage. So I can understand why it’s worked out that way.”

“The only difference I guess with somewhere like India to Australia is, I know in Australia the players actually have no say over how the wickets are prepared at all,” he added.

Speaking about the behaviour of different Australian grounds, Ponting said “Then you get Melbourne and Sydney, they’re a little bit different. Melbourne’s always been a little bit slower and Adelaide has been the place where you’ve played the pink-ball Test the last six or seven years. So you get different conditions there as well.”

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