London [UK], June 10 (ANI): Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting remarked that Team India's performance in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia demonstrated that their preparation was inadequate.
Ponting noted that while the Indian and Australian players on display here may be rusty, they must adjust swiftly and get the desired results.
Australia are unquestionably the favourites, but India's outstanding performance on the third day assured that any result is still conceivable at The Oval.
India is facing yet another unpleasant result in an ICC final after surrendering a 173-run first-innings lead to Australia on a seaming pitch.
While Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami had been effective in the game, Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur were rusty due to a lack of IPL overs.
"The Indian team's preparation probably wasn't ideal. A few of the Australian boys were there in the IPL as well, and a few other Australians hadn't done anything for three months. Both teams have been a bit rusty. (Mitchell) Starc and (Pat) Cummins have been rusty with the ball.
"Cummins getting wickets off no-balls means his rhythm isn't where he wants it to be. With a one-off game in this time of the year, there's never going to be ideal preparation time for anybody. You have to do the best you can to get prepared and execute on the day," Ponting said in an ICC media interaction.
Ponting said not all players require appropriate and meaningful match practice to get in shape.
"Travis Head (who scored 163) is a great example. He hasn't picked up a bat for a few months. It comes down to the individual," Ponting said.
The former Australia captain questioned why India batter Ajinkya Rahane was not a regular in the Test team. Rahane, who was making his comeback, struck a valiant 89 on Friday.
"You wonder why he hasn't been picked in the team. Rahane has always been a classy player. His record suggests that he plays at his best when his team needs him the most. If he gets a few more runs in the upcoming Tests against the West Indies, the selectors will have some big decisions to make," Ponting said. (ANI)