Legendary Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has predicted the winner of three-match ODI series between India and Australia starting Tuesday. The two teams are scheduled to play three ODIs in Mumbai (Jan 14), Rajkot (Jan 17)and Bengaluru (Jan 19). Australia are coming into the series on the back of a glorious performance against New Zealand at home while India will be eager to take revenge from Aaron Finch's troops, who beat them in a tightly contested ODI series last year.
During a Q&A session on social media, Ponting was asked about his prediction for the upcoming series and he weighed in favour of the visiting team. The former captain suggested that India will be eager to redeem themselves after their series defeat last year while Australia will be brimming with confidence following a great summer.
Ponting's social media post read: "Australia will be full of confidence after an excellent World Cup and a great summer of Test cricket but India will be keen to redeem themselves from the last ODI series loss against Australia. Prediction: 2-1 Australia."
Ponting was also asked about Marnus Labuschangne, who rewrote history books with his glorious performances with the bat in the longest format recently. Labuschagne stands second in the list of cricketers with highest Test averages (after minimum 20 innings). He is only next to Don Bradman, who had an average of 99.94 in his Test career.
He also became the first Aussie batsman to register a double hundred after coming down to bat at no. 3. Overall, he is the 38th Australian cricketer to score a double ton in Test cricket. Since November 2019, the batsman has scored 1 hundred, two 150 plus scores and one double ton.
Ponting believes that Labuschagne is more than capable of bringing his Test form over to limited overs as well. His wrote: "I think he'll do a great job for Australia in the middle order. He's a very good player of spin, a very good runner between the wickets, gun in the field and can bowl some handy leg spin so the overall package is very appealing."
Australia will be without regular coach Justin Langer for the upcoming series as he has opted to take a short break after overseeing his side go unbeaten (in terms of series) in the summer. In his absence, senior assistant Andrew McDonald will be taking over the top job for the three ODIs. This will be the former all-rounder's first assignment as head coach of the national side.