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Australia vs India: Ricky Ponting believes hosts’ pace-trio should be rested for ODI series

"They are the backbone."

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

After the ongoing fourth Test at the SCG, Australia lock horns with India in three One Day Internationals, starting in Sydney (January 12) then Adelaide (Jan 15) and Melbourne (Jan 18). Thereafter, the Aussies would be facing Sri Lanka in two Tests from January 24 in Brisbane.

Ricky Ponting wants the pace bowling trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, and Mitchell Starc to get rest in the ODI series as they have bowled a combined total of 592 overs in four Tests against India so far. Moreover, the Aussie Test great says he would be surprised to see any one of them playing a part in the white-ball fixtures against India.

Australia’s ODI squad for the ODI series is set to be named shortly, but given the gruelling workload the Test pace attack has endured over the four-match series against India, the 44-year-old expects the valuable quicks to be given enough rest keeping in mind the World Cup. Putting weight behind his statement, the former captain mentioned that the trio along with Nathan Lyon is the backbone of the team and their fitness is of utmost concern.

It’s vital we keep those three guys fit

“I’d be really surprised if any of these three actually play in that one-day series. It’s vital we keep those three guys fit, and with Nathan Lyon as well,” Ponting was quoted as saying in cricket.com.au

“They are the backbone, they are the attack we’re going to have to go into the Sri Lankan series. They’ll be put in cotton wool after this Test match and given the right amount of break and time to get ready for the Sri Lanka Tests,” he further added.

The Launceston-born former Aussie batsman showed concern over the decision to include part-time leggie and top-order batsman Marnus Labuschagne over Mitchell Marsh for the ongoing Test in Sydney. Knowing how much of a burden the pace bowling trio has taken so far, Ricky thought Marsh’s overs in between could have helped Australia.

Meanwhile, at stumps on day one at the SCG, India was sitting comfortably with 303 for four owing to yet another century from the batsman Cheteshwar Pujara who is 130 not out and along with him is middle order batsman Hanuma Vihari at 39 not out. For the hosts, Hazelwood was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets while Starc and Lyon picked up a wicket each.

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