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Ponting 'predicts' Potential Surprises in Australian squad for WTC Final and Ashes

image-lezeazgqAustralia currently trail 2-1 in the series [AP Photos]

Former Australian cricket captain, Ricky Ponting, has recently made a prediction regarding potential unforeseen additions to the Australian squad for both the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) final and the Ashes in England.

The legendary cricketer’s predictions suggest that the team, which is currently touring India, could be subject to alterations. In light of Australia's victory against India in the third Border-Gavaskar Test at Indore, they secured a place in the WTC final, set to take place at The Oval in June. Subsequently, the Aussies will start the quest to retain Ashes on June 16 in Birmingham.

Ponting's perspective is that the spin-friendly conditions in India prompted the current selection of the Australian squad, which includes players such as Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb. According to the Aussie great, these players were chosen due to their purportedly strong performance in conditions where spin bowling is prevalent.

Furthermore, regarding potential surprise inclusions to the squad, Ponting suggested the names of Lance Morris and Aaron Hardie.

“Lance Morris is part of that (India) squad and maybe someone like Aaron Hardie (could be a surprise inclusion). I actually threw his (Hardie) name up when Cameron Green was going to miss that last Test (against South Africa due to finger injury) in Sydney," Ponting told ICC Review on Wednesday.

Ponting highlighted Hardie's impressive performance as an all-rounder and his similarities to Cameron Green. The erstwhile batsman also stressed on the all-rounder's batting abilities, stating that he had made a brilliant hundred in the Sheffield Shield final last year. 

The Australian veteran also discussed the possibility of both Renshaw and Handscomb being excluded from the England-bound squad, stating that their selection was specifically tailored to the Indian tour. 

“Matt Renshaw was picked on this (India) tour because everyone felt he was a good player of spin. Peter Handscomb was picked on this tour to India because he’s a good player of spin bowling but when you think about the different set of conditions in the UK, then I wouldn’t be surprised if maybe neither of those guys are on that tour," stated Ponting.

Instead, Ponting suggested that left-handed opener Marcus Harris, who didn’t play in the recent Australian summer season despite being in the squad, could receive another opportunity to join the Ashes squad.