Ishan Kishan's X-Factor and Rohit Sharma's Leadership Hold Key to India's Success in WTC Final

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Fri, 19/05/2023
Ishan Kishan's X-Factor and Rohit Sharma's Leadership Hold Key to India's Success in WTC Final
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As the highly anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) final draws near, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has expressed his belief in the potential of Indian wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan. Ponting sees Kishan as a player with the "x-factor" who can make an impact in the middle-order for India during the crucial match at The Oval from June 7-11.

Kishan was named as a replacement for the injured KL Rahul in India's squad for the WTC final, marking a significant opportunity for the talented youngster. While Kishan served as the second wicketkeeper behind KS Bharat in the home Border-Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year, his inclusion in the final provides an exciting prospect for the team. With 48 first-class matches under his belt, Kishan has amassed 2985 runs at an average of 38.76, including six centuries.

Ponting highlights the similarities between Kishan and fellow explosive batter Rishabh Pant, emphasizing that if India decides to include these two players in the lineup, they should be given the freedom to play an aggressive brand of cricket that suits their style.

The former Australian skipper also emphasizes the importance of being adventurous in their approach, as he believes it is the best way for India to achieve a favorable outcome in the match. Ponting anticipates Australia adopting a similar aggressive approach, recognizing that both teams will strive to give themselves the best chance of victory.

The absence of KL Rahul due to injury presents India with an opportunity to reconfigure their batting line-up. Ponting points out that the decision to include either Bharat or Kishan as the wicketkeeper will play a significant role in shaping the final playing eleven for India.

Another significant aspect of the WTC final will be the first overseas Test match captaincy stint for Rohit Sharma. Ponting, who has a close association with Sharma, speaks highly of his leadership qualities and believes that Rohit's caring nature will bring out the best in his teammates. According to Ponting, a captain's impact is not solely determined by on-field decisions, but also by their interactions with players on and off the field. He believes that Rohit's genuine concern for his team will motivate them to perform at their peak.

In addition, Ponting acknowledges that Indian batting talisman Virat Kohli is steadily returning to his best form. After witnessing Kohli's exceptional performance in the IPL, where he scored his sixth century for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Ponting believes that the right-hander is regaining his top form. Kohli's resurgence will undoubtedly make him a prized wicket for the Australian team in the WTC final.

As cricket fans eagerly await the clash between India and Australia in the WTC final, Ishan Kishan's potential impact, Rohit Sharma's captaincy, and Virat Kohli's resurgence add fascinating storylines to the much-anticipated encounter. The stage is set, and only time will reveal how these factors will shape the outcome of the final and the destiny of the coveted World Test Championship title.