Ponting backs Finch to open, Marsh for VC

By admin • 成都桑拿 • 18 Sep 2019

Ricky Ponting wants WA skipper Mitchell Marsh to be Tim Paine’s deputy against Pakistan.Ricky Ponting has named his top six for ‘s Test series against Pakistan in the UAE, backing white-ball specialist Aaron Finch to open the batting alongside Matt Renshaw and Mitch Marsh to assume the vacant vice-captaincy.

Tim Paine will lead a heavily-depleted 15-man squad into next month’s two-Test series with suspended trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft unavailable along with frontline quicks Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

Coach Justin Langer recently admitted he doesn’t know who his best six batsmen are in the absence of Smith and Warner, and the inclusion of Queensland bolter Marnus Labuschagne has emphasised the rawness of the squad.

Former skipper Ponting expects Renshaw and Test debutant Finch to open for the first Test in Dubai with Usman Khawaja at first drop, Shaun Marsh at No.4 and Travis Head and Mitch Marsh filling middle-order positions.

“I don’t think they would have picked (Finch) otherwise with no other specialist opener,” Ponting said at a BBL sponsorship launch in Melbourne on Tuesday.

“Maybe they could try Shaun Marsh up there and bat Finch in the middle but I just think Finch, although his red-ball numbers aren’t outstanding, he’s been in really good form in other formats of the game around the world for the last few years.

“The conditions in the UAE in the next few weeks, I don’t think the new ball will do too much. It’ll probably be more like starting an innings against a white ball which Finchy is very, very good at.”

Paine’s vice-captain will be named ahead of the first Test with Ponting backing WA skipper Marsh for the role.

Paine is no certainty to retain the ODI captaincy following a 5-0 series defeat in England and Ponting believes Marsh should also spearhead ‘s World Cup defence next year.

“I just think the way Mitchell’s developed over the last couple of years, we saw his Test summer in last year was outstanding,” Ponting said.

“They might go for someone a bit more experienced just to help Paine out for the next few months but Mitchell Marsh would be my vote.”

Ponting expects both Nathan Lyon and Jon Holland to be deployed in the spin-friendly conditions of the UAE and has backed 33-year-old workhorse Peter Siddle to hold down an end opposite pace spearhead Mitchell Starc.

Langer’s men will play Tests in Dubai, starting October 7, and Abu Dhabi before taking on the world’s No.1-ranked Twenty20 side in three T20 fixtures.

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