Ricky Ponting has made a bold prediction regarding the outcome of the Test series between Australia and India starting on December 6 and has said Virat Kohli could be outscored by one left-hander in the Tests. Speaking to the official Cricket Australia website, Ponting said Usman Khawaja, who had a fabulous series against Pakistan in the UAE recently, will outscore the Indian cricket team skipper and become the leading run-getter in this series. He also said pace bowler Josh Hazlewood could be the standout among the bowlers in the side as India aim to break their jinx Down Under and register a Test series win for the first time ever.
“He's on top of his game; his record in Australia is outstanding. As much of a threat that the Indian fast bowlers might pose, I think he's got a game that can cope with it here in Australia. Right now he's in a really good place, the selectors backed him through that UAE tour, gave him a chance and he came out (better) on the other side of that,” Ponting said.
The left-handed Khawaja had a magnificent time in the two-Test series against Pakistan. His knocks of 85 and 141 helped Australia draw the Test in Dubai. In the Abu Dhabi Test, his cheap dismissal and his inability to bat in the second innings due to a knee injury resulted in Australia losing the match by 373 runs and the series 0-1. Khawaja was facing a race against time to recover from his injury but he has responded well and in the warm-up game against Queensland, he hit 41 and 18.
The Indian skipper, on the other hand, had a fabulous tour of Australia in 2014/15. Kohli's 692 runs at 86.50 was topped by Steve Smith as India lost the series 0-2. The right-hander has sounded a warning to the Australians with a match-winning 61 in the Sydney Twenty20 International which helped India draw level and registered a score of 64 in the four-day warm-up game against Cricket Australia XI.