Ponting not in favour of changes in Oz batting line up for India tour

Sydney, Jul 26: Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has said that the prospect of changes to the team’s batting line-up for October’s Test tour of India is remote.

Only Simon Katich (46.75) and Michael Clarke (34.75) had a batting average above 30 in the two-Test series against Pakistan. The worst averages among the specialist batsmen were from Shane Watson (16) and Marcus North (nine).

The performance of Steve Smith, who scored 77 from just 100 balls, led to speculation that he could take over North’s place in the team in India and also be a secondary spin option to Nathan Hauritz.

But Ponting discounted that possibility. “I don’t think Smith will put pressure on North, no,” The Sydney Morning Heralds quoted the captain, as saying.

“I thought the runs we got out of Smith … were pretty entertaining and very valuable as far as the game was concerned [but] I think you can look at all of our batsmen through this tour. We’ve faced some pretty challenging conditions at different times,” he said.

“We all analyse ourselves pretty closely and we all want to play well all the time but unfortunately that’s not the way this game works. But if you’re going to win Test matches you have to have five or six or seven of your guys playing well each game and we probably didn''t have that in this particular Test match,” Ponting said.

The India tour would consist of two Tests and three one-dayers.

“If you were trying to set down and map out your perfect preparation for an Ashes series or a home series it probably wouldn’t be playing two Test matches in India,” he said.

“But you don’t live in an ideal world. We’ll wait and see who we’ve got that’s fit and ready to go for that tour and pick a squad of players we think can win a Test series over there, and then worry about the start of the Ashes after that,” Ponting added.

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