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"Team India won't even make 200 in the second innings" - Ricky Ponting

Ricky Ponting believes the Australian bowling attack is potent enough to restrict India to a score below 200
Ricky Ponting believes the Australian bowling attack is potent enough to restrict India to a score below 200
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Modified 10 Jan 2021, 15:09 IST
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Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has stated that Team India will not able to score even 200 runs in their second innings of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

The 46-year-old believes the Aussies have enough firepower in their bowling attack to restrict India and win the SCG Test quite comfortably. Ponting, through 7Cricket's official Twitter handle, was replying to questions from fans on day four when he made the bold claim.

One of the questions posed to Ponting was what would be a good total for Australia to declare. At that point in time, the Aussies were already 310 runs ahead. Ponting replied by saying even that score would be enough.

Team India face an uphill task of saving the SCG Test

Team India are under immense pressure after losing both their set openers late on Day 4
Team India are under immense pressure after losing both their set openers late on Day 4

Australia eventually declared at 312-6, setting India a target of 407 runs to win. The score was boosted through half-centuries from Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green, who top-scored with a fine 84.

Chasing such a huge total, Team India needed a good start from openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill.

They could have gone into a shell and played for a draw from the get-go. But both Rohit and Gill didn't shy away from capitalizing on the bad balls.

The duo looked comfortable against all the Australian bowlers and added 71 runs for the first wicket. However, an absolute peach from Josh Hazlewood saw the 21-year-old Gill caught behind.

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Cheteshwar Pujara joined Rohit Sharma at the crease and, after surviving an early LBW scare, looked quite comfortable in his defence. Rohit Sharma continued to play positively and brought about his half-century.

Just when it looked like India would end the day without losing any more batsmen, the 33-year-old gifted his wicket by smashing a short ball from Pat Cummins straight into the hands of Mitchell Starc at deep fine leg.

Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane saw off the last 15 minutes alongside Pujara as Team India ended day four on 98-2. Day five will see the two come together to try and achieve the monumental task of saving the SCG Test.

The visitors' batting is already depleted with the Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja's injuries. Thus, the onus will be on Rahane and Pujara to somehow help Team India avoid defeat.

Will the two of India's most experienced Test batsmen pull off a miracle? Do the visitors have the fight in them to keep the Aussie attack at bay? Can Team India go into the fourth Test with the series still level at 1-1? Only time will tell.

Published 10 Jan 2021, 15:09 IST
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