Ponting backs Nevill if wicketkeeper Wade is replaced
If Australia opt to replace Matthew Wade as wicketkeeper for the Ashes, Ricky Ponting thinks Peter Nevill is the "obvious" choice to assume the spot.
Having taken over from Nevill after back-to-back defeats to South Africa last year, Wade is under pressure to retain his spot following a series of disappointing showings with the bat.
He has averaged just 20.23 in his 10 Test selections since taking the gloves and was dropped in favour of Peter Handscomb for the one-day international against India in Indore in September.
It was hoped the opening rounds of the Sheffield Shield would highlight a candidate for the role to selectors, but the position remains open with the first Test against England at the Gabba to start next Thursday.
Ponting believes Wade has suffered due to the bulk of his performances coming on the subcontinent, though he would back a return for the man he replaced if a change is made.
"I reckon I've heard every wicketkeeper in Australia's name mentioned in the last couple of weeks," Ponting told cricket.com.au.
"If they do make a change, I would feel a bit for Matty Wade, [given] the games that he's played have all been in the subcontinent leading up to Australia.
"But they made it clear at the start of this Sheffield Shield season that these spots were up for grabs, and so far not many guys have put their hand up and said, 'I'm the man you've got to pick'.
"Nevill is the obvious one to go back to.
"He makes very few mistakes with the gloves, a good consistent character, a good guy to have around your side, works his backside off with the bat.
"He's very hard to get out and when he bats for New South Wales he makes big scores. So, for me, he's the obvious one."
Ponting believes the uncapped Cameron Bancroft, who recorded two half-centuries for Western Australia against New South Wales and added a hundred against South Australia on Monday, is in contention, but feels picking Alex Carey would be a risk.
He said: "I've heard Bancroft's name mentioned the last few weeks, he has a chance to be the number six batter or the number seven batsman/wicketkeeper.
"Alex Carey's name has been thrown around as well. I'm not sure he's quite ready for it yet just looking at how his batting numbers stack up in first-class cricket."