Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting predicted Prithvi Shaw’s exact mode of dismissal seconds before the India opener was bowled for a second-ball duck after India opted to bat first in the historic first-ever day-night Test match against Australia in Adelaide on Thursday.
Ponting who was in the commentary box for 7 cricket when play began with Starc taking the ball for Australia and Shaw taking guard for India, explained how the young India opener has a tendency to leave a gap between his bat and pad while playing in-coming deliveries.
“If he does have a chink in his Armour it’s the ball which does come back into him,” Ponting said after Shaw defended Starc’s first ball, which was pitched on a good length and went on with the angle.
“He’s very comfortable playing the ball away from his body. He does get his head in line with the ball but he doesn’t commit his front foot to the line of the ball and quite often leaves a big gap between bat and pad and that’s where the Aussies will target,” Ponting said even as Starc started his run-up for the second ball.
The left-arm quick pitched it slightly fuller a tad wide off the stump in the next ball and Shaw took the bait. He went for a drive on the up without moving his feet, got an inside edge and dragged it onto his stumps.
This was Shaw’s first duck in Test cricket.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Ponting is well aware of Shaw’s weaknesses as the Australian great has been working with the India right-hander in the IPL for two seasons now. Ponting is the head coach of Delhi Capitals, the franchise for which Shaw opens the batting in the IPL.
India preferred Shaw over Gill despite the former being horribly short of runs in the warm-up matches ahead of the four-match series.
“It looks like a nice wicket, nice and hard,” Kohli said after winning the toss. “We’d like to put some pressure on the opposition.”