Ricky Ponting has called on the Australians to take up the ascendancy to India for the Boxing Day Test match.
The Mowbray product of 168 Tests from 1995 until 2012 has told Australia “just not relax” after finding a way to square up the Test series 1-1 in Perth on Monday.
“They’ve set a bit of blueprint this week with the way they have played – they just have to build on that now,” Ponting told cricket.com.au
“There’s no doubt with one win a bit of belief comes, but they can’t rock up in Melbourne and expect India are going to play like they did.”
Ponting captained against the Indians 12 times for just two wins and six losses, but he did lead Australia to wrest back the Gavaskar-Border Trophy in his only Australian home series against the tourists in 2007 that included a 337-run win in Melbourne.
After the debacle with the MCG pitch that was rated poor in a docile Ashes Test 12 months earlier, Ponting is convinced Australia must bring an attacking mentality that secured the second Test.
“If you think about the MCG and SCG, they are [pitch] conditions that will suit the Indians more than Adelaide and Perth,” he said.
“The Aussie boys will have their work cut out, but as long they play the brand of cricket they know that they can play and I think they showed that [with] some great aggression.
“I hope that continues for the next couple of weeks – if they can do that then, they’re going to be hard to beat.”
Ponting went another step further, suggesting that India’s problems now outweigh any deficiencies of the hosts.
In a desperate move to win its first series in Australia ever, India have brought in opener Mayank Agarwal and allrounder Hardik Pandya that the TV commentator believes is a desperate move.
“I compared the two teams at the start of the series and I didn’t think India could win here just because of the frailties of their batting and I think that’s been highlighted this week,” Ponting said.
“They’ve got as much on their plate as the Australian boys have, if not more now that they’ve lost [last] game.
“[There’s] a lot of uncertainty around their group and they haven’t got long to turn things around.”