Rahane’s Field Placements & Bowling Changes Were Spot On: Ponting

Ricky Ponting was all praise for Rahane’s and the “underused” fielding position that brought about three wickets.

2 min read
File Image of Ricky Ponting

Among the standout decisions on Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne was the leg slip that Ajinkya Rahane and India deployed to dislodge Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Tim Paine.

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting was all praise for Rahane’s and the "underused" fielding position that brought about three Australian wickets on day one of the Boxing Day Test.

"The amount of catches you see now off the fast bowlers at leg gully is astounding," Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

"The last three or four years, whether it's in Australia or (wherever) it is, we've had a lot of our players caught there and even thinking back two years ago to the MCG, Pat Cummins got a few of the Indian guys caught in the leg gully area as well. It's becoming more of a tactic in the game.”

"What happens when a fast bowler pushes one down the leg side, the tendency for right-handers is to just fall over a little bit. If you're falling to the off-side to try and keep the ball down on the leg-side becomes that little bit more difficult.

"As this game goes on, I reckon we'll see even the Australians have a leg gully in there for a lot of the time, particularly against the right-handers."

Ponting said that a lot of India's success should go down to their new captain. India bowled out Australia for 195 on Day 1 before finishing with 36/1 on the board after Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara negotiated a hostile spell of bowling from Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.

"(Rahane's captaincy) has been brilliant so far," Ponting said.

"We were all a bit worried about how they were going to pick themselves up after Adelaide.”

“I think they looked potentially better today (under Rahane’s leadership).”

"I think they looked potentially better today (under Rahane’s leadership).

"Rahane's field placements, bowling changes have all been pretty much spot on. With captaincy, making bowling changes and changing the field, you need guys to be able to execute well.

"Some of the wickets they got today, even Smith at leg slip early on, I think that was a set plan. Joe Burns' dismissal would have been exactly how they wanted it.”

"Cam Green was set up today as well – Siraj bowled some really good outswingers to him then bowled an inswinger back down the line that trapped him in front.”

"I think there's been a lot of planning that's gone into it and Rahane should take a lot of credit for that.”

"We had him at Delhi this year (in the IPL). He's a very smart cricketer, he's a terrific bloke, works exceptionally hard on his own game but it just seems today the Indian boys have got right in behind him and they're working for each other which is always good to see."

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