‘Khawaja Will Outscore Kohli,’ Says Ricky Ponting
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting’s early prediction for the upcoming Test series is that Usman Khawaja will outscore Virat Kohli. He also backed the hosts to prevail over the touring Indian’s who are eyeing their first Test series win Down Under.
Speaking to cricket.com.au, the former Test skipper said the Queenslander will not only be the leading run scorer against India, but also the player of the series.
The four-Test series starts in Adelaide on December 6.
Ponting has tipped a 2-1 series result in favour of the home side for the four-match Test campaign while suggesting Khawaja and Josh Hazlewood will be the two standout performers.
Kohli's four centuries and 692 runs at 86.50 on India's last Test tour to Australia four years ago was topped only by Steve Smith, but Ponting believes Khawaja's superb recent campaign against Pakistan has him primed to take a further leap in Smith and David Warner's absence.
"Just where they're starting in Adelaide and Perth – if they leave something in them, Kohli is a bit more vulnerable in those conditions than Melbourne and Sydney."
He believed the home team's batsmen will fare better against the Indian pacers.
“India need to get off to a really good start (in the series). If they get behind the eight ball if those first two games then … they might fight back and win one Sydney or Melbourne, but it will be too late,” said Ponting.