Australia legend Ricky Ponting expects to see some different faces in the squad when the Baggy Greens travel to England for the upcoming ICC World Test Championship final and the Ashes.
While Australia currently trails India 2-1 and has failed to regain the Border-Gavaskar trophy, they showed plenty of spirits when they registered a comprehensive nine-wicket triumph in Indore Test and secured a place in the WTC final at The Oval in June.
Speaking on the episode of The ICC Review, Ponting expects Australia to take a large contingent of players to Europe for the lengthy two-month tour but thinks it may include some faces that haven’t featured in the India tour.
“Matt Renshaw was picked on this (India) tour because everyone felt he was a good player of spin. Peter Handscomb was picked on this tour to India because he’s a good player of spin bowling. I think you’ve seen that through this series at different times,” Ponting noted.
But when you think about the different set of conditions in the UK, then I wouldn’t be surprised if maybe neither of those guys is on that tour. I think there’s a good chance that Renshaw will be on that tour, but I’m not so sure about Handscomb and if he’ll make it to England or not.”
The former Australian skipper also feels there may be some room for a couple of surprise selections for the England tour, predicting uncapped speedster Lance Morris and promising all-rounder Aaron Hardie may be in contention to make the cut.
“Lance Morris is part of that (India) squad and maybe someone like Aaron Hardie (could be a bolter too),” Ponting suggested. “I actually threw his (Hardie) name up when Cameron Green was going to miss that last Test (against South Africa) in Sydney.
“I threw Aaron Hardie’s name up as an all-rounder, a similar type of player to Green, not as quick with the ball, but a very good batsman who made a brilliant a hundred in the (domestic) Sheffield Shield final last year.
“But his selection might depend on someone like Mitchell Marsh, if he’s back to full fitness, then he’s probably going to find his way on the plane to England as a backup all-rounder for Cameron Green as well,” he added.
Discussing Australia’s performances in India, the two-time World Cup-winning captain said there have been plenty of positives the tourists can take from the series.
“I think all the spinners (have performed well) and I think at different times, most of the batters have actually shown that they can cope and survive in those conditions,” the former Australia captain said.
“The quicks haven’t had a chance to bowl and Australia have had the guys coming in and out as well. But I think, Usman (Khawaja), Travis (Head), (Marnus) Labuschagne, (Steve) Smith, and then all of the spinners that have played, I think there are some real positives there.
“It’s just a bit of a shame that it’s taken Australia to the start of the third Test match to find the right style of play,” he concluded.