While India and Australia are all set for the test series, Indian skipper Virat Kohli will be under the spot light recalling his numbers on the Oz soil.
While the history is on the side of the hosts, recent developments suggest the visitors have a great chance to create history.
The Australian team will be without their star batsmen Steven Smith and David Warner, both serving their respective one-year ban for their role in the ball tampering saga earlier this year against South Africa.
Many crticis and pundits have predicted that their absence has given India an upper hand, but Australian great Ricky Ponting has revealed if there is one man who can give the Men In Blue a run for their money that is Usman Khawaja.
The former Australian skipper has even made an interesting predication saying Usman Khawaja will be the highest run-getter and also the Player of the series despite knowing the outstanding form Virat Kohli currently is in.
Lavishing praise on Khawaja, Ponting told cricket.com.au: “He’s on top of his game, his record in Australia is outstanding. “As much of a threat that the Indian fast bowlers might pose, I think he’s got a game that can cope with it here in Australia.”
“I’m going with him to be the leading run scorer and man of the series. Right now he’s in a really good place, the selectors backed him through that UAE tour, gave him a chance and he came out (better) on the other side of that. “With the skill that he’s got and maybe a bit more belief in his own game than ever before, I think he’s got the perfect package to have a great summer.”
Usman Khwaja has proved to be the shining light for Australia despite the troubled times they are facing. The left-handed batsman has scored 562 runs which includes two centuries at a strike rate of 47.28. Though, the highlight of his year has been his heroic effort of 151 runs against Pakistan which helped Australia escape with a draw in the second Test.
Ricky Ponting’s comments comes based on the pitch conditions in Adelaide and Perth. Even though Kohli scored four centuries piling 692 runs at 86.50 during the last tour, Ponting feels that the Indian skipper could be vulnerable to the conditions this time out.
“Kohli will play well I’m sure because he does everywhere he goes and had a great series against Australia last time. 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.