India and Australia will lock horns in the World Test Championship 2023 Final at The Oval on the 7th of June for a chance to lift the prestigious Test mace.
The revamped Test format pits the two top-ranked teams in the cycle against one another to decide the best Test-playing nation.
Ahead of the summit clash, former Australian skipper and World Cup winner Ricky Ponting said that there wasn’t much to separate the two teams, but handed his nation the edge over the sub-continental nation.
“Australia are slight favourites,” the 48-year-old opined.
“There wasn’t much between them through two years. So, that says that these two teams have beaten more opposition than they have lost to and they deserve to finish first and second,” said Ponting.
“Now, the interesting thing as far as preparation is concerned is that some of the Australians have done nothing. They haven’t been playing any cricket at all,” he explained.
“Whereas, all of the Indians have been playing very competitive cricket in the IPL,” he added.
“So, coming in fresh, is that slightly better or is coming in maybe slightly jaded and tired on the back of an IPL, but having played a lot of cricket leading in?”
“There’s a lot of factors that could play a part through the week,” Ponting reflected.
The Indian team will be led by Rohit Sharma, who will look to get his hands on the Test mace, while pacer Pat Cummins will captain the Australian side coming into the game rejuvenated.
Australia toured India earlier in the year in a brilliant tournament of Test cricket, in which the home nation ultimately triumphed 2-1 in a four-match series that also witnessed a draw.
India registered a massive win in the opening game of the series in Nagpur by an innings and 132 runs before taking an unassailable 2-0 lead with their commanding 6-wicket win in the national capital of Delhi.
Australia breathed life into the series as they pulled one back in the third match of the series with a 9-wicket win at Indore, but India managed to clinch the series with a draw in the final match of the series at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.