'They keep picking other guys ahead of him' - Ricky Ponting criticizes selectors for continued exclusion of Sarfaraz Khan in Tests

Ponting praised Jaiswal for his ton on debut but believes that Khan should get a look-in now.

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Ricky Ponting
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Ricky Ponting (Photo Source:Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Team India made a spectacular start to the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023-25 cycle, winning the first Test against the West Indies at Windsor Park in Dominica. Courtesy of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ravichandran Ashwin's performances, the tourists outplayed the hosts by an innings and 141 runs on the third day. 

Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, was full of praise for Jaiswal in the first Test, citing his batting exploits in the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL). Notably, the 21-year-old scored 171 runs in the first Test, the third-highest score by an Indian player on debut. The youngster was also named player of the match for his knock on his sensational debut in the longest format of the game. 

"I mean Jaiswal’s IPL was something special. He almost just flicked a switch and turned into a superstar overnight. Everyone knew that he was a talented youngster, but what I saw in this year's IPL, he's got all sorts of talent," Ponting said in ICC Review.

Ponting went on to say that India have so many young talents and he is very much excited to watch them play red-ball cricket for the national side. He then drew similarities between Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad, saying the Maharashtra-born cricketer can be a 'very serious' all-format player.

"There's a lot of those young Indian guys that I can't wait to see play Test cricket and yet you look at their domestic records as well and you can't help but be impressed. I'm on record saying that I think Gaikwad’s the same (as Jaiswal). I think he could be a very serious Test match player or all-format player really in the next couple of years," he added.

The one I do feel a little bit sorry for is Sarfaraz Khan: Ponting

Young batter Sarfaraz Khan's omission has earlier created a stir, as many criticized the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the selectors. Ponting also slammed the selectors for not picking Sarfaraz, despite him having fine stats in first-class cricket.

"The one I do feel a little bit sorry for is Sarfaraz Khan. The fact that he hasn't got a look in a Test squad just yet considering he averages in the high 80s I think in first-class cricket, which is absolutely unheard of, but for some reason, they keep picking these other guys ahead of him," the 48-year-old said.

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