He was said to be “very close” to being available and is on track for the first Test against England, but Boland has continued to make a strong case to be selected as one of Australia’s three specialist quicks.
“Nothing changes for me,” Ponting said. “If Hazlewood is fit and they are 100% convinced that he can get through the game, then I think he’ll start, but if he doesn’t you have a pretty good back-up.”
“Scotty is very impressive,” Ponting said. “The thing the selectors might be thinking about is Josh’s injury record over the last few years. When you look at it, with Scotty bowling the way he is, it’s a pretty compelling argument to say is he in their starting XI for the first Test.
“Looking ahead, though, with five Test matches in six weeks, don’t think we can expect either bowling group to get through [fully], both teams will probably have to rest a quick or two here and there through the series.”
“In series gone by, where there hasn’t’ been that world-class allrounder to throw the ball to for 15 overs an innings, then it would have been less likely,” he said. “But I think if Pat manages himself well enough, with Green there to help out, I think the captain can get through.”
Cummins took three wickets in India’s first innings but cost himself three due to no-balls. On the second day he would have removed both Ravindra Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahane lbw, then on the third he pinned Shardul Thakur in front but was marginally over again.
“Simple, he’s lacking rhythm, he hasn’t played for three months,” Ponting said. “He’s bowled six no-balls in this innings, two [three] of them have cost him wickets…but he’s never been someone that I can remember that’s been plagued by any kind of no-ball issue.
“I just think it’s because he’s not back into full game mode, and not back into his full rhythm. As today went on, I did think he looked better and I think he’ll be better in the second innings as well.”