MELBOURNE: Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting believes that Mitchell Starc will need to do something special to find a place in the playing XI for the upcoming first Test against Pakistan.

In the Ashes, Starc played just one match for the team from Down Under and managed to take six wickets.

“I absolutely love everything that Mitchell Starc brings to the table. But at the same time, they have been reluctant to play him in the last few series. He only played the one Ashes Test match and he did OK in that game,” quoted Ponting as saying. “I think Starc will have to do something pretty special at training to be part of that team.”

As Australia are slated to take on Pakistan at the Gabba in Brisbane for the first Test, Ponting brought up James Pattinson’s record at the stadium and said it will go in his favour when it comes to selection.

“Pattinson’s got a good record in Brisbane as well. That’s the other thing that might go in his favour; in a place where the ball does swing a bit, he generally pitches it up and takes it away from the right-handers,” he said.

“The reluctance to play Starc in the past has been that he has generally leaked runs,” Ponting underlined.

Ponting, 44, also hailed Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins for not leaking runs and being outstanding for a consistent period.

“What we know with Hazlewood and Cummins is they are not leaking runs and they have been outstanding for a long time now. Not only are they getting guys out, but they are making it harder to score as well,” Ponting said.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2019