“I had seen his return to first-class cricket last week…”, Ricky Ponting’s prediction about Ravindra Jadeja ahead of the test series against Australia became true

Ricky Ponting is adept at generating accurate forecasts thanks to his years of experience at the top level and success in international cricket as both a player and captain. Ponting predicted a week in advance which Indian star would turn into India’s “nightmare,” but the current Australian team didn’t bother to look, leading to their embarrassing loss by innings and 123 runs in Nagpur. The Australian legend was correct on all counts since the Indian was instrumental in the series’s first Test match.

The current Australian squad had concerns about the wicket and Ravichandran Ashwin before the opener in Nagpur. While their media claimed India had “doctored” the VCA stadium’s conditions, their players brought in a duplicate Ashwin to help them prepare.

Australia elected to bat first on Day 1, however, they were bowled out for 177 runs thanks to the efforts of the other spinner. India’s best bowler was Ravindra Jadeja. After missing more than five months due to an injury, Jadeja returned to cricket and promptly picked up his eleventh career five-wicket haul.

Ponting said on the ICC Review that Jadeja’s comeback to first-class cricket in the last week of January should have been a foreshadowing of his eventual emergence as Australia’s “nightmare.” Eight of Jadeja’s wickets came in the second innings of Saurashtra’s Ranji Trophy match against Tamil Nadu.

“I had seen his return to first-class cricket last week and he got some 11 wickets or something. As soon as I saw that I knew Aussies were in for a nightmare,” he said.

“Because of how he [Jadeja] bowls on those sort of wickets – the pace that he bowls, the line that he bowls to right-handers in particular, where he is pitching the ball on the stumps all the time, and one would turn and one will slide on, like we saw, with the dismissal of Steven Smith today. I mean they’re two identical deliveries. One just happened to turn and the other one went straight on and went back through the gate and bowled him,” added Ponting as he analysed Jadeja’s performance on Day 1.

Then, the former Australia captain made a series-long, outlandish claim about the all-rounder.

“As the series goes on, if his body holds up and he can get through the four Test matches, I think he could very well be the leading wicket-taker in this entire series,” he said.

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