Sydney [Australia], January 7 (ANI): Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has asked the likes of Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne to make the most of the pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground by piling up runs after the batsmen have settled in.
Debutant Will Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne hit fifties as Australia turned the tables on day one of the third Test after losing David Warner early. Ponting feels the SCG wicket is ideal for batting and the batsmen must capitalise on the start they get.
The former skipper wants Australian batsmen to enjoy the run-fest once they spend a considerable amount of time. Even Steve Smith, who was going through a lean patch, rekindled his affair with the bat on day one of the third Test.
"Looks like a great wicket, this. This looks like the sort of wicket where you get a start, lock yourself in and you make sure you score big runs," Ponting said on Channel 7.
"Both these guys have got off to good starts, they look comfortable, they really have to capitalise now," he added.
David Warner wasn't able to trouble India as the batsman departed in the early hours of day one of the third Test.
Ponting expressed concern over Warner not being fully fit and hoped the left-handed batsman gets into the form as soon as possible.
"I think everyone knew that he probably wasn't going to be 100 per cent coming into the Test match. The only thing I hope is that he hasn't tweaked it again, doing something more there," said Ponting.
"It was pretty much from that moment on that those loose shots started. So hopefully it wasn't playing on his mind, hopefully he's okay and hopefully, we can just say that that's the way David Warner plays a shot like that early on in a Test match," he added.
Pucovski rode his luck and Labuschagne showed resolve to put Australia in a dominating position in a rain-curtailed opening day at the SCG. At stumps, Australia's score read 166/2 in 55 overs with Labuschagne and Smith unbeaten on 67 and 31 runs respectively.
On a day when the Indian bowlers had to toil hard -- for the first time in the Test series -- 35 overs were lost due to rain. (ANI)