Freak Ponting can predict the future

The Aussies could not have hoped for a better start to the Test series.

Indian opening batsman Prithvi Shaw made his way back to the pavilion for a second-ball duck, with Mitchell Starc rattling the youngster’s stumps.

Starc roared with delight, passionately celebrating the early breakthrough with his ecstatic teammates. The tourists were suddenly 1/0 having won the toss and opted to bat first at Adelaide Oval.

One down, nine to go.

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But one of the sport’s most celebrated icons was proudly smirking from the commentary box, having 30 seconds earlier predicted the mode of dismissal.

Mitchell Starc of Australia celebrates after taking the wicket of Prithvi Shaw of India.Source:Getty Images

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As Starc walked back to his mark after firing down the first ball of the series, former Australian Test captain Ricky Ponting identified a flaw in Shaw’s technique.

Ricky Ponting worked alongside the 21-year-old in the Delhi Capitals squad during the Indian Premier League.

“He’s a terrific talent, Prithvi Shaw,” Ponting said on Channel 7. “There’s absolutely no doubt about it.

“He has got a little chink in his armour, I think it is the ball that does come back into him. He’s very comfortable playing the ball away from his body. He does get his head in the line of the ball and plays under his eyes, but he doesn’t commit his front foot to the line of the ball a lot. That’s where the Aussies will target.

“Starc will try and swing one back through the gate.”

Incredibly, that’s exactly what happened the very next delivery.

India’s batsman Prithvi Shaw is clean bowled by Australia’s paceman Mitchell Starc.Source:AFP

Starc pitched it up, the pink ball swinging back into the right-hander. Shaw tentatively prodded onto the front, leaving a noticeable gap between bat and pad.

Just as Ponting foretold, the ball flew through the gate, ricocheting off the inside edge back onto the stumps.

The Australian’s chief cricket writer Peter Lalor tweeted: “How’s Ponting going? Says Starc will bring it through gate and bowl him. Starc brings it through gate and bowls him. Perfect start for Oz.”

ESPNcricinfo journalist Andrew McGlashan cheekily posted: “Ricky, can you let us know the lotto numbers. Thanks.”

Bloody hell Ponting is pretty much calling each ball before it happens! #AUSvIND

Ponting has the Grays Sports Almanac, 2000-2050 edition. It's the only explanation. #AUSvIND

Ricky Ponting’s Nostradamus streak is getting scary #AUSvIND

Shaw is undeniably a talented prospect for the Indian cricket team — the young prodigy boasts a batting average of 55.83 after four Test matches.

But his early dismissal on Thursday has reignited concerns about his temperament in the game’s longest format. Some pundits would have preferred to see the uncapped Shubman Gill make his Test debut in Adelaide.

Television presenter Sumanth Raman tweeted: “Prithvi Shaw needs to go back to domestic cricket and work on his technique. He has had more than his fair share of opportunities thanks to his undoubted talent but he is being shown up to be woefully short.”

ESPNcricinfo journalist Sambit Bal posted: “There was no telling if Gill wouldn’t have got a first-ball duck, but my argument for him has always been he has the better wares to succeed in Test cricket.”

Meanwhile, Starc’s love affair with the pink ball continues — the 30-year-old has now claimed 43 scalps in day-night Test matches, boasting an average of 18.83.

India were 1/21 after ten overs on day one, with opening batsman Mayank Agarwal and the formidable Cheteshwar Pujara both on ten.

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