Legendary former skipper Ricky Ponting believes that veteran opener Murali Vijay should make way for Prithvi Shaw at the top of the order in the Boxing Day Test, following poor performances by the former for India in the series so far.
Shaw has not been involved in the first two Tests conducted in Adelaide and Perth following an ankle injury which he sustained during a tour match last month.
"I think it's got to be Murali Vijay who goes," Ponting told cricket.com.au.
"It was probably a bit of a bat-off coming into the series between those two."
"I saw him (Shaw) out in the outfield today hitting a few balls, starting to look like he's getting around a bit better and with 10 days to go before the next Test you'd think he'll come back in."
"So I think it's got to be Vijay that goes out," he added.
At the same time, Ponting believes that one of the prime reasons behind Vijay's inability to make his presence felt in the Test series against Australia has been the impact of pace spearhead Mitchell Starc.
Starc dismissed the opener behind the wicket on both occasions in Adelaide before dismissing the right-hander with an excellent delivery on day two in Perth.
Despite enjoying an opportunity to redeem himself in the second innings, Ponting believes that it will be extremely difficult for Vijay to negotiate the new ball.
"He's a classy looking player and to be honest, it's actually been quite hard for the openers in both Adelaide and Perth – difficult places to start," he said.
"Adelaide did something with the new ball in both innings. Obviously here, for any opening batsman going out against the new ball it was going to be hard work, which is why you have to give more praise and credit to what Harris and Finch (Australia's openers who put on 112) were able to do yesterday afternoon."
"We saw him get out twice in Adelaide to very similar shots; two balls from Starc that just pushed across, didn't swing back in and he nicked both of those and he got the other one today that comes back through the gate."
"Give credit to Starc for the way he's bowled to him, but I think Prithvi Shaw comes straight back in."