T20 World Cup 2022: Ricky Ponting chooses Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah among first five players of personal World T20I team

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T20 World Cup 2022: Ricky Ponting chooses Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah among first five players of personal World T20I team
T20 World Cup 2022: Ricky Ponting chooses Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah among first five players of personal World T20I team

T20 World Cup 2022: Ricky Ponting chooses Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah among first five players of personal World T20I team

T20 World Cup 2022: Legendary Australian batter Ricky Ponting has named the players he would pick first for a World T20I team as leading pacer Jasprit Bumrah and top Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

Ponting captained Australia in their first-ever T20I match and is known for his legendary white-ball record. He needed just 55 balls to score the game-winning 98*. Since then, he has played for his nation in 17 T20I matches and has scored 401 runs at an average of 28.64 runs per game. His bat produced two half-centuries in this format. Ponting gets to observe a lot of fantastic T20I talent up close while working as a coach and broadcaster all across the world.

He was asked to pick the first five players he would pick for a World T20I team on the most recent episode of ICC Review. He doesn’t include any Australian players on his list, though.

Rashid Khan, a renowned spinner for Afghanistan and the third-ranked bowler in the ICC T20I Bowling Rankings, is the first player on his list.

“Five players is relatively easy, but trying to put them in order from one to five makes it a little bit more difficult. I have actually gone with Rashid Khan at number one, and the reason I thought about that was if we actually had a player event in an IPL auction now and there was no salary cap, he is probably the one that is going to go for the most amount of money,” he said.

He attributed his selection to his dependability, knack for getting wickets, and “excellent” T20 economy rate.

“When you are playing against any team that he is playing in you probably have less sleep that night. Than you do for any other game that you play during the year,” he added.

T20 World Cup 2022: Ricky Ponting chooses Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah among first five players of personal World T20I team
T20 World Cup 2022: Ricky Ponting chooses Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah among first five players of personal World T20I team

The legendary Australian player selected Pakistan’s Babar Azam, the top-ranked T20I hitter, as his second player.

“Babar Azam I will go for at number two, simply because the number one ranked batter in the T20 game for quite a while now and deservedly so. His record speaks for itself. He is pretty much led the way for that Pakistan team for the last couple of years,” he said.

Hardik Pandya, who is now ranked number five in the T20I All-Rounder Rankings, was selected by Ponting as his third player and was described as “perhaps the best T20I all-rounder.”

“On current form, it’s pretty hard to go past Hardik Pandya at number three. His IPL was outstanding. To see him back at the bowling crease is something that I was always a little bit unsure would actually ever happen … he has had some really big injury setbacks, which has obviously affected how much he has been able to play for India,” he said.

“But he is back bowling, and at 140kph which he was doing four or five years ago. But his batting and his maturity while batting have come on in leaps and bounds. He understands the game better and he understands his game better than ever before. And right now he is probably the best all-rounder in the world in T20 cricket. And could potentially be in ODI cricket,” he added.

Ponting’s fourth player is star English opener Jos Buttler, who is ranked 16th in the T20I Batting Rankings.

“I had to pick Jos Buttler in there actually. When you are coaching against him, you just know that he has got something that a lot of other players do not have; the ability to take the game away in a short period of time opening the batting. That he will do for England this tournament,” he said.

“He was one of the people who is an out-and-out match-winner as we saw with last year’s IPL. After making three or four hundreds, which was quite remarkable. His batting went to another level in the last year or so,” added the Aussie great.

The last person on Ponting’s list is the renowned Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah. He ranked 37th in the ICC T20I Bowling Rankings.

“Jasprit Bumrah in at number five. He is probably the most complete bowler across Test cricket. One Day cricket and T20 cricket in the world right now. Very good with the new ball when anyone decides to use him that way,” he said.

“India might think of giving him an over with the new ball in Australia (at the T20 World Cup). There it might swing but what you can guarantee is a couple of great high-quality death overs. That every team is looking for – someone that can execute slow balls and bouncers,” added Ponting.

Notably, ICC T20 World Cup 2022 will take place from October 16 to November 13 this year.