I’ll stick with India to win that clash against Pakistan – Ricky Ponting predicts the arch-rival match

Ricky Ponting gives his prediction on the arch-rival India-Pakistan clash

Former Australian legendary batter Ricky Ponting in the latest episode of The ICC Review reveals what he thinks would make the rivalry between India and Pakistan even bigger.

Ricky Ponting, the former Australian legendary batter in the latest episode of The ICC Review reveals what he thinks would make the rivalry between India and Pakistan even bigger and also gives his opinion upon whom he thinks will win the Asia Cup 2022 title.

The rivalry between India and Pakistan is one of the greatest and all the eyes will be on Dubai on August 28 to witness the nail-biting encounter.

Why India-Pakistan rivalry takes away the breath?

Ponting played a lot of bigger matches during his career with the rivalry between Australia and England in the Ashes, which is the best as he thinks.

He added that the anticipation and pressure to perform must be the same when India takes on Pakistan.

“To be totally honest it’s one that we’ve been starved of, haven’t we … looking back the last 15 or 20 years,”

Ponting told Sanjana Ganesan on The ICC Review.

“As a cricket lover like I am and a cricket observer, any time those sorts of battles come up it’s almost always nice to sit back and watch because everything just goes up a notch, doesn’t it?”

How can this rivalry be even bigger?

India and Pakistan haven’t faced each other in a Test match since 2007 when they played a thrilling draw at Bengaluru with Saurav Ganguly’s 239 becoming the headlines.

There is still an outside chance that the two nations can engage with each other in a Test match in the final of the ICC World Test Championship next year and Ponting would love to see more rival cricket in the red-ball as well.

“When I think about rivalries, Australia and England and Ashes cricket is the pinnacle I’ve always thought of for our Test match game,”

Ponting noted.

“I’m sure India and Pakistanis will say the same about that and the actual rivalry would be the pinnacle of Test match cricket for those two countries as well.”

Who will win the Asia Cup 2022?

While Pakistan takes the edge overall in head-to-head matches, it’s a slightly different story in the Asia Cup with India taking a slender 7-5 advantage over Pakistan and one match ended as no result.

Meanwhile, Ponting believes that there will be a tight tussle between both teams but India has the depth to prevail.

“I’ll stick with India to win that clash against Pakistan,”

Ponting predicted will happen in the August 28 match.

“That’s taking nothing away from Pakistan because they are an incredible cricket nation that continues to present out-and-out superstar players. 

Squad strength and Ponting’s prediction

Ponting has interacted with the Indian T20I stars during his coaching time in IPL and kept a close eye on them to see how they are preparing for the T20 World Cup.

India has won 17 of its 21 matches this year despite the heavy rotation of players by Rahul Dravid and the selection panel.

One absentee is the pacer Mohammad Shami who has not been featured for India since the last T20 World Cup. Time looks short for him as he is left out of the World Cup as well as the Asia Cup squad.

While acknowledging that Shami is weak in the shortest format, the Australian legend stresses that the 31-year-old could do a fine job for India.

“He’s been a very, very good bowler for India for a long time now. If you look at his strengths, his Test cricket is probably where he thrives the most,”

said Ponting.

“I think there are better fast bowlers in Indian T20 cricket than Shami and they’ve only named three (for the Asia Cup). So if there are potentially four named in the squad he might be the fourth man in.

“I would think they’ll probably only have the four quicks coming to Australia. They’ll still want to bring a lot of spins here even though the wickets are probably not that conducive.”

Apart from the squad, Ponting is strong on the chances that India will dominate.

“It’s always hard to go past India in any tournament, not just an Asia Cup, but I think every time we talk about the T20 World Cup which is coming up, I think that India will be right in the thick of it there,”

Ponting added.

“Their depth is definitely better than the other teams and I think India will win the Asia Cup.”