Ricky Ponting named top-five players for a World T20I team, and Hardik was the first pick
The former Australian legend Ricky Ponting also named fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah on the list while Ponting’s first pick was Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan followed by Pakistan’s Babar Azam, Pandya, England’s Jos Buttler, and Bumrah.
The T20 World Cup is under two months away and all the groups are preparing for the mega event. The Rohit Sharma-drove Indian cricket crew is also preparing for the challenge with some high-level series, including the Asia Cup.
India has not come out on top for any ICC championship since the 2013 Champions Trophy, and all eyes would be on Rohit’s side to end that drought.
Over the most recent couple of months, a few Indian players have performed well in the T20 format, and Hardik Pandya includes conspicuously among them.
So, when Ricky Ponting was asked on ‘The ICC Review’to name the top-five players that he would select while going for a World T20I team, Pandya was one of the first picks.
The former Australian legend also named fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah on the list. Ponting’s first pick was Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan followed by Pakistan’s Babar Azam, Pandya, England’s Jos Buttler, and Bumrah.
For Pandya, Ponting said:
“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 ever happen, he’s had some really big injury setbacks, which has obviously affected how much he’s been able to play for India.
“But he’s back bowling, and at 140kph which he was doing four or five years ago. But his batting and his maturity while batting has come on in leaps and bounds.
“He understands the game better and he understands his game better than ever before and right now he’s probably the best allrounder in the world in T20 cricket, and could potentially be in ODI cricket.”
Regarding Bumrah, Ponting said:
“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.
“India might think of giving him an over with the new ball in Australia (at the T20 World Cup) where it might swing but what you can guarantee is a couple of great high-quality death overs, which every team is looking for – someone that can execute slow balls and bouncers.”