Dubai: Australian batting great and World Cup winning captain Ricky Ponting has included India’s Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah among his first five players for a World T20 playing eleven.
Ponting reckons Pandya is arguably the best T20 all-rounder in the world while Bumrah is the most complete bowler across the three formats.
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’s had some really big injury setbacks, which has obviously affected how much he’s been able to play for India,” said Ponting on the ICC Review.
Pandya is back to bowling regularly lending much needed balance to the Indian team.
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, said the former Australian captain.
The other three players in Ponting’s first five include Rashid Khan, Babar Azam and Jos Buttler.
On India’s pace spearhead, Ponting added: “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.”
Bumrah is not taking part in the ongoing Asia Cup due to injury.
Ponting reserved a lot of praise for Afghanistan star Rashid Khan.
I’ve 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’s probably the one that’s going to go for the most amount of money.
I’ve got him at number one for his consistency, his wicket-taking ability over a long period of time, but also the fact that his economy rate in the T20 game is just outstanding.
When you’re playing against any team that he’s playing in you probably have less sleep that night than you do for any other game that you play during the year, he added.