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Ricky Ponting picks his World XI of T20 WC stars

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New York, June 9: A mix of flair and aggression at the top, a dynamic middle-order, all-round spin options, and an incisive pace attack make up Ricky Ponting’s Dream T20 World Cup XI. Here are the players that make up Ponting’s side.

Virat Kohli

There’s no surprise at the top as Ponting selects India superstar Virat Kohli to open the batting in his side. Kohli has been the leading run-scorer in this edition of the IPL so far (708 runs at a strike rate of 155.6) and was also the highest run-getter in the last edition of the T20 World Cup.
“Right at the top, I’m starting with Indian batter Virat Kohli. He just came off an amazing IPL. He’s been a] consistent run scorer and makes big scores. His strike rate was really good as well.”
Ponting banks on Kohli’s big-match prowess to come good.

Travis Head

Kohli’s partner is the destructive Travis Head, who has played a key role in Australia’s recent success in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 and has shown blazing form for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.
“Made a bit of a surprise [pick] at number two, but I’ve watched this guy closely over the last couple of years. Travis Head is in my World XI at the start.”

Suryakumar Yadav

India’s Suryakumar Yadav who is the top-ranked batter in the world in men’s T20Is, is in at number three in Ponting’s World XI.
“Suryakumar Yadav will be my number three batsman. Coming back from an injury, he did some incredible things in the IPL once again.”
Though Suryakumar didn’t have a standout season, his class as a T20 batter made him an obvious pick.
“Wasn’t that consistent. But you’re going to get that with Surya.
What I love about him is his ability to hit the ball 360 degrees all around the ground, whether it’s lapping it over the keeper’s head in a conventional way or it’s reverse-lapping it down to third man or whether it’s being good enough to hit the ball back down over his head for four or six.

Glenn Maxwell

Australia’s hard-hitting all-rounder Glenn Maxwell comes in at number four. Despite an indifferent IPL, Maxwell’s all-round ability sees him secure a spot in this XI.“My number four batsman in my World XI for this T20 World Cup is going to be Glenn Maxwell,” Ponting says. “Now, he hasn’t been in his best form at the IPL, in fact, he’s missed probably more than half the season.

Heinrich Klaasen (wk)

A couple of South Africans come in next into Ponting’s XI. First up is Heinrich Klaasen, who also keeps wicket for the side.
“I’ll go in with Heinrich Klassen for number five batsman and wicketkeeper.”
Klaasen’s main strength lies in his ability to take on the spinners, which Ponting highlighted.

David Miller

Southpaw David Miller at No.6 rounds up the middle-order. With an average of 33.85 and a strike rate of 144.55 in T20I cricket, Miller’s strength lies in his ability to finish games with his big-hitting.
“David Miller is number six. Another great finisher, I’m going to go for two South Africans there in a row.

Ravindra Jadeja

India’s left-arm spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja comes next in Ponting’s XI. Apart from his ability to perform with both bat and the ball, Jadeja is also a world-class fielder who can save crucial runs on the field.
“Left-arm spinner, obviously very powerful, very good. And a very experienced left-handed bowler or a batsman who continually gets the job done for CSK and for India. He’s a gun in the field.”

Rashid Khan

Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan is Ponting’s pick for number eight. The swashbuckling all-rounder is lethal with the ball and is a handy contributor with the bat. Like Jadeja, Rashid is an energetic fielder with a safe pair of hands.
“Down to number eight in my World Cup is none other than Rashid Khan.”
With 574 T20 wickets to his name, 138 of them in international cricket, Rashid’s bowling has troubled batters around the globe for a long time.

Pat Cummins

All-rounder Pat Cummins is the third Australian in Ponting’s XI. While he’s not leading the Australian side, the ICC World Test Championship and Men’s Cricket World Cup winner from last year merits selection based on his cricket alone.
“And with the conditions, that we might see in the Caribbean, his slow balls and variations could be very, very important. Plus, his late-order hitting at number nine can be a real asset for this team.”

Shaheen Afridi

Ponting adds Shaheen Afridi as the “specialist”, whose exceptional wicket-taking ability with the new ball has seen Pakistan find success in recent editions of the T20 World Cup.

Jasprit Bumrah

India’s scintillating fast bowling sensation Jasprit Bumrah completes Ponting’s XI.
The Aussie legend termed the versatile bowler as a “congregator”, who can deliver at any stage of the game.“He’s outstanding with the ball, with the new ball once again. His death bowling is the best I think that I’ve ever seen,” Ponting says.
“Look back through the history of the game. Someone like Dwayne Bravo, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah’s name comes up in that same conversation. So him, for me, I think he’s a congregator.”Bumrah was the second-highest wicket-taker in the group stage of the IPL, with 20 scalps. (Agencies)

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