Australia great Ricky Ponting has revealed the two teams he thinks will reach the final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia later this year and which one he expects to win the trophy. The tournament will be played in October-November.
There are many contenders for the title this time including the defending champions Australia who will be eyeing back-to-back championships, especially in their own backyard. And speaking to Sanjana Ganesan for ICC Review, Ricky Ponting picked his choices for the two finalists and the eventual champion of the T20 World Cup.
While Ponting admits some luck is required to win a major ICC trophy, the 47-year-old was strong on the teams he thought were most likely to taste success in Australia.
"I think India and Australia will be the two playing in the final and I will just have to say that Australia will beat them in the final. The reigning champions have got home conditions and that was one thing that made Australia’s win in the last World Cup, not remarkable, but that little bit sweeter for them.
The fact that a lot of people, me included, thought when they went to UAE, the conditions that they were going to have to face on the back of the IPL, I thought the conditions might have been the thing that might not have allowed them to win it. But they found a way,” Ponting said.
Apart from Australia and India, Ricky Ponting also pointed out the dangers that teams like England and Pakistan pose and said that these two teams will challenge the aforementioned sides in the ICC event.
"I actually think England are an outstanding white-ball team and they have an outstanding white-ball setup. "I just think the three teams on paper that look to have most class and the most match-winners are India, Australia, and England,” Ponting said.
As for Pakistan, Ponting pointed out that for them to succeed, captain Babar Azam has to score runs, while the new ball fast bowlers need to pick wickets upfront.
If Babar doesn’t have a great tournament, I don’t think they can win. I saw him up close and personal a couple of years ago out here in a Test series against Australia and I said it then, I thought the sky was the limit for this guy as far as Test match batting (was concerned) and, if anything, he’s probably got better and better in the last couple of years.
Their openers are very important and their new-ball bowlers are very important, but that role of the spin bowler in Australia might be a little bit more difficult with wickets that probably won’t give them assistance,” Ponting added.
Ponting also gave a few other sides an outside chance of riding their luck all the way and at least making it to the title decider at the MCG on November 13.
"I know the game too well and any of New Zealand, Pakistan, or West Indies even – we know how they tend to love playing this game and they’re probably most suited to the T20 format. It wouldn’t surprise me if any of those sides find their way through to the final,” he signed off.