Updated June 6th, 2024 at 16:10 IST

‘It’s about SR as well’: Ponting picks India as favorites for T20 WC despite lack of power hitters

The T20 World Cup 2024 is well underway and despite question marks over their timid playing style, India are favourites for T20 World Cup according to Punter.

Ricky Ponting on India's chances to win T20 World Cup | Image:PTI/AP
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The T20 World Cup 2024 is well underway and India have kickstarted their campaign in dominating fashion with a thumping eight wicket victory over Ireland. Despite India’s resounding win the jury is still out over the Indian team that whether they will be able to matchup with the more aggressive teams like Australia and England when the tournament reaches the latter stages. 

Australia’s legendary World Cup winning captain Ricky Ponting however thwarted those suggestions and said that India won’t have much difficulty in keeping pace with oppositions and picked them as one of the favourites to win the whole thing. 

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Ricky Ponting picks India as favourties to win the World Cup 

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Despite the lack of power hitters, Ricky Ponting picked India as one of the favourites to win the World Cup and said that the team scores runs at an incredible strike rate and hence lack of power hitters should not be a problem. 

"I mean, it's not so much about power hitting, it's about strike rates as well," he said when asked if India did not match up to rival teams in the striking department.

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"If you look at the strike rates of the Indian batters, they'd probably match up pretty well against players from other countries. I know Australia will have Marsh and Stoinis and Maxwell and Cameron Green and these sort of guys in the middle order there, and South Africa will have Stubbs, Klassen and David Miller.So they have got a lot of power, but then you look at the Indian lineup, Surya, although he's not an out and out power player, his strike rate and his scoring ability all around the grounds is as good as anybody in world cricket”, said Ricky Ponting. 

Ponting also pointed out that Rishabh Pant’s return will be a key factor for Team India in the World Cup and it will give them a huge boost. 

"Rishabh Pant is obviously back and coming off of a pretty good IPL as well and hitting the ball beautifully. Then you've got Hardik Pandya there as well. So, I think they've got enough power and that their batting lineup will look as dangerous as anybody's," said Ponting.

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Also, for him, it makes sense to open with Rohit Sharma and Kohli throughout the tournament.

"What we've seen with Rohit over the last couple of years is that he is playing a lot more of an aggressive role at the top of the order than he probably once did. Virat is coming off another magnificent IPL opening the batting For RCB, so I would definitely be going that way," said Ponting.

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Also Read | India will continue with Kohli-Rohit opening pair in T20 WC, Pant will play at No. 3 - Coach

Ricky Ponting names the 4 teams that are favourites to win World Cup

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It is still early days in the tournament but Ponting would be surprised if India, England, Australia and South Africa don't make the semifinals.

“I had Australia, India, South Africa and England will be the four that I'm going to go for in the semi-finals. But South Africa, to me, this World Cup in particular, have got a stronger looking team than they've had in a long time. And I think they could be one of the really dangerous lineups as this tournament goes on. But I'd also be very surprised if the winner doesn't come out of those four teams that I just mentioned.”

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 Like is often the case, the performance of the spinners towards the business end of the tournament will hold the key and Ponting reckons this is where India are well covered with the likes of Kuldeep, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel in the 15.

"A lot of Australia's success as well revolves around how well Adam Zampa bowls. We saw that in the 50-over World Cup and what he's done for the Australian T20 cricket in the last four or five years has been outstanding. Spin might play a bigger role as the tournament goes on...Wrist spin obviously even more important. India have got most bases covered there with the two left-arm off spin options and one left arm leg spinner and one right-arm leg spinner," he added.

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It is still early days in the tournament and a lot of work still needs to be done by these teams but there is a perception that New Zealand and West Indies could emerge as the dark horses in the tournament. 

(With PTI Inputs)

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Published June 6th, 2024 at 16:10 IST