Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting feels that India are the favourites to clinch the Asia Cup trophy this year as they have a better depth in their line-up as compared to other teams in the tournament. Ponting, who is very vocal about his opinions, said that India will also beat arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening clash of the tournament.
The pressure will be on the Men in Blue as they lost to Pakistan by 10 wickets when the last time both teams clashed against each other was in 2021 T20 World Cup. However, the two neighbouring nations shared a very intense rivalry which will make it tough for both teams to hold their nerves in Dubai on August 28.
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While Ponting expects a tight tussle between the rivals, he believes India have the depth to prevail.
“I’ll stick with India to win that clash (August 28 match) against Pakistan. That’s taking nothing away from Pakistan because they are an incredible cricket nation that continue to present out-and-out superstar players," Ponting said in the latest episode of The ICC Review.
The Australian legend also mentioned that India are tough opponents to beat in any tournament, not just an Asia Cup.
“It’s always hard to go past India in any tournament, not just an Asia Cup, but I think every time we talk about the T20 World Cup which is coming up, I think that India will be right in the thick of it there," Ponting said.
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He predicted that Rohit Sharma and Co. are going to lift the Asia Cup trophy.
“Their depth is definitely better than the other teams and I think India will win the Asia Cup," he added.
The 47-year-old has seen many of India’s T20I stars during his time coaching in the IPL and has kept an eye on how they are preparing ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Team India has embraced a fearless approach in the shortest format of the game after their dismal show in 2021 T20 World Cup. Under the leadership of Rohit Sharma, India played with an aggressive batting approach against England and West Indies in recent times which indicated that they are looking to follow it up in Australia for the 2022 T20 WC.
Meanwhile, the selectors snubbed seasoned pacer Mohammed Shami from the Asia Cup squad and Ponting feels that India have picked three pacers who are better T20 bowlers than him.
“He’s been a very, very good bowler for India for a long time now. If you look at his strengths, his Test cricket is probably where he thrives the most. I think there are better fast bowlers in Indian T20 cricket than Shami and they’ve only named three (for the Asia Cup). So if there’s potentially four named in the squad he might be the fourth man in," he said.
“I would think they’ll probably only have the four quicks coming to Australia. They’ll still want to bring a lot of spin here even though the wickets are probably not that conducive," he added.
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