- Feb 24, 2024
- Oct 26, 2022
India pace lynchpin, Mohammed Shami exhibited stellar performances for Gujarat in the Indian T20 League 2022 where he picked up 20 wickets in 16 matches. The fast bowler was good with his line and length and scalped most of his wickets in the power play. He could have been a good option for the Men in Blue if he had been selected for the upcoming Asia Cup.
However, Australian legend Ricky Ponting feels Mohammed Shami’s strength lies in the Test format and there are better quick bowlers in India’s T20 setup, weighing in on his absence from the Asia Cup squad. The Men in Blue have included Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, and Arshdeep Singh as the three specialist quick bowlers with all-rounder Hardik Pandya being the fourth seamer in the 15-member squad for the multilateral Tournament.
“He’s (Shami) 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,” Ponting, a two-time World Cup-winning captain, said in the latest episode of The ICC Review.
“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.” With Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel’s nursing injuries, many felt Shami might be included to share the new-ball duties during the Asia Cup.
“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,” Ponting opined.
The Continental tournament will start in Dubai and Sharjah from August 27 to September 11 and Ponting picked India as the favorite to win the tournament.
“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,” the 47-year-old said.
“To be totally honest it’s one that we’ve been starved of- Ricky Ponting on the India-Pakistan Rivalry
“To be totally honest it’s one that we’ve been starved of, haven’t we … looking back the last 15 or 20 years,” Ponting said. As a cricket lover like I am and a cricket observer, any time those sorts of battles come up it’s almost always nice to sit back and watch because everything just goes up a notch, doesn’t it?
“When I think about rivalries, Australia and England and Ashes cricket is the pinnacle I’ve always thought of for our Test match game. I’m sure India and Pakistanis will say the same about that and the actual rivalry would be the pinnacle of Test match cricket for those two countries as well.” Ponting believes India has the depth to prevail over Pakistan.