27/02/2024

Ricky Ponting picked out five players fans should watch out for during the ICC T20 World Cup. (Photos: ICC T20 World Cup)

Australia cricket legend and former captain Ricky Ponting discussed what players are due for a breakout tournament. These are Punter’s five players to watch out for.

Bas de Leede

(Photo: T20 World Cup)

“I like the look of him, bats at three and opens the bowling,” Ponting said.

“There might be some Hobart Hurricanes discussions happening around here as we speak. He looks like a very talented young player.”

The son of former Netherlands captain Tim de Leede, Bas first made a name for himself during his youth career. This earned him the honour to captain the Under 19s Netherlands side and debut at 18 years of age. Four years later, he has lived up to his potential with both the bat and ball.

During the group stage he received two out of three Player of the Match honours, helping advance the Netherlands into the Super 12 stage.

Opening the bowling, he has taken seven wickets at a strike rate of 7.71. Also economical, he has only conceded 68 runs in three game. This is significant as he is normally bowling during the power-play when there are less fielders outside the circle.

Rashid Khan

(Photo: Cricket Australia)

“Rashid (Khan) gets to play the Australians at Adelaide Oval which is his second home ground in,” Ponting said.

“So they’re [Australia] going to have their work cut out for them.”

Rashid Khan is not an unfamiliar name to Australian audiences. Having played for the Adelaide Strikers since 2017/18, he won’t be unaccustomed to the grounds he will be playing at. Since then, he has made a name for himself with his leg-breaks and spinning variations.

Currently number two on the T20 international bowling rankings, opposing batters struggle when facing him. He has a range of different deliveries that is sure to cause havoc on the rest of the teams.

Khan is also handy with the bat, and can chip in some crucial runs in the middle-to-late overs.

Sikandar Raza

(Photo: T20 World Cup)

“He pretty much single handedly got Zimbabwe into the qualifiers and then from the qualifiers into the second stage of this World Cup.”

Sikandar Raza is the heart and soul of the Zimbabwe cricket team. In a tough group against Scotland, Ireland and the West Indies he managed to qualify Zimbabwe at the top of the group. His batting skill took apart each one of their bowling attacks as he blitzed his way to 136 runs and an average of 45.33.

Not only is he the top run-scorer so far in the World Cup, but has shown his prowess with the ball. The veteran has chipped in with his right-arm off-breaks across the three games. Raza has taken five wickets so far and is not short of slowing down anytime soon.

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Suryakumar Yadav

(Photo: T20 World Cup)

“What he’s done the last couple of years is irrepressible,” Ponting said.

Relatively unknown until the start of 2021, Yadav has transitioned into the most explosive T20 batter in the world. Now ranked the number two T20 international batter in the world, he is a big reason for India’s success in the middle-order.

In T20 internationals, he has averaged 37.86 runs with an incredible strike-rate of 176.37. This included a great innings of 117 of 55 balls against England. Chasing 215 runs. he put on a batting masterclass with 20 boundaries and dismantled the English bowling attack.

Tim David

(Photo: Cricket Australia)

“(Tim) David is hopefully one,” Ponting said.

Tim David started to gain recognition playing in numerous T20 domestic leagues around the world. After dominating multiple league including the Big Bash League, the big-hitter finally got a chance to represent Australia earlier this year. As the newest member of the squad he has lot to prove on the international stage.

In the lead-up to the World Cup he had a good innings against England in Canberra. Although, Australia didn’t go on to win the match, he made 40 runs off 23 balls, which included six boundaries.

Ponting is hoping his Hobart Hurricanes can have a World Cup campaign that will be remembered for years to come.

After naming the top players to watch out for during the World Cup, Ponting had some final comments.

“Players are under the most pressure they’ve probably ever been in their lives,” he said

“We’ll get to learn about them, how they stand up and cope with those situations.”

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