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Ponting picks Bumrah, Head to dominate T20 World Cup

May 30, 2024 18:27 IST

IMAGE: Ricky Ponting backed Jasprit Bumrah to excel in the T20 World Cup. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has picked Indian Premier League (IPL) top performers Jasprit Bumrah and Travis Head to excel among the bowlers and batters respectively in the T20 World Cup starting June 2.

India's pace spearhead Bumrah stood tall among the bowlers with 20 wickets in 13 matches for Mumbai Indians despite the five-time winners enduring their worst-ever campaign in 17 editions of the IPL, while Australian Head struck 567 runs in 15 matches.


Despite MI's all-round struggles, Bumrah shone brightly with his supreme control with the ball, maintaining an envious economy rate of a mere 6.48 in a tournament wherein each of the top 10 bowlers went for at least eight runs per over.

“My leading wicket-taker for the tournament will be Jasprit Bumrah. I just think an outstanding performer, contributor for a number of years now. He's just come off an outstanding IPL” Ponting was quoted as saying in 'The ICC Review'.

"What he can do with the new ball, he swings the new ball, he has the seam up. But at the end, his economy rate at the end of the IPL was less than seven runs an over.

“He takes wickets. He does bowl a lot of the hard overs too. When you bowl the hard overs in T20 cricket, it gives you a chance to pick up a lot of wickets along the way. So, I'm going with him,” said Ponting, who coaches Delhi Capitals in the IPL.

Even though Head finished fourth in the list of those with most runs in this IPL, it was the manner he got them which impressed the most.

Head's strike rate remained in excess of 200 for a large part of the IPL, with the left-handed batter eventually finishing at 567 runs in 15 matches at 191.55, average of 40.50, and featuring one century and four fifties.

“My prediction for the leading run-scorer will be Travis Head. I just think everything he's done, whether it be red-ball or white-ball in the last couple of years, has been of the highest quality. I think he's playing fearless cricket at the moment,” said the legendary batter.

Despite his exploits with the bat, Head had a disappointing finish to the IPL as he was dismissed for three ducks in his last four outings.

“His IPL had its ups and downs, but when it's been good, it's been very good. It has won games of cricket for his team," said Ponting of his compatriot.

“It'll be exactly the same for Australia. He might not be the most consistent on the way through this tournament, but he'll be right up there with the leading run scorers. As I've said, if he spends any amount of time at the wicket for Australia, he'll win more games than ever.”

The T20 World Cup will be held in the West Indies and the USA from June 2 to 29.

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