Ricky Ponting Picks His Winner For India vs Pakistan Asia Cup Clash

Legendary Australian batter Ricky Ponting said on Friday that the Indian team has the depth to triumph over Pakistan in their upcoming 2022 high voltage Asia Cup game and also take away the prestigious trophy. Earlier this week, India designated a 15-man squad for the Asian Cup. The tournament kicks off on August 27 and India kicks off its campaign on August 28 with a heart-pounding clash against Pakistan.

“It’s always hard to pass India in any tournament, not just an Asian Cup, but I think every time we talk about the T20 World Cup coming up, I think India is in the middle of that. Their depth is definitely better than the other teams and I think India will win the Asian Cup,” Ponting said in the latest episode of ICC Review.

Pakistan has a lead over India in head-to-heads in general, but in Asia Cup India has a narrow lead of 7-5 in their 13 matches. One yielded no result. He expects a tight match between the two sides, but believes that India has the depth to cross the line in the match.

“I’m staying with India to win that match against Pakistan. That doesn’t take anything away from Pakistan because it’s an incredible cricket nation that still presents great superstar players,” he said.

Ponting believes fans and players have been starved by this brilliant rivalry between two Asian giants.

India and Pakistan have not played test cricket against each other since a tie in 2007 in Bengaluru, in which Sourav Ganguly scored a stunning 239.

“To be quite honest, it’s one that we’re starving at, isn’t it … looking back over the past 15 or 20 years. As a cricket enthusiast like me and a cricket observer, every time this kind of fight happens it’s is almost always nice to sit back and watch, because everything just goes up a notch, doesn’t it?” he said.

There is still a remote chance of the two sides meeting for the final of the ICC World Test Championship next year and Ponting would love it if the rivalry grew even further with some red ball cricket.

“When I think of rivalry, Australia and England and Ashes cricket is the highlight I’ve always thought of for our test match. I’m sure India and Pakistanis will say the same about that and the actual rivalry would be the highlight of the test match cricket for those two countries,” he said.

Ponting has seen many of India’s T20I stars during his stint as IPL coach and has his eyes set on their preparation for the upcoming T20I World Cup, which will take place between October and November this year.

India has won 17 of their 21 T20I matches this year, despite the change of players by coach Rahul Dravid and selectors.

A notable absentee from the Asia Cup 2022 squad is Mohammed Shami, who has not been part of the Indian T20I teams since the last T20 World Cup.

Ponting acknowledges that the shortest size is Shami’s weakest and believes that Shami could do his job if he makes the selection for the T20 WC.

“He has been a very, very good bowler for India for a long time. 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 only named three (for the Asia Cup), so if there are possibly four in the squad, he could be the fourth man.

“I would think they will probably only have the four quicks come to Australia. They will still want to bring a lot of spin here, even if the wickets are probably not as conducive,” he added.

The 15th edition of the tournament comes to the Asian Cup and is played in the UAE between six teams (main event). Defending champion India is also the most successful team, having won the trophy seven times. While the last edition of the tournament was held in an ODI format, this edition will feature the T20 format.

The six teams are divided into two groups with India, Pakistan and a qualifying team in Group A; and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan make up Group B. Each team will play each other once in the group stage, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the Super 4 round. The best 2 teams of Super 4 qualify for the final.

Asia Cup India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh , Avesh Khan.

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