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LEADING | T20 WC: Ponting predicts Bumrah to be tournament’s leading wicket-taker

IANS | Updated on Thursday, May 30, 2024 16:24 PM IST
T20 WC: Ponting predicts Bumrah to be tournament’s leading wicket-taker

NEW DELHI:Australia cricket legend Ricky Ponting has predicted India’s fast-bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah to be the leading wicket-taker in the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA.

Bumrah had missed 2022 edition of the tournament in Australia due to a back injury which later needed surgery. Bumrah comes into the showpiece event after taking 20 wickets in 13 games for Mumbai Indians, with an astonishing economy rate of 6.48.

"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. 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," Ponting told The ICC Review show.

He also believes Australia's left-handed opener Travis Head could be the top run-scorer in the upcoming tournament. Head, the Player of the Match in last year’s ODI World Cup final, scored 567 runs in 15 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2024 at a strike-rate of 191.55, though he struggled for runs at the back end of the tournament.

"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.

"His IPL had its ups and downs, but when it's been good, it's been very good. And it has won games of cricket for his team. And it'll be exactly the same for Australia - so, look, he might not be the most consistent on the way through this tournament.

"But he'll be right up there, I'm sure, with the leading run scorers. And as I've said, if he spends any amount of time at the wicket for Australia, he'll win more games than ever," added Ponting.

The 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup will begin on June 1, with the opening match between co-hosts USA and Canada at Dallas. Australia will open campaign against Group B opponents Oman at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on June 5. India also play their first game of the competition on the same day, against Ireland at the Nassau County International Stadium in New York.