'I don’t think they can win without Babar Azam scoring runs' - Ricky Ponting predicts Pakistan's chances in T20 World Cup 2022

"The role of the spin bowler in Australia might be a little bit more difficult," Ponting points out Pakistan's weakness.

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting. (Photo Source: Twitter/Delhi Capitals)

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Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has shared his thoughts on Pakistan’s chances in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2022. He believes that Pakistan will not be the same force if their captain Babar Azam fails to score big. Pakistan reached the semi-final round in the last edition of the T20 World Cup in the UAE. They currently rank third in the ICC T20I teams chart.

Babar ranks first in the ICC batters’ chart in both T20Is and ODIs and is not far away from topping the Test charts as well. He has maintained an average of 45.52 in T20I cricket and scored the highest 303 runs in the last edition with an average of 60.60 and a strike rate of 126.25. His form will be crucial for Pakistan’s run in the upcoming World Cup and the two-time World Cup-winning captain agrees with that.

“If Babar doesn’t have a great tournament, I don’t think they can win. I saw him up close and personal a couple of years ago out here in a Test series against Australia and I said it then, I thought the sky was the limit for this guy as far as Test match batting (was concerned) and, if anything, he’s probably got better and better in the last couple of years,” Ricky Ponting said in an episode of The ICC Review.

The role of the spin bowler in Australia might be a little bit more difficult: Ricky Ponting

Pakistan were knocked out by Australia in the 2021 edition’s semi-final clash and will kickstart their 2022 campaign with a clash against India on October 23. Babar has formed a great partnership with wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan, who ranks second in the ICC T20I batters chart. Pakistan will be a real contender in Australia if both the openers perform big but Ponting has pointed out other areas within the squad that will hurt them.

He believes that the role of spin bowlers will be tricky on Australian wickets and that’s where the Asian giants will struggle. “Their openers are very important and their new-ball bowlers are very important, but that role of the spin bowler in Australia might be a little bit more difficult with wickets that probably won’t give them assistance,” he added.