In his latest ICC review, Ponting did his five face-offs for the marquee event and one of them was the heated debate as to who should be in the playing XI? Should it be a potential destroyer of bowling attack Pant or the “designated finisher”Karthik?
“The debate in the Indian cricketing circles has long been raging on who should be the designated wicketkeeper-batter in the side. While Karthik can boast about being an excellent finisher, Pant’s prodigious talent has seen him being backed by many,” Ponting wrote in his column.
India have fielded both in the same side on some occasions and Ponting believes that should be the way forward for Rohit Sharma’s team.
Praising both, Ponting said: “I actually think that India’s best team has both of these players. I don’t care if they are both keepers but I think their batting prowess is enough.”
Elaborating on their abilities, the Australian legend added: “Rishabh in the middle order and Dinesh as a finisher, they look extremely dangerous to me.”
Ultimately though, Ponting believed that Pant had an edge over Karthik and he is likely to be afforded more chances.
“Look, I’m just going to favour Rishabh because I think he might get slightly more opportunities than Dinesh does,” said Pant’s Delhi Capitals coach.
In case of a face-off between Shaheen Shah Afridi and Jasprit Bumrah, Ponting feels that the Indian is a shade ahead of the Pakistani.
“I’ll probably go on experience alone – I’ll go for Bumrah. He’s played a fair bit of cricket in Australia now, played more in Australia than Afridi and has played more big tournaments as well than Afridi has,” Ponting added.