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Ponting lauds laid-back Rohit as leader of ‘team to beat’

Rohit Sharma is the ideal captain for India as they chase the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 trophy on home soil, according to three-time winner Ricky Ponting.

India have made a bright start to their Cricket World Cup campaign with emphatic triumphs over Australia, Afghanistan and arch-rivals Pakistan.

The three victories have propelled India to the top of the standings and brushed aside concerns over how the hosts would deal with the extra pressure that comes with playing in front of fervent fans.

Two-time World Cup winning captain Ricky Ponting has pointed to skipper Rohit Sharma as the key to India rising to the occasion even while surrounded by passionate home support.

“He’s very laid back, Rohit. Very laid back with everything he does,” Ponting told the ICC while sharing his smart perspectives powered by DP World.

“You can even see that by the way that he plays. He’s a pretty laconic sort of batsman as well, and that’s the way he is both on and off the field.

“We can’t sit back and say that the pressure won’t get to them at some stage, or it won’t affect them, because it will, just with the enormity of the tournament.

“But he’ll take it and cope with it as well as probably anyone.”

Rohit has captained India in ODIs since taking the reins from Virat Kohli in both white-ball formats since December 2021.

Ponting believes the current skipper is the ideal leader as India plays the showpiece event on home soil, while allowing Kohli to focus on his starring role with the bat.

“Someone like Virat, who is a bit more heart-on-the-sleeve, and probably listens to the fans and plays up with the fans a little bit more, someone with his personality would probably find it a bit harder,” Ponting said.

“But I think Rohit will be fine with it. He’s a terrific bloke and has been a great player for a long time, and he’s done a great job as leader of India.”

India last won the Cricket World Cup when the tournament was held across three countries including their own in 2011.

While India were able to turn to their home support to win that final against fellow hosts Sri Lanka when it was held at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, they are still searching for a third Cricket World Cup title.

Former Australia great Ponting thinks the trophy is all but there for India’s taking this time around.

“I said from the start that I think they’re going to be the team to beat. They’ve got a very talented team,” Ponting said.

“They’ve got all bases covered with their fast bowling, their spin and their top-order, middle-order batting.

“They’re going to be extremely hard to beat. But we’ll see how they hold up under extreme pressure as well.”

Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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