Ricky Ponting.
Ricky Ponting. Image Credit: X

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has lauded the leadership skills of Rohit Sharma in the India-Pakistan game. One of the biggest contributions for a captain in leadership duties comes when it’s required to defend a low total, as it becomes so important for the master to be calm and collected in the situation, and help the bowlers and use them properly, besides designing the right field placements.

Once they made 119 runs in the first innings, it was quite important that Rohit kept the team together and continued to have the same energy and trust in the players and the process for the entire course of their bowling.

Defending a low total against Pakistan at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York, India used their bowlers pretty well, besides keeping the right field settings.

‘I don’t think he could have done much more’ – Ricky Ponting

The former Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting met the India opener at the end of their six-run win over the 2009 champions and praised him for his leadership skills.

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In a video released by the ICC on their social media platform, the Tasmania batter pointed out that Rohit, having played with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL), knows how to use them thanks to his prior experience.

‘Rohit Sharma is a very experienced captain, isn’t he? And I just saw him then and said, mate, your captaincy today was outstanding. I don’t think he could have done much more.

You think about a lot of the bowlers that he’s got in his team. He’s had those bowlers in the IPL as well, not only for India. So, he understands them, knows when he can use them,” ODI World Cup-winning captain Ricky Ponting expressed in the video.

He also empathized with how important it becomes for the bowlers to follow the field that the captain has set, and that’s exactly what the India bowlers have done in the afternoon to keep the pressure on.

‘But it’s one thing for the captain to set a plan, the bowlers are going to go ahead and execute it and Hardik was outstanding,” Ricky Ponting noted.

Jasprit Bumrah, the ‘Player of the Match’ returned with a bowling figure of 3/14 in four overs, while Mohammad Siraj and Arshdeep Singh ended with 0/19 and 1/31 in each of their four overs respectively. Even the spinners- Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja have been consistent with the line and lengths to end with 1/11 and 0/10 in each of their two overs respectively.

Hardik Pandya, after failing to make an impact with the bat in hand, showed his importance with the bat, to have 2/24 in four overs. The 49-year-old reflected that Hardik’s all-round performance and the unsung hero Axar for his economical bowling.

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‘I thought he did a really good job with the ball as well, and then you break it down and this has been a wicket that the seamers have liked, but their spinner bowled four overs for 20 as well and Patel picked up a big wicket. Yeah, the wicket was definitely different in the second innings,” Ricky Ponting pointed out.

He finished by saying that when sun came out and dried up the surface, it was Axar then who adapted quite quickly and adjusted his lengths.

‘I mean, you can see Pakistan got the ball to hold up through natural variation, and you know, it was just a little bit tacky, but when the sun came out, the wicket dried out quite quickly and then you have to, you have to adapt and adjust on the run. I thought he did that really well,” Veteran concluded.

India will face USA on June 12, at the same ground, in New York.