Melbourne : Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting feels while Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is technically a better player than Jos Buttler, the England captain’s strike rate and his experience of playing more cricket in Australia and also turning out for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League (BBL) will give him the advantage in the ICC T20 World Cup Down Under next month.
Asked to choose between Azam and Buttler in a face-off between the two leading batters in white-ball cricket, Pointing said, “Babar Azam, he is technically a better player than Buttler.
You look at their strike-rates though and there is no comparison there, Buttler is much more dynamic, sort of a more 360-degree player than Babar is.”
Babar has scored 2,138 runs in 80 matches, while Buttler has notched up 1,562 runs in 94 games, but the England skipper’s international strike-rate of 142.57 helps him pip Babar, whose strike rate is 128.81.
Both players feature in Pontin’s list of top-five T20 players, and the former Australia skipper was full of praise for the pair on ‘The ICC Review’.”
Buttler has also played more cricket in Australia with England and he has spent some time in the Big Bash (League) with Sydney Thunder. So I’m going to go (with) Jos Buttler on this one,” Ponting added.
Asked to pick between Sri Lanka spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and Afghanistan tweaker Rashid Khan, Pointing opined that while conditions in Australia might not suit either of the spinners, but with Rashid having played in the BBL, it will certainly help the young Afghanistan player during the T20 World Cup.
Rashid Khan has long been regarded as one of the best spinners in T20 cricket. Wanindu Hasaranga has also enjoyed a prominent rise of late, leading the wicket-taking charts at the T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE and then following it up with his Player of the Tournament exploits at the Asia Cup recently.”
Rashid Khan’s played 5-6 years now in the BBL with Adelaide Strikers, been the No.1 ranked T20 bowler in the world for a long time now so Rashid Khan just pips Hasaranga,” said Ponting.