WTC Final: Ricky Ponting Says “Mohammed Shami Has To Step Up” For India To Win

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Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes that Indian veteran speedster Mohammed Shami has to step up for Team India against Australia in the WTC Final. Shami has been in great form at the moment. In the recently concluded IPL 2023, he picked 28 wickets and finished as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament to win the Purple Cap. But in the World Test Championship final in England, things might get a bit difficult for him as England will present a different playing condition. 

Ricky Ponting talks about Mohammed Shami

In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Shami will have to take up extra responsibility as players like Steve Smith and Marnus Labuchagne can prove to be dangerous in the middle. Meanwhile, talking about Shami’s importance, former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting mentioned that for India to win, Shami will have to be at his absolute best.

“Mohammed Shami has to step up or try to take his game to another level if India are going to win this game. When you talk to the Australian batters as well, they understand how good Shami is, whether it’s the new ball or old ball, whether it’s in Australia or India,” Ponting said in the latest episode of ICC Review.

Ponting went on to state that the Men in Blue should have considered all-rounder Hardik Pandya for the WTC final as he is in brilliant form at the moment. He believes that Hardik could have been the X-Factor for team India and could have been the difference between the two teams.

“I thought about the other day for India in this game is how valuable someone like Hardik Pandya could be in a one-off Test match. I know he is on record saying that the Test match game is probably a little bit hard on his body. But for a one-off game… he’s been bowling every game through this IPL and he’s bowling quick. He (Pandya) could be that X-factor there just to pick in a one-off game, come in and see what he can do with bat and ball. He could be the difference between the two teams,” the 48-year-old said.

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