Ponting had picked this IPL XI for Cricket.com.au’s YouTube channel, wherein he stunned the fans by shockingly omitting RCB and South African superstar de Villiers, who is unarguably the most loved non-Indian cricketer in India.
Keeping with the 4 overseas rule in an IPL XI, Ponting had opted for 4 other overseas players than de Villiers. But Ponting do hailed the RCB legend for his impact and his match-winning abilities with the bat in hand which he used as a magic wand to create jaw-dropping shots.
Starting with the openers, Ponting went with two left-handers at the top, both overs: former SRH skipper David Warner and the burly RCB opener Chris Gayle.
About Warner and Gayle, the Aussie said: “I’ve gone for two extremely dynamic opening batsmen and I wouldn’t like to be an opening bowler bowling to these two together.”
Ricky Ponting formed the middle-order of Indian batters: Virat Kohli, who is the leading run-scorer in the IPL history; Ponting had his former Mumbai Indians teammate Rohit Sharma in his side, but at number 4, followed by Mr. IPL Suresh Raina.
About Kohli, Ponting said, “He’s the sort of player you want in your side, especially in a run chase.” Explaining why he put Rohit in the middle-order, Ponting said “He opens the batting for India, but he loves batting at No.4 because he feels like he can control the game and control the innings.”
He added: “I’ve gone for Suresh Raina at No.5 to give a left-hander in the middle order. He’s a very good player of spin bowling; if he has a weakness it’s against good quality fast bowling so I’ll bat him in the middle order to keep him away from the overseas quicks.”
Ricky Ponting picks MS Dhoni as the undisputed best IPL captain ever
CSK captain MS Dhoni, who recently led CSK to their fifth IPL title, is the captain and wicketkeeper for Ponting.
Ponting hailed MSD: “MS Dhoni is at No.6 and he’ll also be the captain of my side. He brings huge experience and whenever he’s at the crease … you’re always a chance of winning the game.”
Coming to bowlers, Ricky Ponting picked the legendary death overs duo of Dwayne Bravo and Lasith Malinga. Ashish Nehra is the third seamer in Ponting’s IPL XI.
“Bravo’s yorkers, slower balls and change ups are probably some of the best IPL cricket has ever seen, along with Malinga’s..Malinga is probably the best T20 bowler of all time. I’d certainly rank him that way anyway,” the former Aussie skipper opined.
For two spinners, Ricky Ponting went with veteran Indian spinners, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and leg-spinner Amit Mishra.
Ricky Ponting explains why he didn’t pick AB de Villiers:
Having picked 4 overseas players in Warner, Gayle, Malinga and Bravo, Ricky Ponting couldn’t pick Ab de Villiers.
“AB de Villiers is another one who would walk into most IPL teams through the history of the game. But with the record that my openers, Gayle and Warner, have it was a bit hard to fit AB de Villiers in the middle order. But he’s an out-and-out match-winner,” he explained.
Ricky Ponting’s all-time IPL XI:
David Warner, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (C), Dwayne Bravo, Amit Mishra, Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga, Ashish Nehra