The Pakistani duo hailed by Ponting

The Pakistani duo hailed by Ponting

Cricketing legend Ricky Ponting has praised two winners of the Pakistan 2021 ICC Awards and says the ability and form of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Babar Azam put together a “mouth-watering” streak on the Australian tour at the Pakistan in March.

The 2021 ICC Awards Winners – Full List

Afridi was recently named the winner of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year, while Azam won the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year award.

After watching them up close during Pakistan’s tour of Australia in 2019, Ponting shared his thoughts on what set them apart two years ago and how they have evolved as players since then.

Both Azam and Afridi were at the top of their game in 2021, playing vital roles in Pakistan’s sensational run to the semi-finals of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

While Afridi’s exploits in all formats were unparalleled, Azam shined with the bat in the 50 plus format, where he is currently the highest ranked hitter on the MRF Tires ICC rankings.

04 Feb 22

The ICC review | Ponting on the form of Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi

Shaheen Shah Afridi – The Complete Package

When Afridi toured Australia in 2019, he was just 19 and finished the series with just five wickets from two Tests. Despite this, he still scored Ponting.

With 78 wickets in 36 matches at an average of just 22.20, Afridi was the highest wicket-taker in 2021 across all formats. He played a leading role in Pakistan’s first-ever World Cup triumph over India at the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, representing big wickets in Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli .

His Test numbers were staggering – in just nine games he netted 47 wickets at an average of 17.06.

Jan 24 22

The Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Player of the Year: Shaheen Afridi

Himself a two-time winner of the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, Ponting called Afridi “the complete package” and praised his ability to swing the ball at pace.

“The only thing that disappoints me is that he’s not a hitter – how can these awards go to a fast bowler and not a hitter?” Ponting asked with a chuckle in the first episode of The ICC review with Isa Guha.

“To be honest, absolutely very well deserved. He had a really good tour of Australia a couple of summers ago and you could see then – he’s big, obviously he plays fast, he had the ability to swing the new ball to the right- Handers too… it looked like a really complete package that we hadn’t quite seen the best of yet.

October 24 21

KL Rahul beaten by the beauty of Shaheen Afridi

“We had to comment in the summer to select the top five batters and bowlers, and he wasn’t in my top five bowlers at the time because he hadn’t played much Test cricket when we put him on. have chosen.

“He’s someone I raised to No.6 because I knew the amount of work, wickets and big games he had behind him in December when we picked those groups.

“It’s an incredible achievement. Now with him, Babar and some of the other fantastic players they have in this Pakistani roster at the moment, it makes for a really mouth-watering streak to come when the Aussies get there.”

The unlimited potential of Babar Azam

Despite only featuring in six ODIs in 2021, Azam won the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year award with sensational performances, beating competition from Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. , South African striker Janneman Malan and Irish fly-half Paul. Stirling.

Azam finished the year with 405 runs with an average of 67.50. His shot of 158, although coming in a losing cause, was a lesson in building an ODI round. Taking 72 balls to raise his fifty, he stepped on the gas in the second half of the innings, finishing with a career-best in just 139 balls.

Jan 24 22

ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year: Babar Azam Acceptance Speech

Ponting recalled the Australian tour in 2019 where Azam went on a fight century in the second round of the first test and followed it up with a 90 in the second game.

“He (Babar Azam) has also been excellent at T20I cricket in the past, hasn’t he? His white ball cricket has been breathtaking over the past four to five years,” Ponting said.

“He’s the same as Shaheen. I don’t see many of these guys outside of their tour of Australia, but when I saw Babar in the second leg in Brisbane in the first test against Australia, some of the shots I ‘ve I saw him play on fast, bouncy Brisbane ground – both on the front and back foot – against Hazlewood, Starc and Cummins – it was like, ‘I’ve heard a lot about him and I ‘ve seen quite a bit of his all-ball stuff, but this guy is the real deal”.

“I think I said then that for this guy the sky is the limit. It was only a matter of time I felt before he was the No. 1 rated test hitter. in the world, is certainly a challenge for him.

01 Nov 21

Babar Azam: the pride of Pakistan

“He’s probably challenging for that position right now and probably if he had played a few more Test matches in the last couple of years he’d be knocking on the door for it.

“He’s a beautiful player, simple as that. What I always look for with these young hitters is if they can play well off the back foot in Australia, and especially through offside with a bat. right – which is probably an area that Joe Root hasn’t quite mastered yet and why he hasn’t made those big scores in Australia.

“Babar did that and also hit with the front foot to the ground. Those are just things I look for as markers and indicators in touring hitters when they come to Australia and Babar, he ticked both of those boxes.”

Australia’s tour of Pakistan begins on March 4 with the first of three tests, before the limited leg, comprising three ODIs and a T20I, to Rawalpindi.