ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma Snubbed By Ricky Ponting In Top 3 Players Of The Tournament List

Australia great Ricky Ponting has chosen not to include India's Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma in his list of the three best players of ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the field during the India vs Pakistan game in Ahmedabad.

Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has refrained from including Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Mohammed Shami, or any of India's ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 stars in his list of the three best players in the tournament so far. Despite India's dominant performance in the league stage - which Ponting acknowledges - the Australian great has opted to look elsewhere. (BAN Vs SL Preview | Streaming | Key Battles | Full Coverage)

Ponting, instead, has chose Australia's Adam Zampa and South African pair Quinton de Kock and Marco Jansen as his players of the tournament just prior to the knockout stage. Zampa and Jansen have shone with the ball, taking 19 and 16 wickets, respectively, while De Kock has been the most prolific batter of the tournament, scoring 550 runs in eight innings with four tons to his name. 

Ponting, though, was full of praise for Kohli after he matched Sachin Tendulkar's record of 49 ODI centuries, against South Africa on his birthday. Kohli raced to an unbeaten 101 in 121 balls, helping India record their lates win by over 200 runs. 

"That might be a bit of a monkey off his back," Ponting said in an interview. "I think he has been working extra hard to equal Sachin’s record."

"That’s done now and it has happened at a really good time at the tournament for him.

"One more game to go and then they head into the semi-finals. It was an almost perfect day for Virat and a great day for India."

Ponting added that Kohli didn't need to match Tendulkar's record for him to consider the Indian batter amongst the game's greatest. 

"There is no doubt he is the absolute best and I have said that for a long time,” Ponting said. "He didn’t need to equal Sachin's record, he doesn’t need to break the record."

"If you look at his overall batting record it is incredible.

"To think that he got 49 ODI hundreds and equalled Sachin and in 175 less innings is unbelievable.”

India and Kohli play the Netherlands in their final ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 league stage on November 12, 2023.