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Ricky Ponting shares advice for South Africa ahead of T20 World Cup final against India | The Express Tribune

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As South Africa prepares to face India in the final of the T20 World Cup 2024 on Saturday, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has offered crucial advice on handling the pressure of the big game. 

This marks the first time South Africa has reached a World Cup final after eight unsuccessful attempts in the semi-finals, most recently against Australia in the 2023 ODI World Cup.

Ponting, who led Australia to two World Cup titles (2003 and 2007) and two Champions Trophies (2006 and 2009), emphasised the importance of embracing the intensity of the occasion. 

“A lot of teams say ‘It’s just another game’ and they try and hide away from how big the occasion is, and it is no good doing that. It is all about embracing it for what it is,” Ponting said on ICC’s Digital Daily Show.

Read: Sanjay Manjrekar backs India against South Africa’s bowling in T20 World Cup final

He advised the Proteas to enjoy the moment, but to ensure that their preparation remains consistent. “These players haven’t been there before, so enjoy tonight, enjoy tomorrow. But make sure everything you do leading in is the same and your preparation is the same,” he added.

Ponting praised the South African team, led by Aiden Markram, for their phenomenal performance in the T20 World Cup 2024, noting that they remain undefeated. 

He suggested that the team simply needs to continue being themselves to succeed in the final. “They are undefeated up to here, so they don’t need to change anything and they don’t need to try any harder. 

They just need to turn up and be the best version of themselves and the best version of themselves as a team on the day and give themselves the best chance,” he remarked. “If they do that, they will be hard to beat,” he concluded.

As the much-anticipated final approaches, South Africa will aim to heed Ponting’s advice and bring their best performance to the field in their historic quest for a World Cup title.

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