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ICC World Cup 2019: Ricky Ponting picks his backup wicket-keeper for MS Dhoni 

2.16K   //    16 Mar 2019, 15:20 IST

MS Dhoni's vast experience will be crucial to India's hopes in the World Cup
MS Dhoni's vast experience will be crucial to India's hopes in the World Cup

What's the story?

Australian great Ricky Ponting has identified explosive wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant as the backup for MS Dhoni going into the World Cup. Despite the left-hander's dismal performances for India in the recently concluded ODI series against Australia, his IPL coach believes he is the man who must don the gloves in Dhoni's absence.

In case you didn't know...

Rishabh Pant was given the nod by the selectors ahead of the five-match ODI series that ended 3-2 in the visitors' favor. He registered sub-par scores of 16 and 36, but most importantly led his side down at crucial stages.

Behind the stumps too, he was pretty ordinary. The youngster missed a couple of important catches at vital junctures, which arguably cost India big time.

Ricky Ponting meanwhile, is the coach of the Delhi Capitals and he is entirely focused on switching Pant's attention to the IPL.

The heart of the matter

Speaking to TOI in an interview, Ponting addressed the same, remarking:

“I think it’s actually a big job for me and the coaches when he comes in, to make him forget what’s happened in the last few days. He’s probably lucky it happened in the last couple of games. It would have been hard to play all five games under that kind of pressure.”

Speaking to the big debate that concerns MS Dhoni's backup for the World Cup, Ponting boldly insisted that no one but Pant can do the job better. He claimed:

“Now he’s back in a competition where he has dominated in the past. If he can win a couple of games for us then everything will be forgotten. I can’t see anyone better than him as a second wicket-keeper in that Indian World Cup squad."

What's next?

At the moment, the fraternity has turned its attention to the IPL, which is slated to commence on March 23. Delhi Capitals, who are in pursuit of their maiden trophy, will kick-start their season on 24 March away at Mumbai, against Rohit Sharma's team.