2021 has been absolutely wonderful for Rishabh Pant so far. The young wicket-keeper batsman helped script historic wins on the tour of Australia and then followed it up with plenty of success against England at home. He was then handed the captaincy of Delhi Capitals in the absence of regular skipper Shreyas Iyer who’s out with a long-term shoulder injury.Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting has now lauded Rishabh Pant’s match-winning abilities and compared him to Indian skipper Virat Kohli and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson. Ponting believes that with due to his ability to think like the best, the side is inevitably going to win games regardless of how many runs are needed if he stays till the end.
"Someone like him (Pant), you want him to get involved in the game as early as possible, and bat for as long as possible,"
"The way he thinks, he is actually a bit like Virat or Kane. Now, if they are in at the end, you are going to win more often than not no matter how many runs are required," Ponting told cricket.com-au.
The legendary Australian captain was also full of praise for Rishabh Pant’s energy and enthusiasm. Ponting described him as someone who is always involved in the contest and has the qualities of a ‘winner.’
"He is energetic and you can hear that from behind the stumps, he loves being in the contest and he is a winner," the DC coach was all praise for his captain.
When asked about how Rishabh Pant compares to Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting candidly suggested that Pant needed to improve his glovework. However, he believes that the DC captain showed a lot of improvement in this aspect during the series against England.
The comparisons are always going to be always there for someone who bats like that," Ponting said.
"Gilly's keeping is better than Rishabh's no doubt about that. The way I saw him keep on turning pitches in India (vs England), I thought he kept way better than I thought he could," said Ponting, known for his bluntness.
"If his keeping improves, with his batting, he could be India's keeper in Tests for next 10-12 years no doubt."
He was disappointing for us in the tournament last year: Ponting on Rishabh Pant's form in IPL 2020
Ricky Ponting also spoke about Rishabh Pant’s form in the last IPL season and mentioned that it was disappointing.
"He was disappointing for us in the tournament last year. He had gone (to the UAE) overweight, on the back of the lockdown in India."
"He turned up a bit underdone, did his hammy (hamstring) in the third or fourth game and missed a couple of games. And when he came back, he couldnt get back to the level we expected him to be," Ponting recollected.
However, the DC head coach seems impressed by how much Rishabh Pant has worked on his fitness since the tour of Australia. Ponting said that Pant has trimmed down, he’s now fit and focused and has been winning games for India consistently.