IPL 2021: “Rishabh Pant is very strong in his own thoughts and opinions” - Ricky Ponting

Rishabh Pant. Pic: DC/ Twitter
Rishabh Pant. Pic: DC/ Twitter

Delhi Capitals’ head coach Ricky Ponting has described Rishabh Pant as someone who understands cricket very well and is very opinionated.

Rishabh Pant will lead Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021, as the team's regular captain Shreyas Iyer has been ruled out due to a shoulder injury.

In an interview posted on Delhi Capitals’ official Twitter handle, Ponting shared his views on Rishabh Pant’s personality and his rise as a batsman, saying in this regard:

“What I know about Rishabh (Pant) is that he understands the game really well. He is very strong in his own thoughts and opinions. That will hold him in great stead as far as captaincy is concerned.”

Ponting added that he has had chats with Rishabh Pant over the last few days, and admitted that the 23-year-old will need the backing of his seniors as far as leadership is concerned.

“I think if we can get most of the talking done with Rishabh (Pant) about his captaincy leading into the first game, we don’t have to worry about it as the tournament starts. The last thing you want is to be overloading the captain with all sorts of information once the tournament is underway. It’s a big part of my job. It’s a big part of the other coaches’ jobs but also the senior players. It’s a big role for them as well to help him when needed once the game starts. He is going to need a little bit of support,” Ponting further said in the interview.

Rishabh Pant’s cricket over the last few months has been breathtaking: Ricky Ponting

While some cricket pundits have been blown away by Rishabh Pant’s amazing rise as a match-winner in recent months, Ponting is least surprised with the 23-year-old’s success.

According to the DC coach, Rishabh Pant always had the talent to succeed at the top level. Ponting said in this regard:

“I am not surprised. I have known how talented Rishabh is since the moment I laid eyes on him. When he got back into the Test team in Australia, I actually made a comment before a ball was bowled in the second Test match that this would be the unearthing of a 15-year Test player for India. I was that confident in him. He is on track to doing just that. His cricket over the last 6-7 months has been nothing short of breathtaking and outstanding. He is being compared now with some of the great wicketkeeper-batsmen in the world. Extra responsibility is going to sit well with him. He wants to be the main man, the leader.”

Ponting also expressed confidence that Delhi Capitals can go one step ahead and win the IPL this year, saying:

“I think we can win the IPL, as simple as that. It is all about winning and how we can go one step further than we went last year. I think our squad is stronger than it was last year. I am thrilled with the players we have got here.”

Delhi Capitals will face Chennai Super Kings in their IPL 2021 tournament opener at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 10.

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Edited by Bhargav
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