Melbourne [Australia] : Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting that Rishabh Pant is ‘very confident’ about playing the entire Indian Premier League (IPL) but the former Baggy Greens star is unsure whether he would be able to play the wicketkeeping role.
Pant is yet to make an appearance after the injuries that he sustained during an accident in December 2022.
Ahead of the upcoming IPL season, Ponting stated that Pant was optimistic about his return but the former Australia skipper feels that anything that they get from the 26-year-old will be bonus for the team.
‘Rishabh is very confident that he’s going to be right to play. In what capacity we’re not quite sure yet. You would have seen all the social-media stuff, he’s up and about and running well. But in saying that we’re only six weeks away from the first game as well. So we’re not sure if we’ll get wicketkeeping out of him this year,’ Ponting said as quoted from ESPNcricinfo.
‘But I’ll guarantee if I asked him now he’ll say, ‘I’m playing every game, I’m keeping every game and I’m batting at No.4.’ That’s just what he’s like, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed. He’s such a dynamic player. He’s obviously our captain. We missed him incredibly last year. If you understand the journey he’s been on the last 12-13 months, it was a horrific incident. One that I know he feels very lucky to have even survived, let alone have the chance to play cricket again,’ Ponting added.
‘We’ll just keep our fingers crossed and hope that he can be out there and play. Even if it’s not all the games, if we can manage him through 10 of the 14 games or whatever that might be then whatever games you can get out of him will be a bonus,’ Ponting stated.
Ponting further went on to reveal that Australia’s veteran batter David Warner will assume the captaincy role if Pant would be unavailable to do the job.
‘With Harry Brook coming into the set-up as well, so Warner, [Mitch] Marsh, Harry Brook, we’ve got some really good overseas batters. Marsh and Warner will bat up the top somewhere and Harry Brook has been finishing off with England, so he’ll probably play a finishing role for us there,’ Ponting said.
‘[If] we can get [Anrich] Nortje and Jhye Richardson fit, and with the two spin options we’ve got with Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav we’ve got a really good squad that to be fair has probably underperformed the last couple of years, so we’ve got some work to do,’ Ponting added.