IPL 2019: Ponting backs Rishabh Pant to fire again after poor series against Australia

Sudhir Gupta 16:51 16/03/2019
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Rishabh Pant did not have the best of times against Australia.

Its been a tough period of late in international cricket for Rishabh Pant but Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting is backing the youngster to turn it around when the Indian Premier League (IPL) gets under way.

Pant had a tough time behind the stumps and with the bat in the fourth and fifth ODIs between India and Australia after standing in for MS Dhoni. The hosts would ultimately go on to lose the series 2-3 with Pant’s shoddy glovework coming under increasing criticism.

However, Ponting believes the young wicketkeeper batsman can rediscover his best in the upcoming IPL and is backing him to make the cut for India’s World Cup squad.

“I think it’s actually a big job for me and the coaches when he (Pant) comes in, to make him forget what’s happened in the last few days,” Ponting told the Times of India.

“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. Now he’s back in a competition where he has dominated in the past.

Pant was guilty of fluffing multiple chances against Australia.

Pant was guilty of fluffing multiple chances against Australia.

“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 wicketkeeper in that Indian World Cup squad.”

Having finished at the bottom of the IPL standings in 2019, the Delhi Capitals are aiming to win their maiden title. In a bid to shake things up, the franchise had roped in India stalwart Shikhar Dhawan from Sunrisers Hyderabad while appointing Sourav Ganguly as the team advisor.

With Dhawan in the squad, Ponting believes Delhi can put on a good show in the upcoming edition.

“You have to make sure you get the guys you know a lot about, then slot them into certain roles. This year we’ve got Shikhar Dhawan,” the former Australia skipper stated.

“We needed that really good Indian top-order batsman who averages about 450 runs a season for four-five years. That allows us to play a majority of foreign bowlers.”

Led by Shreyas Iyer, Delhi Capitals will open their 2019 IPL campaign on March 24 with an away clash against Mumbai Indians.

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