Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting expressed confidence in Rishabh Pant’s ability to participate in every match of IPL 2024. Pant, recovering from a serious car accident over a year ago, has been steadily progressing and aims to regain fitness for the upcoming tournament.
Rishabh Pant has been on the sidelines since the unfortunate car accident in December 2022, but his recent social media posts indicate that he is making significant strides in his recovery. While there is optimism about his return to competitive cricket, it remains to be seen if he will be able to handle the demanding roles of wicketkeeping, batting, and captaincy simultaneously. Additionally, there is the possibility that he may only feature as a specialist batter, utilizing the impact player rule if necessary.
Ricky Ponting Made A Big Revelation About Rishabh Pant’s Comeback
Ricky Ponting, now the head coach of Major League Cricket (MLC) franchise Washington Freedom, is cautiously hopeful about Pant’s comeback to 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 added that he anticipates Pant to be determined to take on all responsibilities with the franchise, rather than gradually returning to the sport after a long break. Ponting said:
“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,”
In the 2023 IPL, without Pant, Delhi Capitals (DC) struggled under David Warner’s captaincy, finishing ninth. They lost their first five matches, missing the playoffs again. Pant, with coach Ponting, attended the 2024 IPL mini-auction in Dubai. He’s training in Bengaluru’s National Cricket Academy for his comeback. The coach is hopeful Pant will play at least some games, which would be a big boost for DC.
“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 added.
If Pant cannot fulfill his full role, including keeping wickets and captaining, David Warner may lead the team once more. Despite a strong batting lineup with players like Warner and Marsh, DC struggled. Shaw’s poor form and Pant’s absence added to their woes. Ponting highlighted the slow pitch at Arun Jaitley Stadium, a concern he also noted during the recent BBL season.
“We’ve got some challenges with our home venue to be honest. We rock up every game, we’re not really sure exactly what sort of wicket we’re going to get. So you’d go to the auction expecting you’re going to get one [type] of surface and you rock up for five games, seven games there and you get five different pitches so that does make it hard. But we definitely lacked on batting quality last year, which is what we’ve tried to really improve on this year,” Ponting concluded.
Ponting confirms Rishabh Pant is very confident to play the full IPL but unsure whether he will be able to captain or keep wickets for the whole tournament. [Espn Cricinfo] pic.twitter.com/2rs9FzK6tt
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) February 7, 2024
Before IPL 2024, DC has revamped their batting lineup, releasing Phil Salt and Rovman Powell, and adding new faces like Harry Brook, Tristan Stubbs, Kumar Kushagra, and Shai Hope.