Ricky Ponting backs Rishabh Pant to play T20 World Cup

The wicketkeeper-batter has come back from a life-threatening injury

By Web Desk
April 16, 2024
Ricky Ponting and Rishabh Pant. - BCCI

Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting has supported star wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, stating that he ought to be selected for India's squad in the forthcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024.

While recognising the depth of talent in India's cricket, especially in the wicketkeeping-batter position with players such as Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, and KL Rahul in fine form, Ponting firmly stated that if he were choosing the team, Rishabh Pant would consistently be his pick.

"Do I believe whether Rishabh should be there in the World Cup squad? Absolutely I do. He deserves to be in that WT20 squad by the end of the IPL, I think we have seen Rishabh play the way we have seen him play in the last six seasons of IPL and now back playing for India," told in an exclusive interview with PTI.

"One thing we certainly know that there is a lot of depth around Indian cricket, with keeper batters and I feel some guys are in really good form at the moment. Kishan is playing well, Samson is playing well and KL Rahul is playing well, there's a lot of options there but if I was picking a team, I would have Rishabh Pant in it every day of the week," he added.

Pant's remarkable journey to full fitness for the IPL, following a life-threatening car accident 14 months prior, has silenced any lingering doubts about his abilities.

Despite a cautious start with the bat, the talented and composed cricketer swiftly regained his form, showcasing his trademark efficiency behind the stumps and his audacious stroke play. Far from being subdued by his time away from the game, Pant's absence seems to have honed his unorthodox style and playful demeanour.

Embracing his second chance with gratitude, the DC captain has approached his game with a newfound sense of adventure, balanced with maturity, evident in his performance for the struggling Capitals. Amidst the team's challenges, Pant has emerged as a reliable force, amassing an impressive 194 runs at a strike rate of 157.72, including 16 fours and 11 sixes, in just 123 deliveries.

India's options diminish beyond the top four batters, making Rishabh Pant's left-handed batting style and flexibility as a floater even more valuable. After recuperating, Pant has demonstrated his peak physical condition and form, establishing himself as a standout choice.