April 21: Two-time winner of the World Cup, ex-Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting said that he has no doubt about Pant’s future as a successful Indian captain if he gets the responsibility in future. In the absence of Shreyas Iyer due to an injury, Pant took over the leadership of Delhi Capitals in 2021. The team management, led by Ponting has yet again shown their faith in Pant as Shreyas has been picked up to lead KKR for this season.
Pant has a similar journey to Rohit: Ponting
Rohit Sharma rose to become the most successful skipper of the tournament, having got the trophy five times for Mumbai Indians. Ponting feels that there are lots of similarities between Rohit and Pant.
Ponting pointed out that Rohit was quite young when he started leading MI. In fact, his international cricketing career had just begun. Pant is currently at almost the same age now, i.e., around 23 – 24. They are similar in the sense that they became young skippers of successful franchises and kept improving from there onward. The coach firmly believes that Pant can achieve the same heights that Rohit has for MI in every IPL schedule.
Though Rohit has become the Indian captain after Virat Kohli, the former is already 34 and he isn’t getting any younger. Eventually, Pant might be seen as a suitable candidate for the captaincy – even the legend Sunil Gavaskar agrees to this possibility.
At the beginning of this year, Pant became Rohit’s vice-captain in Cricket ICC T20 vs. West Indies because KL Rahul was absent due to an injury. Ponting lauded that Pant, the wicketkeeper-batsman for team India in every format, has depicted real maturity in all these years
Delhi being depleted but confident
Apart from the Aussie recruits like David Warner, Delhi will miss their leading South African pacer, Anrich Nortje due to hip injury – at least for the initial matches. Mustafizur Rahman and Lungi Ngidi are the part of an ongoing ODI series between Bangladesh and South Africa. Thus, they will be absent for the initial matches as well.
Nevertheless, Ponting is not losing hope. He said that most IPL teams are on the same boat as Delhi. So, the team just has to push forward and make sure the players are prepared and ready. He agreed that it’s a bit of a weakening side, but still maintained that they will have a good stint.
Pant hopes of big things from Powell
On the other hand, Pant believes the talented all-rounder from West Indies to be the team’s X-factor. He praised the immense power of the cricketer and said that it’s a major advantage to have him come at number four or five. Delhi was looking for a strong batsman down the order, and Powell can do that job.
Pant is also excited to have the veteran opener from Sunrisers Hyderabad, David Warner on his side. He claimed to be “very happy” with Warner’s inclusion in the Delhi franchise for this year’s IPL.