scorecardRicky Ponting backs Rishabh Pant to have a huge impact at T20 World Cup
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Ricky Ponting backs Rishabh Pant to have a huge impact at T20 World Cup

Ricky Ponting backs Rishabh Pant to have a huge impact at T20 World Cup
Sports2 min read
Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting has labelled Rishabh Pant's roaring comeback to professional cricket after a major car accident as "nothing short of spectacular."

The swashbuckling left-hander made 446 runs at an average of 40.54 and a strike-rate of 155.40 while claiming a joint-high 16 dismissals with the gloves during the most recent India Premier League season.

"It's been nothing short of spectacular, to be honest. I spent a few months with him in the middle of the IPL last year, which was only sort of three or four months after his accident. And I had grave fears then that he would never play the game again. What he'd been through psychologically, but what he'd been through physically. At that stage, he still couldn't walk," Ponting told The ICC Review.

"He was on crutches. And I remember saying to him, what do you think about next season? He just looked at me and said, don't worry, I'll be right. And he's looked after himself incredibly well. The Delhi Capitals franchise has done a great job looking after him. Patrick Farhart has been his physio. He's done a great job with him as well," the former Australia skipper added.

While Pant's efforts with the bat were eye-catching, what saw him return to the Indian squad for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 was his quality keeping.

Ponting admitted that the real concern around Pant was how he would handle the wicket-keeping load.

"No one had real concerns about his batting, because of how good he is and how dynamic he is with the bat. But with his wicket-keeping, and having to squat every ball for 14 games in a row, there were certainly some concerns there," Ponting said.

Pant finished the league stage of the IPL with 16 dismissals, the joint-most by any wicketkeeper in the season.

On the back of his impressive showing behind and in front of the stumps, Pant was named in India's T20 World Cup squad, as predicted by Ponting.

"I was asked when I was over there what I thought about him. He'd been picked in the Indian squad, and I basically said he'd be one of the first players picked, and sure enough he was," the Aussie legend said.

"So, great to see him back out there playing again. I've enjoyed every moment of working with him. Obviously, he's been the captain of the Delhi Capitals, and I've been the coach there. But it's been a remarkable comeback, and hopefully he has a huge impact on this World Cup," the 49-year-old concluded.


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