Former Australia captain and Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting said the IPL franchise will work towards making sure the likes of Rishabh Pant and Shikhar Dhawan are not thinking too far ahead about the World Cup.
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He may have received a lot of flak for sloppy glove work behind the stumps and playing unconventional, bordering irresponsible, shots with the bat at times but former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting believes that Rishabh Pant has a good head on his shoulders and could be India’s second wicketkeeper in the World Cup along with MS Dhoni.
Ponting spent a lot of time with Pant during the last IPL season and has seen the youngster becoming India’s X-factor in all formats.
“Rishabh Pant is not only an exceptional talent but also a real good thinker about the game. He has got a really mature head on his shoulders while on the field and probably a little immature off it with some of the things he does. But, he is a fun-loving, young character. I think he is a very mature and a good a leader too. He understands the game and the situations really well,” Ponting told India Today in an interview.
With 684 runs from 14 games, Pant was IPL 2018’s second highest run-getter, only behind Kane Williamson. This included one hundred and five half-centuries. Name, jerseys, ownership has changed – Delhi Daredevils is now Delhi Capitals – but head coach Ponting is expecting the same form from the 21-year-old this season as well.
“I would love to have him the same season he had last year. I think he scored over 650 runs last year and was the leading run-scorer. I would like that to happen again. You just have to make sure that with the guys like Shreyas (Iyer), Prithvi (Shaw), Rishabh, and even Shikhar (Dhawan) to a certain degree, that they are not thinking too far ahead about the World Cup, are fully invested in playing well for the Delhi Capitals in the IPL, giving us a chance to win the tournament. That is what we will be talking to them in the next couple of weeks before our first game,” said Ponting.