Rishabh Pant has enjoyed a magical year so far. He started 2021 with the historic conquest of The Gabba, helping India to win consecutive Border Gavaskar Trophies away from home. He was elected ICC’s Player of the Month in January.
Pant followed that success up with dominant performances against England during the Test series and the ODI series and has earned plaudits from legends, past and present. Ahead of IPL 2021, he was handed the captaincy of Delhi Capitals in the absence of regular skipper Shreyas Iyer who’s out with a long-term shoulder injury.
Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting believes that if Rishabh Pant sticks until the end in an innings, no target seems big enough, which is also the case for Indian skipper Virat Kohli and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.
“Someone like him (Pant), you want him to get involved in the game as early as possible, and bat for as long as possible,”
“The way he thinks, he is actually a bit like Virat or Kane. Now, if they are in at the end, you are going to win more often than not no matter how many runs are required,” Ponting told cricket.com-au.
The legendary Australian captain also showered plenty of praise on Rishabh Pant for his enthusiasm and energy which often keeps his team going through dull moments. Ponting believes Pant has the qualities of a ‘winner.’
“He is energetic and you can hear that from behind the stumps, he loves being in the contest and he is a winner,” the DC coach was all praise for his captain.
Asked about the comparisons between Pant and Gilchrist, because both of them are attacking left-handed wicket-keeper batsmen, Ponting said there’s obvious room for improvement when it comes to Rishabh’s glovework.
The comparisons are always going to be always there for someone who bats like that,” Ponting said. “Gilly’s keeping is better than Rishabh’s no doubt about that. The way I saw him keep on turning pitches in India (vs England), I thought he kept way better than I thought he could,” said Ponting, known for his bluntness.
“If his keeping improves, with his batting, he could be India’s keeper in Tests for next 10-12 years no doubt.”