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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

UNI

, Tuesday, 28 May 2024 (15:17 IST)
Dubai: 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 Australian legend was amazed at the impact the India star had during the IPL and is expecting him to perform well at the T20 World Cup.
 
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,” Ponting told The ICC Review.
 
“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," he said.
 
“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 said.
 
“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," Ponting said.
 
“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,” he said.
 
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,” Ponting said.
 
“But with his wicket-keeping, and having to squat every ball for 14 games in a row, there were certainly some concerns there,” he said.
 
Pant finished the league stage of the IPL with 16 dismissals, the joint-most by any wicket-keeper 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,” the Aussie legend said.
 
“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," Ponting 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," Ponting said.
 
“But it's been a remarkable comeback, and hopefully he has a huge impact on this World Cup,” Ponting added.

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