'We aren't sure if....' - Ricky Ponting gives major update on Rishabh Pant's IPL 2024 participation
Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting has said that Rishabh Pant is confident of playing the entire IPL 2024. Pant suffered a car horrific accident on 30th December, 2022, which has kept him away from playing cricket. He has missed last year’s IPL, 2023 ODI World Cup and all the series that has taken place after his accident.
Ponting says that he is not sure if Rishabh will be able to take the gloves this season or not. "Rishabh is very confident that he's going to be right to play. In what capacity we're not quite sure yet. You would have seen all the social-media stuff, he's up and about and running well. But in saying that we're only six weeks away from the first game as well. So, we're not sure if we'll get wicketkeeping out of him this year," Ponting said.
He further added, "But I'll guarantee if I asked him now he'll say, 'I'm playing every game, I'm keeping every game and I'm batting at No.4.' That's just what he's like, but we'll keep our fingers crossed.
Warner will lead DC if Pant isn’t ready to lead: Ponting
Ponting also feels that if Pant can play 10 out of 14 games, that will be a bonus for them. "He's such a dynamic player. He's obviously our captain. We missed him incredibly last year. If you understand the journey he's been on the last 12-13 months, it was a horrific incident. One that I know he feels very lucky to have even survived, let alone have the chance to play cricket again,” he added.
"We'll just keep our fingers crossed and hope that he can be out there and play. Even if it's not all the games, if we can manage him through 10 of the 14 games or whatever that might be then whatever games you can get out of him will be a bonus," the former Australian skipper said. He also confirmed that David Warner will lead Delhi Capitals if Pant isn't ready to lead the team.
"With Harry Brook coming into the set-up as well, so Warner, Marsh, Harry Brook, we've got some really good overseas batters. Marsh and Warner will bat up the top somewhere and Harry Brook has been finishing off with England, so he'll probably play a finishing role for us there,” Ponting said.
"If we can get Nortje and Jhye Richardson fit, and with the two spin options we've got with Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav we've got a really good squad that to be fair has probably underperformed the last couple of years, so we've got some work to do," he further added.
Pant has also been spotted doing some mild fitness exercises on social media which augurs well for his team. Delhi Capitals finished 9th in IPL 2023 just above Sunrisers Hyderabad who finished last. They will look to start this season on a high.