With a lot of hopes on Rishabh Pant to emerge as a capable successor to MS Dhoni behind the stumps for India once the 37-year-old retires, former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has backed the youngster to be Dhoni’s deputy in the upcoming World Cup, slated to begin on May 30 in England and Wales. “If he can win a couple of games for us (IPL side Delhi Capitals) then everything will be forgotten. I can’t see anyone better than him as a second wicketkeeper in that Indian World Cup squad,” Ponting said.
Ponting, who is currently with Delhi Capitals in the capacity of head coach, said Pant will step into his own with a few confidence-building knocks in the upcoming IPL, a tournament where he has always done well.
India’s 15-member squad for the showpiece event is still to be picked and Ponting has said some good knocks from Pant for the Delhi Capitals would make him the favourite.
Notably, Pant was subjected to “Dhoni, Dhoni” chants in Mohali during the fourth One-Day International between India and Australia after the stumper missed a couple of stumping chances.
“I think it’s actually a big job for me and the coaches when he comes in, to make him forget what’s happened in the last few days. He’s probably lucky it happened in the last couple of games. It would have been hard to play all five games under that kind of pressure. Now he’s back in a competition where he has dominated in the past,” Ponting said.
Pant has been termed as Dhoni’s successor but the Delhi boy hasn’t received many opportunities in the presence of the experienced stumper.
However, with Dhoni likely to retire after the World Cup, the Delhi lad would get more opportunities to showcase his talent.
(With IANS Inputs)