India have no better option than to pick Rishabh Pant as Dhoni’s deputy in World Cup, feels Ricky Ponting
Ponting believes all is not lost for Pant as the World Cup squad is yet to be picked.
Updated - Mar 16, 2019 5:19 pm
Young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant was picked ahead of the more experienced Dinesh Karthik for the five-ODI series against Australia recently as the selectors wanted to give him one final chance to make his point as a World Cup probable. However, Pant did not impress in the last two matches in Mohali and his home ground Delhi, either as a keeper or a batsman. His keeping came under intense criticism in Mohali where he missed stumping and run-out chances and was mocked for trying to ape the veteran Mahendra Sing Dhoni’s ‘no-see run-out’ style but in vain. With the bat also, Pant could not produce anything magical.
It is clear now that Dhoni, who was rested for the final two clashes against Australia, will make it to the WC squad as the main keeper, the race could still be on between Pant and Karthik for the second gloveman’s position. Even though nobody is clear now as to who will make the cut eventually, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes that there is no better option for India than to pick Pant as Dhoni’s deputy at the showpiece event. Pant has played just five ODIs so far and the games against Australia saw him keeping the wickets in 50-overs games for the first time.
A good IPL could change things for Pant, feels Ponting
Ponting believes all is not lost for Pant as the World Cup squad is yet to be picked. A good season at the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) would see the 21-year-old regain his popularity. Pant will play for home-based franchise Delhi Capitals who also have Ponting as their head coach.
“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. If he can win a couple of games for us then everything will be forgotten. I can’t see anyone better than him as a second wicketkeeper in that Indian World Cup squad,” the two-time World Cup-winning captain was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
Even though India captain Virat Kohli said recently that the performance in the IPL would have no bearing on the selection of the WC squad, for some players, the T20 tournament will certainly be the final opportunity to give it a try. Pant has done well in the longer format so far and is rightly seen as Dhoni’s worthy successor, but he still has to cover some distance in the limited-overs format.