Players like Rishabh Pant can help lift World Cup: Ricky Ponting

Players like Rishabh Pant can help lift World Cup: Ricky Ponting

Pant didn't have the best of times in the limited-overs series against Australia.

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

India’s Test sensation the Uttarakhand-born Rishabh Pant is yet to come up with an equal display of his batting prowess in the limited-over formats and the ordinary show with both the bat and gloves in the recently concluded ODI series against Australia at home hasn’t helped his cause.

Pant, who was picked ahead of the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik for the series, played in the final two games in Mohali and Delhi. While he still batted decently in Mohali, he failed big time in the keeper’s role. Furthermore, the southpaw failed to make a score big enough to earn a certain place in the India squad for the World Cup starting in May.

Pant had a good last season in IPL

The race for the final squad berths is still on and it could be the cricketers’ performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting March 23 that could play a determining role. Pant will be playing next for his home-based franchise Delhi Capitals (DC) in the IPL and head coach Ricky Ponting has backed the 21-year-old cricketer describing him as one of those players who can help the team win the World Cup. He said these in a press conference.

Pant made his debut in the IPL in 2016 and in 38 matches that he has played in three seasons, he has scored over 1,200 runs at an average of 35-plus and an impressive strike rate of 162-plus. Last year, the batsman was in a terrific form as he gathered 684 runs in 14 matches at an average of 52-plus and strike-rate of 173-plus. He even hit an unbeaten 128 against Sunrisers Hyderabad – his maiden ton in IPL.

The Capitals (they changed their names from Daredevils) have revamped their side this year and there are some big names in the side that can reverse the franchise’s dry luck in the competition since inception. Pant will be one of them and a more-than-satisfactory performance in the IPL can indeed earn him a lead in the race over the closest competitors to earn a World Cup berth.

The presence of some of modern cricket’s best brains in Ponting and former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who the Capitals roped in as advisor recently, will also help Pant improve his game. DC will play their first game in this IPL against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on March 24.

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