Ricky Ponting ‘surprised’ to not see Rishabh Pant in India’s World Cup squad
Though Ponting was relieved that the decision has been finally made and the youngster can solely focus on the IPL now.
Updated - Apr 19, 2019 10:50 am
Rishabh Pant’s surprising omission from India’s World Cup squad has become a major topic of discussion ever since MSK Prasad announced the 15-man squad. Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting is the latest person to give his take on the matter. Regarded as MS Dhoni’s worthy successor, Pant was backed by the majority to make it to the World Cup although he had failed to deliver in the limited chances he got in white-ball cricket.
When Pant was included in the ODI team for the Australia series in place of Karthik, it looked like he would pip the latter for a spot in the World Cup squad. However, the way he performed especially with the wicketkeeping gloves, it left a lot to be desired. The MSK Prasad-led selection panel then sprung a big surprise by recalling the ‘experienced’ Dinesh Karthik to be Dhoni’s backup in the tournament.
Ponting, however, seems to be unimpressed by the decision as he said he was surprised to see Pant being left out of India’s World Cup squad. Speaking to the media ahead of the game against Mumbai Indians, the Delhi coach said that Pant could have been the X-factor for the Men in Blue at the World Cup.
“I was surprised when he was left out of the squad. I thought he’ll be in and I thought he’ll actually play in the starting eleven. I thought that someone like him batting at No. 4 or 5 in their side would have just been that sort of player who could have had that X-factor about him that could have been the difference between India and some other teams in the World Cup.
One thing that we know about Indian cricket is that there is a lot of depth around, particularly around the batting side. Unfortunately this time Rishabh is the one that has missed out but as I said, I think knowing what he’s like and the talent he’s got I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t play at least three World Cups before his career is over,” said Ponting.
Pant, meanwhile, was later named in India’s standby list for the World Cup. India named Pant, Ambati Rayudu and Navdeep Saini as the three standbys.
India’s loss is Delhi’s gain
While Ricky Ponting is surprised to see Rishabh Pant missing out on a World Cup spot, he feels it is a good news for Delhi as the wicketkeeper-batsman can now solely focus on the IPL
“What’s been a negative thing for him, not being picked in the Indian team, I think it’ll be a really positive thing for the Delhi Capitals. I’m really happy that that decision has been made now and he can focus just on being the best player that he can be for the Capitals through the back half of this tournament,” Ponting concluded.