The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 will get underway on Saturday evening but Delhi Capitals will play their first match on Sunday against five-time champions Mumbai Indians. Head coach Ricky Ponting has seen the growth and evolution of Rishabh Pant up close and the former Australian skipper believes that the Indian wicket-keeper can make big it as an international skipper as well. Under Rishabh Pant’s leadership, Delhi Capitals had made it to the playoffs of last year’s IPL.
“Rishabh Pant’s evolution not in just the last year, this is my fifth season with the Delhi Capitals and evolution of Rishabh as a player and person has been quite dramatic. He has more responsibility now in and within the Indian team and he is leading the Delhi Capitals. Lots of learning experiences for him in the last 12-18 months will keep helping him become a better person and leader. There is no doubt that his maturity in the last 12-18 months has been outstanding. He has a good grasp on what leadership is all about,” said Ponting on Saturday during a virtual press conference.
It is interesting to remember that Ricky Ponting was around the Mumbai Indians setup when Rohit Sharma was handed the franchise’s captaincy. And some years down the line, everyone knows how good Rohit has been as a leader.
When asked to compare the scenarios surrounding Rohit and Rishabh’s captaincy, Ponting said: “I have never thought about it but I think they both are quite similar. When Rohit took over at Mumbai Indians, he was a young man. To be totally honest, they are quite similar and I know Rishabh and Rohit are great mates. They talk all the time, probably exchanging some notes about captaincy as well.”
“I think there is a chance of Rishabh’s journey being quite similar to Rohit Sharma. Taking over as the captain of a successful franchise and growing on a daily basis. Some experience in a role like this in a high-pressure tournament like the IPL, then I have no doubt that there is every chance that Rishabh can be a successful international captain as well,” the World Cup-winning captain stated.
While replying to an NDTV query on whether Rovman Powell can be an X-Factor for the franchise, Rishabh Pant said: “Definitely, I guess. He has immense power and especially batting at No.4 or 5 for us, he will be really good for us this season. We have been looking for a batter who can bat at the top of the order. Marcus Stoinis was there with us, and hopefully, Rovman can live up to his expectations for us this season.”
Delhi Capitals Squad: Rishabh Pant, David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh, Sarfaraz Khan, KS Bharat, Mandeep Singh, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Anrich Nortje, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, Khaleel Ahmed, Ashwin Hebbar, Ripal Patel, Yash Dhull, Vicky Ostwal, Lungi Ngidi, Tim Seifert, Praveen Dubey, Rovman Powell, Lalit Yadav.
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