NEW DELHI: Ahead of their clash against Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting was bombarded with questions about Rishabh Pant and his omission from India’s World Cup squad. The former Australia captain went on to praise the Delhi boy’s attitude while also revealing that India missed a trick by not naming him in their 15.
Dinesh Karthik was named in his stead despite not playing in India’s last limited-overs series against Australia. And Ponting could not figure out why such a decision was taken.“I was surprised to see his name being omitted. I thought he will be included. I actually felt he would be in their starting XI. Someone like him could have played at No 4 or 5, and could have been the X-factor and the difference between India and other teams in England. I don’t know why and don’t understand their (selectors) reasoning,” he said on Wednesday.
The two-time World Cup winning captain was one of the first to go and meet the wicketkeeper-batsman. He remarked that Pant had taken his exclusion quite well. He also confidently announced that a talent like Pant would go a long way in international cricket. “I had a quick chat with him on Monday night, after the team was named. He seemed to have taken it quite well.
For sure he is quite disappointed. He would have loved to be a part of the squad and so would have quite a few other players. The main thing for him to remember is he is still very young and has the potential to play in another three, four World Cups during the course of his career.”
While former greats like Sunil Gavaskar have come out and explained that Pant may have missed out because of his lack of patience and his tendency to throw his wicket away, the 44-year-old had nothing but praise for the rising India star.“I can say that he is not impatient. He sums up conditions and in-game situations very well. I know him to be very talented and a determined guy. He can single-handedly dictate the outcome of a match. He won us the opening match against Mumbai while playing a key role in Kolkata.”
Sometimes a setback can unleash a different player, and that is exactly what Ponting is banking on in Pant’s case. Having seen him day in and day out, Ponting feels Monday’s development will aid the franchise in their quest to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2012.“What was negative for him will be a positive for us. I’m really happy that the decision has been made. He can now focus on being the best player he can for Capitals for the second part of our campaign. You guys might see a different player in the back half of the tournament. I’m sure he will score heavily. The main thing for him now is to win matches for DC. He wants to be part of a successful Delhi team.”