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Ricky Ponting Confirms Pant’s Confidence for Full IPL 2024 Participation

Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting says Rishabh Pant is “very confident” he will play the complete IPL, but he is unsure if he can captain or keep wicket while he recovers from a catastrophic car accident.

Pant has not performed since his December 2022 car accident, when he feared his “time in this world was over.”

Ponting on Pant: Confident Availability

Ponting, Washington Freedom’s new MLC coach, said Pant was optimistic about his availability for the season, but anything they receive from him is a bonus on Wednesday in Melbourne.

“Rishabh is very confident that he’s going to be right to play,” he said. We’re unsure of capacity.

“You can see from social media that he’s active and healthy. We’re also six weeks until the first game. We’re not sure if he’ll keep wickets this year.

“If I ask him now, he’ll say, ‘I’m playing every game, I’m keeping every game and I’m batting at No.4.'” That’s his nature, but we’ll hope.

“He plays dynamically. Our skipper. We missed him greatly last year.

“Considering his last 12-13 months, it was a tragic tragedy. He’s lucky to have survived, let alone play cricket again.

Ponting on Pant: Confident Availability

Squad Assessment

Ponting said David Warner would skipper again if Rishabh Pant was unavailable. The coach liked the team following the December auction, although it had underperformed in the prior two seasons.

“With Harry Brook coming into the set-up as well, so Warner, [Mitch] Marsh, Harry Brook, we’ve got some really good overseas batters,” added Ponting.

“Marsh and Warner will bat up top, and Harry Brook has been finishing off for England, so he’ll likely finish for us.

“[If] we can get [Anrich] Nortje and Jhye Richardson fit, and with the two spin options we’ve got with Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav we’ve got a really good squad that to be fair has probably underperformed the last couple of years, so we’ve got some work to do.”

David Warner would skipper

“Our batting was disappointing last year,” Ponting added. Many of the guys we thought could handle challenging circumstances in Delhi, a spinning pitch, weren’t good enough.

To be honest, our home venue is problematic. We arrive at every game unsure of the wicket.

Ponting’s Insights

“You go to the auction expecting one surface and get five or seven pitches, which makes it difficult. We lacked batting quality last year, so we’ve sought to improve that this year.

“We went deep with two talented young Indian players we think can play right away. The IPL is a year away from the main auction, so you can’t invest too much in young players and expect quick results. You must find the top ready-to-play talent. We have several this year.”

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