Ahead of the much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) auction on Saturday and Sunday, Delhi Capitals’ head coach Ricky Ponting has lauded his captain Rishabh Pant’s style in the field saying, it’s hard to put a finger on him as a player or a character.
While opinion is divided over the 24-year-old cricketer’s aggressive and, at times, unorthodox style of batting, Ponting says Pant is a fun-loving and energetic player.
Delhi Capitals have decided to retain Pant, Axar Patel, opening batter Prithvi Shaw and South African quick Anrich Nortje.
“It’s a bit hard to put a finger on him (Pant) as a player or a character,” said Ponting, who has worked closely with Pant during his time as coach of the Delhi Capitals, on Friday. Pant captained the Delhi Capitals to the playoffs in his first season in the role in 2021.
“What you see with his cricket is exactly what he is off the field. He is fun-loving and energetic. He is not much of a risk-taking guy off the field; he is always a fun guy to be around. He is always laughing loud and you always know when he is in the room. You know when he is playing cards or you know when he is about to walk into the team meeting,” said the Australian great to ICC.
“If you think about those things, he is exactly what he is like on the field. You have heard him behind the stumps; we all have heard him behind the stumps, the way he constantly talks through the course of the day. Then we have seen what he does with the bat, whether it be T20 cricket, 50-over cricket or some of his unbelievable knocks in Test cricket.
Pant is also, India’s one of the front contenders for the Test captaincy role following Virat Kohli’s resignation from the post.
Ponting also had high praise for Pant captaincy, adding that he was extremely happy with the wicketkeeter-batter’s work ethic.
“Last year, he led the team really, really well,” said Ponting. “We obviously had a disappointing finish to our IPL campaign last year, but I think with him at the helm again this year, it will make him a better leader and make us a stronger franchise. I can’t wait to get back and work with him again.