Ranji Trophy: Bhaskar backing skipper Pant to fire in final

“Last season, he (Rishab Pant) was a newcomer. Earlier, nobody knew about him. Now, people have assessed him. He is a natural player, I have not asked him to curb the shots,” Delhi coach K.P. Bhaskar said.

Last season, Pant was named the skipper of Delhi in the limited-overs tournament after reports of Gautam Gambhir getting into a confrontation with Bhaskar emerged.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

The cricketing fraternity may be divided over what has clicked for Delhi in this edition of the Ranji Trophy, but coach K.P. Bhaskar believes that everyone’s contribution has helped the side perform better.

“A team clicks when everyone contributes. We may not have (posted) too many big hundreds this season but everyone has been chipping in with a fifty or a seventy or an eighty,” Bhaskar said on Thursday, quickly adding: “We are working as a unit and that’s what matters.”

Pant & Co.'s road to final

While he was not too willing to reveal the team strategy for the final, Bhaskar backed skipper Rishabh Pant, who hasn’t had a good outing with the bat. “Last season, he was a newcomer. Earlier, nobody knew about him. Now, people have assessed him. He is a natural player, I have not asked him to curb the shots,” Bhaskar said, hoping that the stylish batsman would return to form in the final.

Last season, Pant was named the skipper of Delhi in the limited-overs tournament after reports of Gautam Gambhir getting into a confrontation with Bhaskar emerged. But in quick time, the youngster has earned his coach’s confidence. “He (Pant) was named captain last season itself. He led in the one-day games. He is improving. If the last game you had seen, there was a lot of improvement in his field-placing and the approach he has been able to inculcate in others,” the coach said.

'What exactly has the DDCA done to improve the game?'

Another factor, which Bhaskar feels, that has worked for the team is the fact that the players are given a lot of free hand. “We discuss a lot many things when they come out in the breaks but otherwise he has been given a lot of free hand. In the end, they have to perform. No matter what you tell them, they have to execute those plans inside,” the coach pointed out.

With things looking good, Bhaskar would be hoping to leave Indore with a smile on his face.