The absence of Rishabh Pant predictably dominates everything Delhi Capitals does ahead of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) beginning in a week and head coach Ricky Ponting made it clear that while the recuperating Indian wicketkeeper was irreplaceable, the team was concentrating more on working with the squad it has.
“He’s a huge loss and it doesn’t matter who we bring in in that role, we will still miss Rishabh. I am not going to try and gloss over that fact, he’s one of the best players in the world in three formats and he’s obviously our leader so trying to replace him is pretty much impossible. But what we try to do at DC is make sure we have got the best young talent available and get to work on them for a couple of years and make them better and we have got a few of them now.
“Sarfaraz Khan, Yash Dhull can easily slot into the middle order, Lalit Yadav played some games last year and Aman Khan has been ultra impressive. The last couple of days’ training, he’s been very special. We have Rovman Powell, even Axar’s (Patel) batting has improved a lot so we will try and find a cover for Rishabh (in the middle order). You are not going to get the same quality but we think we can have a middle-order as good as any other team,” Ponting said on the sidelines of an event on Friday.
The team was looking at replacement Indian wicketkeepers and a decision would be taken, he said, after the two trial games on March 25 and 28. Ponting also indicated that the team was looking at ways to include ‘his presence’ during the games. “I have spoken to him quite a bit over the last 4-5 months and has a long road back but we want to try and involve him as much as we can. In an ideal world, he’d be sitting next to me in the dugout every match. But if that’s not possible, we’d like to think of little ways we might include him, have his number on our shirts or caps – just so the players understand he’s the heart and soul of DC and also for fans, to show how much he’s a part of us,” Ponting revealed.
Talking about the use of ‘Impact Players’, Ponting admitted it would be a learning curve for everyone. “Each franchise will probably have a different idea of how they want to use the Impact Player rule, because of the players everyone has in their squads. It also depends on whether you bat or bowl first and the situation in every game. We found out about it only post-auction and you have to work with what you got. But I think it has almost negated the role of all-rounders, you don’t need them...unless they are absolute world class and are getting picked primarily as a batsman or bowler.”
Latest on Sportstar
- Indian sports news wrap, June 1
- Manjeet wins bronze in UWW ranking series wrestling event in Kyrgyzstan
- Khelo India University Games: Punjabi, Maharshi Dayanand Universities clinch Hockey titles on day 10
- MS Dhoni successfully undergoes knee surgery in Mumbai
- Verstappen says Red Bull unlikely to win every race