Pant turning x-factor to match-winning knock: Ponting
New Delhi: The way Delhi Capitals batsman Rishabh Pant got stuck into Mumbai Indians pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah had everyone take note during their Indian Premier League (IPL) game at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday, but DC head coach Ricky Ponting is more impressed by the consistency Pant showed and won Delhi the game.
“I have known for a couple of seasons that Pant has an x-factor. But i like how he is turning that into match-winning performances. We set up a good platform for him to go and finish off the innings. He is something special and you don’t see an innings like that everyday. I have seen Pant mature as a person. He will win many more games this season,” he said.
While everyone has been talking about the kind of shots that Pant played, Ponting said it was all about having a strong technique irrespective of the format.
“You need to have the basic technique to bat. The present generation is exceptionally skilful. These guys play a lot or T20 cricket. Good to see certain things that you work on in practice to come good on the field,” he said.
While Pant attacked from the word go, Shikhar Dhawan was seen playing a composed knock. Ponting said the senior batsman was expected to hold one end up.
“That is what we want from Shikhar. We want him to hold the top order together. It wasn’t the easiest wicket to bat on. We wanted Shikhar to hold one end up. That was exactly what we wanted from him,” he said.
Ponting was also all praise for pace spearhead Ishant Sharma as the bowler picked two Mumbai wickets inside the powerplay to derail their chase. The coach feels that Ishant is bowling his best at the moment.
“I had a chat with him after the game. His work ethic has been outstanding. I spoke to him on the first day about what i expect from him. He is worked exceptionally hard . He is bowling as well as he has ever done. He set the game for us in the powerplay. A big pat on the back for him,” he said.
While there have been talks of youngsters having the World Cup spot at the back of their minds as the IPL is often considered a big platform to impress the selectors, but Ponting said that he has had no such issue to fight in this team.
“I haven’t had to tell any player about focusing on winning the games for DC. Score runs in the IPL and keep the chance open of being picked in the World Cup squad. What has happened in the past we can’t change. Got a lot of different players and we are looking forward to this season. We have trained really hard and spoken about building culture. Everyone is enjoying themselves. Boys are taking to pressure well and that should be enough to take us to the finals,” he said.
Skipper Shreyas Iyer said the playing XI would be decided after taking a look at the wicket at Kotla and it was important to keep the winning momentum going.
“Depending upon the wicket we will go about the batting line-up. Since we got a good start, it will be important to continue the momentum and all of them are batting well. Got to back the instincts,” he said.