Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting expects Rishabh Pant to do a successful job as India’s captain if the flamboyant wicketkeeper-batter gets the chance to lead the country in future.
Pant was made Delhi Capitals’ skipper last year in the absence of an injured Shreyas Iyer. The southpaw was retained by DC ahead of the IPL 2022 mega-auction and he will continue to lead the franchise this season.
“With some experience in a role like this in such a high-pressure tournament like the IPL, you know, I’ve got no doubt in years to come there is every chance that Risabh could be international captain. No doubt about it,” Ponting said during a virtual media interaction on the eve of their IPL 2022 opener against Mumbai Indians.
The DC coach also drew similarities between Pant and Rohit Sharma, who has led MI to the record five IPL titles so far.
“I haven’t thought about that actually. But I think they are actually quite similar. When Rohit took over at Mumbai, he was quite a young man as well and he just sort of started out in his international career. He would probably been about 23-24, similar age to what Rishabh over here.
“To be totally honest, they’re actually quite similar people. I know they’re great mates and they probably exchange little things about leadership and captaincy along the way as well,” he said.
According to Ponting, Rishabh Pant can replicate Rohit Sharma’s success in the Indian Premier League.
“There is every opportunity for Rishabh’s journey to be quite similar to Rohit Sharma. Taking over as a young captain of a successful franchise and growing on a daily basis… Hopefully Rishabh can have the same sort of success that Rohit had on Mumbai Indians,” he added.
Ponting believes Pant, who is India’s first-choice wicketkeeper across formats, has shown maturity over the years.
“This is my fifth season now here and the evolution of Rishabh as a player and as a person has been quite dramatic.
“The last couple of years with some more responsibility in and around the Indian team, obviously captaining Delhi Capitals last season, there’s a lot of learning experiences for him.
“It will just keep helping him become a better leader and a better person on a daily basis. There’s no doubt that his maturity over the last 12 or 18 months with his play but also with his leadership and captaincy has been outstanding.”
Further praising Pant, the DC coach added, “He’s got a very good grasp on what leadership is all about. He’s been in a successful team and he’s been under strong leaders in the past.
“So it’s just up to me to see if anything that I can help him with, to make sure I’m doing that along the way.”
(With PTI inputs)