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IPL 2024

‘Deserves to be in that squad’ – Ponting backs Pant to play T20 World Cup

Ricky Ponting has backed Rishabh Pant to be in India's squad for 2024 T20 World Cup
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Ricky Ponting has backed Rishabh Pant to play in the T20 World Cup in June, saying the wicketkeeper-batter “deserves to be in that WT20 squad” for India.

The IPL 2024 marked Pant’s return to competitive cricket for over a year after recovering from a harrowing car accident. Despite his franchise, Delhi Capitals, struggling, Pant has regained his touch as the tournament went on and is one of the few bright spots in Delhi’s teetering campaign.

In an interview with the PTI, Delhi’s head coach Ponting emphasised that Pant’s inclusion in India’s squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA is a no-brainer: “Do I believe whether Rishabh should be there in the World Cup squad? Absolutely I do.

“He deserves to be in that World Cup squad by the end of the IPL. I think we have seen Rishabh play the way we have seen him play in last six seasons of IPL and now back playing for India,” Ponting said.

Pant ended on a 13-ball 18 and 28 off 26 on his first two comeback matches against Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals, respectively. It was against Chennai Super Kings when he registered a match-winning 32-ball 51 to get his confidence back. Against Lucknow Supergiants, he scored 24 off 41 to give his side their second win of the season. So far this year, Pant has amassed 194 runs at 32.33 while striking at 157.72, including two fifties, and has been instrumental in Delhi’s sporadic taste of victories.

Ponting acknowledged the competition among Indian wicketkeeper-batters playing well in IPL 2024 to make a case for themselves in the World Cup squad. Despite the depth of talents, Ponting batted for Pant’s World Cup berth.

“One thing we certainly know that there is lot of depth around Indian cricket, with keeper batters and I feel some guys are in really good form at the moment. Kishan is playing well, Samson is playing well and KL Rahul is playing well, there’s a lot of option there,” Ponting admitted. “But if I was picking a team, I would have Rishabh Pant in it every day of the week.”

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