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DC coach Ponting reveals Pant confident of playing entire IPL 2024; could be available only as batter

Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting provides insights into Rishabh Pant's optimistic outlook for a full IPL 2024 comeback following a major car accident.

cricket Delhi Capitals' Rishabh Pant confident for IPL 2024 return; Uncertainties linger over captaincy and keeping osf
First Published Feb 7, 2024, 4:49 PM IST

Ricky Ponting, the coach of Delhi Capitals, conveyed that Rishabh Pant is "very confident" about participating in the entire IPL 2024. However, Ponting remains uncertain about Pant's ability to captain the team or take on wicketkeeping duties as he continues to recover from injuries sustained in a significant car accident in December 2022.

Pant, who has been sidelined since the accident, expressed optimism about his return to the game despite having contemplated the end of his life during the traumatic incident.

Speaking from Melbourne after being introduced as the new MLC coach for Washington Freedom, Ponting acknowledged Pant's upbeat outlook for the upcoming season. While Pant envisions himself playing every game, keeping wickets, and batting at No. 4, Ponting remains cautious, given the proximity to the tournament's commencement.

Expressing admiration for Pant's dynamism and acknowledging his vital role as the team's captain, Ponting highlighted the challenging journey Pant has faced in the last 12-13 months. The coach expressed hope for Pant's presence on the field, even if not for all the games, with the potential to manage his participation in around 10 out of 14 matches.

In the event that Pant is unavailable, Ponting confirmed that David Warner would resume captaincy duties. Despite the squad's contentment after the December auction, Ponting recognized the team's underperformance in the past two seasons.

With new additions such as Harry Brook, alongside key players like Warner and Mitch Marsh, Ponting anticipates a strengthened batting lineup. The coach also emphasized the need for the fitness of players like Anrich Nortje and Jhye Richardson and highlighted the spin options with Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav.

The uncertainty surrounding Richardson's availability remains a significant question mark for the Capitals, as the quick has been sidelined since a side injury during the BBL. While Ponting acknowledges concerns about the team's batting performance, particularly at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, he expressed optimism in addressing these challenges through strategic player choices in the IPL 2024.

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