Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach and former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting, on Friday, said that the skipper Rishabh Pant is the Delhi franchise’s heart and soul. The India wicketkeeper-batter will miss the entire Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season, as he is currently undergoing rehabilitation after a horrific accident in December last year.
“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 all 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,” Ponting said.
“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. Last couple of days’ training, he’s been very special. We have Rovman Powell, even Axar’s batting has improved a lot so we will try and find a cover for Rishabh. You are not going to get the same quality but we think we can have a middle-order as good as any other team,” he added.
‘Will have Pant’s number on our shirts or caps’ – Ricky Ponting
“I have spoken to him quite a bit over the last four-five months. He 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 said.