Ricky Ponting, the head coach of DC expressed that Rishabh Pant, the captain of the Delhi is the heart and soul of their team. However, the India wicketkeeper-batsman will not be participating in the entire 2023 season of the IPL. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation after a severe car accident that occurred in December of the previous year. The 25-year-old cricketer was involved in a near-fatal collision with a road divider, and his car caught fire, resulting in severe injuries.
Ponting stated that Pant’s absence would be felt by the whole team during the upcoming IPL season. He also praised the Indian player, describing him as one of the best players across all formats of cricket and an irreplaceable player. The 48-year-old further mentioned that the team is currently focusing on improving the skills of their existing squad.
“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.
Who will replace Pant in middle order?
Ponting went on to say that DC have the right players to fill in the middle order. Meanwhile, he added that they did not confirm a replacement for Pant yet.
“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.
Ricky Ponting shared that the Delhi Capitals are contemplating printing Rishabh Pant’s jersey number, 17, on their shirts or caps during an IPL 2023 match. He believes that it would serve as a reminder for the players that Pant is an essential part of the Delhi franchise, and even if he is unable to play on the field, he would have wanted to be present in the dugout in any capacity.
“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,”