Ricky Ponting – India should use Rishabh Pant as ‘floater’ in T20 World Cup

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting believes Rishabh Pant will be “exceptionally dangerous” on “fast and bouncy” Australian pitches during the upcoming T20 World Cup, where he could be best utilised as a “floater” as per match situation.

Ponting has worked closely with Pant at Delhi Capitals and rates the Indian wicketkeeper-batter very highly.

“He [Pant] is a wonderful player. He is just an outstanding young man, who has got the world at his feet. And he’ll be exceptionally dangerous for India, especially on the wickets we’ll provide in Australia…. good flat, fast, bouncy wickets. He’ll be one of the players to watch out [for] in the tournament [T20 World Cup] for sure,” Ponting said on ICC Review.

For Ponting, Pant’s batting position should be flexible as per the Indian team’s requirements.

“I reckon having him as a floater. I’ll probably have him listed at (No.) 5 in the [Indian] batting line-up.

“But in certain situations, where it gets to a stage where there are seven-eight overs to go and they are one-two down, then I will look at sending him in and giving as much time as I possibly can. He is that dynamic and that explosive and that is certainly the way I would look at trying to use him,” Ponting said.

In a press conference on the eve of the first T20I, Pant had been asked about the possibility of playing a floating role.

“I think it depends. We will see the conditions,” he had said. “If we feel like we need a floating batting line-up, we will take it forward. I don’t think in these kinds of conditions we want a floating batting line-up. The kind of batting line-up we have, leftie-rightie is not a big deal for us because we play spinners day in and day out. So we will try not to do a lot but at the same time, if we need to, we will.”

Pant managed to score just 340 runs from 14 IPL games in 2022 with an average of 30.91. And according to Ponting, Pant was frustrated with his performance in the IPL.

“He probably didn’t have his best tournament. I know he was really frustrated with his IPL this year because he went into the tournament batting better than I’ve ever seen him bat before.

“And even by his own admission, he said the same thing to me, halfway through the tournament that he didn’t feel he was getting results that he probably should have and that he probably deserved. And as I kept reinforcing that thing to him at the nets that that’s a T20 game. You make a little error of judgement on your 15th or 18th ball, and you are 35 not out at that stage and all of a sudden your game is over. That’s sort of how it felt for him and the team through that last tournament.”

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