Pragyan Ojha, former India spinner said while speaking to Sports Today that keeper Rishabh Pant is evolving both as a player and leader, adding that it’s evident in the way he has been handling himself as Delhi Capitals captain. Under Rishabh Pant’s captaincy, DC has won 4 out of their first 6 matches.
Former India spinner and Indian Premier League governing council member, Pragyan Ojha on Tuesday said he believes that Rishabh Pant has the potential to become India captain in the future, provided he continues to evolve into a mature leader in the forthcoming years.
Pragyan Ojha: Rishabh Pant Can Be The Indian Skipper If He Shows Maturity And Bats In The Same Vein
Pragyan Ojha, speaking to Sports Today after Delhi Capitals’ 1-run defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore in Match 22 of IPL 2021, lauded Rishabh Pant’s composure and the way he handled himself after the heartbreaking loss.
Rishabh Pant came up with a calculated knock (48-ball 58 not out) and even played second fiddle to Shimron Hetmyer who took the RCB attack to the cleaners at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Despite the duo scoring lot of runs in the final overs, Delhi fell short of Bangalore’s total by 1 run.
Pragyan Ojha said the Indian team management should keep an eye on the wicketkeeper-batsman’s leadership skills stressing that he is able to sense a good aura around Rishabh Pant. Notably, Rishabh Pant is leading an IPL franchise for the first time in his career. He was appointed as the skipper of DC after Shreyas Iyer was ruled out of IPL 2021 with a shoulder injury.
“The way he has led his team. Somehow I get a feeling that in the years to come if Rishabh Pant bats the way he has been batting and shows this maturity, he can be the captain. He is showing that,” Pragyan Ojha said.
“When you talk about a player, the aura around him shows it. It makes me feel that this is the guy who can be the captain of the Indian team. That’s what I feel after reading about him after talking to people about him. This is the same aura that was created about Sourav Ganguly, created about MS Dhoni. So that is how it is.”
“I feel he can. It’s still far away. But right now, the way he is developing himself as a player and as a leader, that is something that the think tank should have a close look at. Under Ravi (Shastri) bhai, I think he will develop,” he added.
DC batsman Shimron Hetmyer scored an unbeaten 53 off 25 balls (4 sixes and two fours). The 23-year-old skipper Rishabh Pant, however, is counting positives from their loss to RCB. He praised Shimron Hetmyer, who returned to form for keeping the chase alive till the last over, and bringing the Delhi Capitals back in the game when Rishabh Pant struggled to get going. The return of pacer Ishant Sharma from injury would be another major positive the skipper will take from the game.
Pragyan Ojha: Virat Kohli Has Got The Trick To Develop An Indian Cricketer Even If He Plays For Other IPL Franchise
Meanwhile, Pragyan Ojha heaped rich praise on RCB skipper Virat Kohli, saying the India captain is happy to see youngsters performing even if they are from other franchises in the IPL. The former spinner, a Purple Cap winner in the past, said he felt Virat Kohli has cracked the code of nurturing youngsters.
Notably, Virat Kohli had expressed delight at CSK’s Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round showing on Sunday despite the India and Chennai Super Kings all-rounder single-handedly outclassing RCB. On Tuesday, Virat Kohli was quick to put an arm around Rishabh Pant and console him after his valiant fifty against his side.
“Virat Kohli will be very very proud. The way the Indian team has been performing, the way RCB has been performing. I think he has got the trick as to how to develop a cricketer. If you see, he was very happy for Ravindra Jadeja. Today, if you see, he went and gave a pat on Rishabh Pant’s shoulders. “
“That shows he thinks ‘okay IPL is there, franchise cricket is there’. He knows what kind of a role that Pant can play when India need him to perform. As a proud captain, he will be very happy and satisfied the way Indian cricket is moving forward. Look at someone like Avesh Khan, look at Chetan Sakariya, the pool is increasing,” Pragyan Ojha said.
While Rishabh Pant smashed two fours off the final two deliveries and got to his fifty, DC fell short of a victory by 1 run, requiring 6 off the final delivery. Delhi Capitals will play against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday at the same venue.
Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 171/5 (AB de Villiers 75*, Rajat Patidar 31; Avesh Khan 1/24 ) beat Delhi Capitals 170-4 (Rishabh Pant 58*, Shimron Hetmyer 53*; Harshal Patel 2/37) by 1 run.