Rishabh Pant and Ricky Ponting
Rishabh Pant and Ricky Ponting. Image Credits: Twitter

In the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, Delhi Capitals (DC) will be without their regular skipper, Rishabh Pant, while DC has already announced Australian batter, David Warner as the skipper for the 16th edition of IPL. But it is hard to find a suitable wicketkeeper batter with the potential of Pant in the Indian circuit.

DC’s head coach, Ricky Ponting ahead of the IPL 16 recalls the Indian star player, by saying that in an ideal world, he would have wanted Pant to be in the dugout, but for him, we can have his shirt number in our caps and jersey for this season. While the 25-year-old is out of the season due to the serious injuries he sustained during a road accident in December last year.

Rishabh Pant in his recent post
Rishabh Pant in his recent post, Image Credits: Twitter

Ponting statement on Pant during a team event in Delhi-

In an ideal world for me, he’d be sitting next to me in the dugout every match. But if that’s not possible, we’d like to make him part of the team in ways possible,”

We can have his number on our shirts or on caps. Just to make it clear that he’s our leader, even if he’s not with us,” said the Former Australian skipper.

While, the left-handed batter,  Pant is known for his aggressive style of batting and has found success for India, especially in Test Cricket scoring  2271 runs at an average of 43.67 with 5 centuries so far. The 25-year-old was the star of India’s victory in the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2021 in Australia. He also led the DC side in the IPL 2022 full season.

We haven’t decided that yet. Sarfaraz (Khan) has joined us and we’ll look at the practice games ahead to decide that. That’s one big hole Rishabh leaves behind. With the impact player rule coming in, we can use a number of ways (to zero in on playing lineup),” said Ponting on DC’s choice of WK in Pant’s absence.

As Rishabh is unavailable for the season, Delhi based club has limited choice in the Wicketkeeping department on their side, in the auction they bagged English wicketkeeper, Phil Salt for INR 2 crore, but it will interesting to see if they will go with a regular keeper or with the part-time keeper, Sarfaraz Khan for the IPL 16.

Meanwhile, IPL 2023 will kick off on March 31, with the opening game between defending champions Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), while, DC will open their campaign against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow on April 1.

Also read: IPL 2023: Delhi Capitals’ Skipper David Warner Wants Rishabh Pant To Attend Some Matches In IPL 2023