Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has said that should be an integral part of India’s ICC T20 World Cup campaign in Australia later this year, adding that the wicketkeeper-batter will be “exceptionally dangerous for India” given the flat and bouncy pitches Down Under.
While Pant may have scored the second-lowest score (340 runs) in the seven seasons he has played in the IPL, and a captaincy blunder in the crucial match may have cost his side a playoffs berth, Delhi Capitals head coach Ponting believes that Pant is “an outstanding young man who has the world at his feet”.
“He’s (Pant) 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,” opined Pointing on ICC Review.
Having seen Pant’s progression while at Delhi Capitals, the Australian legend felt that Pant should be utilised as a “floater” during the T20 World Cup in October-November this year.
“I reckon having him as a floater. I think I’ll probably have him listed at No. 5 somewhere in the batting line-up. But, I think, when some situations come where it gets to a stage where it’s 7-8 overs to go and might be 1-2 (wickets) down, then I think I’ll look at sending him in and giving him as much time as I possibly can,” added Pointing.
Ponting felt that given the “dynamic” and “explosive” cricketer the left-arm batter is, he would want to use Pant in that specific role.
“He’s that dynamic and explosive player… that’s certainly the way I’d look at trying to use him. He was really frustrated with his IPL because he went into the tournament getting better than I’ve ever seen him bat before, and even by his own admission he said the same thing to me. (In fact), halfway through the tournament he was getting the results that he probably deserved,” added Ponting.
Ponting said that when Pant hit a bad patch, he kept reminding the batter about the fickle nature of T20 cricket.
“And I kept reinforcing that thing to him at the nets that’s a T20 game. You make a little error of judgement (and) all of a sudden your game is over if you are cruising around at 35 or whatever… and that’s sort of how it felt for him,” added the Australian.