Despite a heartbreaking exit from the IPL 2022 and faltering at the last hurdle before playoffs qualification, Delhi Capitals (DC) coach Ricky Ponting backed captain Rishabh Pant and said that he remains the right choice to lead the franchise.
The biggest talking point was Pant’s huge blunder that cost DC the match. With Mumbai Indians at 95 for 3 in 14.3 overs, while chasing a target of 160, Pant made a strategic blunder as he refused to go for DRS after Tim David nicked the first ball of his innings, and the on-field umpire didn’t give him out.
David smashed 34 in 11 balls before being dismissed, but by then the match was in the pocket of MI, who won it by 5 wickets and as a result, DC crashed out of the playoffs race and RCB made it into the final four.
“Absolutely, no doubt in my mind that Rishabh even in the last season was the right choice for captain. Rishabh did a terrific job with the team after he took over from Shreyas (Iyer) after he injured his shoulders.
He is just a young man and still learning captaincy. Being captain of a T20 team, especially in IPL, which is a high-pressure tournament, is not an easy thing to do and unfortunately, every single thing you do will be scrutinized. He certainly got my full backing,” Ponting said during the press conference after DC lost by five wickets against MI.
Ponting said he was “gutted” to see the match slip away but didn’t blame Pant for the loss.
“It is always hard to put a finger on one single aspect of the game. Top of the order our batting was poor, we were four down for 40, which is not the ideal way to start a T20 game, especially big games which you have to win. Obviously, Tim David played well. He was probably out first ball but there are so many aspects of the game we will be disappointed with. The players need to learn from games like that.
I feel pretty gutted that the game slipped through out of our hands, we didn’t close out the match in the last few overs,” Ponting signed off.