Ricky Ponting sees this wicketkeeper as MS Dhoni’s backup at 2019 World Cup

Australian cricket great Ricky Ponting has waded in on the contentious debate about India’s second wicket-keeper at the upcoming 2019 World Cup.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is still going strong at 37 and will don the gloves at the world cup in England. However, his backup’s spot in the team remains up for grabs.

Rishabh Pant was favoured over Dinesh Karthik in the recently-concluded five-match ODI series against Australia at home but his performances came a cropper. Not only did he failed with the bat but he also endured a torrid time behind the stumps, missing chances at crucial junctures during the matches.

In the fourth ODI, he missed a stumping opportunity against Ashton Turner as Australia chased a big total in Ranchi. And it proved costly as Turner won the match for the visitors.

Also read: Australia great Ricky Ponting has a surprise pick for India’s No. 4 at 2019 World Cup

The Mohali crowd wasn’t too pleased with Pant’s performance and made it known to him as they shouted “Dhoni, Dhoni” in unison.

Ponting, who will be coaching the Delhi Capitals in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), feels that his job for now is to make Pant forget what happened in the Australia series and focus on the IPL.

“I think it’s actually a big job for me and the coaches when he comes in, to make him forget what’s happened in the last few days. He’s probably lucky it happened in the last couple of games. It would have been hard to play all five games under that kind of pressure”. Ponting told ToI in an interview.

“Now he’s back in a competition where he has dominated in the past. If he can win a couple of games for us then everything will be forgotten”, he added.

However, Ponting feels that Pant remains India’s best bet as Dhoni’s backup at the World Cup.

“I can’t see anyone better than him as a second wicketkeeper in that Indian World Cup squad.”

First Published:
Mar 16, 2019 10:31 IST

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