Rishabh Pant Set for Special Return in Delhi Capitals' IPL Opener

Rishabh Pant Set for Special Return in Delhi Capitals' IPL Opener

Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach Ricky Ponting has expressed immense confidence in captain Rishabh Pant's ability to make a remarkable return to competitive cricket in their opening match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season against Punjab Kings (PBKS).

Pant, who suffered a life-threatening car crash in December 2022, has been out of action since then. However, the 26-year-old has undergone an impressive recovery during his rehab process.

Ahead of the game against PBKS, Ponting revealed that he had to forcefully drag Pant out of the nets on several occasions, indicating the skipper's eagerness to return to the field. "We had a week's training in Vizag before coming here and trust me Rishabh is back and ready to play. He is batting and moving behind the stumps beautifully. Sometimes he bats too much and I have to drag him out of nets," Ponting said.

Ponting believes that Pant is capable of producing something special in the opening match. "I've seen where his game is at, and don't be surprised if something special happens tomorrow. His attitude and smile and what he wants to do for the team is infectious. Everyone wants to be like Rishabh," he added.

Pant, who is making his comeback after a long and arduous rehab, expressed his gratitude for being able to return to the field. "Jittery, nervous, excited...all of it, but at the same time, just happy, being able to come back to professional cricket. I'm just looking forward to playing my first game tomorrow," Pant said.

However, Pant acknowledged that it will take time to regain his previous form and is taking a cautious approach. "Every time I take the field, it's a different feeling altogether. I think, as a batter, as long as I can bat. It is better because the more I bat, I will be in a better position to execute shots, muscle memory is intact even though I haven't played for nearly a year and half," the swashbuckling batter said.

"But I have been playing since childhood, so it doesn't go away that easily. So, the more I practice, the better chance I will give myself as a cricketer," he added.

With Pant's return, DC will be hoping to make a strong start to their IPL 2024 campaign. The team will be looking to Pant to provide stability and leadership as they aim to challenge for the title.

Tags: #RishabhPant, #DelhiCapitals, #IPL2024, #RickyPonting, #Cricket

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