Former India cricketer and Chennai Super Kings legend Suresh Raina said although Rishabh Pant has done exceedingly well as Delhi Capitals’ skipper in IPL 2022, one shouldn’t be worried about lack of runs from his bat as the left-handed batter is just one big knock away from discovering form.
In nine matches of IPL 2022, Pant has scored 234 runs at an average of 33.43 and a high strike-rate of 149.04, with no fifties or centuries against his name. Under his captaincy, Delhi are at seventh place in the points table, with eight points coming from four wins while facing five losses. Delhi’s match against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Brabourne Stadium on Thursday offers them a chance to move up in points table and strengthen their case for a spot in the playoffs.
“Pant for me has is doing great as a captain. He has utilised Kuldeep Yadav very well and now he is winning matches for Delhi. But Pant – the batsman – still has to fire. He is a big player, and with coach Ricky Ponting behind him, he is going to click soon and a big innings is coming soon. Also, I believe Delhi Capitals are not playing like a compact unit. Other players in the team will also have to take up the responsibility and contribute,” said Raina on Cricket Live show on Star Sports.
Agreeing with Raina’s views, former India cricketer Mohammed Kaif believes Pant has to decide how his approach with the bat should be in the upcoming games. “Rishabh Pant will have to decide whether he wants to play full 20 overs or he wants to play the role of a pinch hitter. Captain Pant will have to take a call on what’s in the interest of the team. Pant has the potential to win matches alone but his performance as a batsman hasn’t been up to the mark this year. So, I feel there’s the pressure of being successful as a captain and as a batsman too.”
Kaif, who worked as Delhi’s assistant coach from IPL 2019 to 2021, stated that the side hasn’t done justice to their potential so far in IPL 2022 and the onus now lies on Pant to lead them from the front as the race for playoffs intensifies.
“Delhi has not done justice to its potential so far in this season. This team has played well in pieces. If this team wants to win the IPL, then all the players will have to show their A-Game and the responsibility lies with the skipper (Pant). He will have to lead by example.”