Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky refuses to blame skipper Rishabh for strategic error that led to team missing out on playoffs after defeat to Mumbai Indians; insists wicketkeeper-batsman will lead the team again next year
Rishabh Pant during DC’s defeat to MI on Saturday. Pic/ BCCI; IPL
Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting has backed Rishabh Pant to continue leading the side, saying the wicketkeeper-batsman is still young and learning the ropes of captaincy and remains the right choice for the job.
Pant’s captaincy has been under the scanner all season with the youngster making some dubious calls during IPL-15.
On Saturday, in DC’s must-win game against Mumbai Indians, a strategic blunder cost the team a spot in the playoffs.
With MI at 95 for three in 14.3 overs while chasing a target of 160, Pant made a strategic blunder as he refused to call for DRS after Tim David nicked the first ball of his innings and the on-field umpire didn’t give him out.
It came back to haunt DC as David slammed 34 runs off just 11 balls with the help of two boundaries and four sixes to take the game out of DC’s grasp.
“Absolutely, no doubt in my mind that Rishabh even in the last season he 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,” Ponting said during the press conference after DC lost by five wickets against MI.
“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 scrutinised. He certainly got my full backing.”
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,” he said.
“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.”
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