New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) Former Australian all-rounder and Delhi Capitals’ new assistant coach Shane Watson feels that Rishabh Pant has already achieved an incredible amount of success in his young career so far and the wicketkeeper-batter will only get better under Ricky Ponting’s coaching in the IPL.
The 24-year old Pant, who took Delhi Capitals to playoffs in the IPL 2021, will continue to lead Delhi in the upcoming season of the cash-rich league, while Ponting also remains the coach of the franchise.
“The skill that Rishabh Pant has, take away his leadership, at 24-year-old to do what he’s been able to do in the infancy of his cricketing career…the things he has been able to achieve has been incredible. It feels like he’s been around for a long time. He can only continue to get better and learn from his experiences,” Watson said during Delhi Capitals’ virtual press conference to announce a collaboration with Royal Stag for the IPL 2022.
“For him to get an opportunity to be a leader under Ricky (Ponting), who was one of the best captains I played with. Ricky has the ability to lead a team and get the best from the people around him. Rishabh certainly has a great person around him,” he added.
The young Pant is often compared to former India captain M.S Dhoni but Watson feels though both have few similarities they are very different people and cricketers.
“Media and public, in general, want to compare apples to apples but every individual has their own skillset, their own ability and in a perfect world we could compare Rishabh with M.S Dhoni but both are very different people and cricketers, who have the incredible skill,” said the DC assistant coach.
“Rishabh is a leader who is very cool, calm and collected as well as what I have experienced with the other person — M.S Dhoni. In the end, all Rishabh can do is become the best version of himself. The public and media can continue to compare him to the great M.S Dhoni at their own peril. But all that matters for Rishabh and DC is that he brings the best version of himself as a player and leader,” he added.
The Australian is also excited to work with Pant, opener Prithvi Shaw and all-rounder Shardul Thakur and wants to help them in getting the best out of them.
“Looking forward to getting to know Pant, finding out what exactly makes him tick and finding out how I can help him in any way possible. Prithvi Shaw is someone I find very fascinating. The talent this young guy has is spectacular. He has incredible skills. Another guy I’m looking forward to working with is Shardul Thakur,” he said.
Notably, during his playing days with Chennai Super Kings, Watson shared the dressing room with Thakur.
“I worked with him (Thakur) in CSK. He’s an extremely skillful cricketer and is continuing to get better. We are seeing his skill with the ball and quite a few glimpses with the bat as well. He is a genuine all-rounder in all formats, especially T20.”
Watson feels Delhi have a chance to win their maiden title in IPL 2022 as they have been able to build a strong squad.
“The one thing that stands out for me is the squad. It is certainly one of the strongest with overseas and Indian players.DC have been close to winning the title and I feel they have what it takes to cross the line. There are not too many holes in the squad let alone the team,” he said.