Rishabh Pant confident of playing entire IPL 2024 season: Ponting
Pant is all set to make his return during the IPL.
In encouraging news for Delhi Capitals and India fans, Ricky Ponting has reckoned that Rishabh Pant is confident of playing the entirety of this year's IPL. Pant was in a horrific car crash on December 30, 2022 that has kept him away from the game since. Slowly, the wicketkeeper-batter returned to mild fitness routines and has even been spotted at India's matches in the last few months.

Having missed last year's IPL, the ODI World Cup and some key Test series, Pant was expected to return during this year's IPL. While Ponting reckoned that the 26-year-old feels he's ready for a return, he remained unsure about Pant taking the wicketkeeping gloves or being captain yet.

"Rishabh is very confident that he's going to be right to play. In what capacity we're not quite sure yet. You would have seen all the social-media stuff, he's up and about and running well. But in saying that we're only six weeks away from the first game as well. So we're not sure if we'll get wicketkeeping out of him this year," Ponting said.

"But I'll guarantee if I asked him now he'll say, 'I'm playing every game, I'm keeping every game and I'm batting at No.4.' That's just what he's like, but we'll keep our fingers crossed," he added.

While Pant is bullish about featuring all season, Ponting tempered his expectations and reckoned that managing him for 10 of the 14 games would feel like a bonus for a side that missed his services dearly last year.

"He's such a dynamic player. He's obviously our captain. We missed him incredibly last year. If you understand the journey he's been on the last 12-13 months, it was a horrific incident. One that I know he feels very lucky to have even survived, let alone have the chance to play cricket again.

"We'll just keep our fingers crossed and hope that he can be out there and play. Even if it's not all the games, if we can manage him through 10 of the 14 games or whatever that might be then whatever games you can get out of him will be a bonus," Ponting said, and confirmed that David Warner will remain in charge if Pant isn't ready to lead the team.