*** ----> Ganguly, Ponting back Pant to play T20 World Cup | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Ganguly, Ponting back Pant to play T20 World Cup

AFP | New Delhi     

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Cricket greats Sourav Ganguly and Ricky Ponting yesterday backed India star Rishabh Pant to play the T20 World Cup in June after his return to the Indian Premier League following a serious car crash.

Pant, a wicketkeeper-batsman, took the field in the T20 tournament this season as captain of Delhi Capitals after 14 months away from top-level cricket due to the crash.

The 26-year-old left-handed batter has scored 254 runs including two half-centuries in eight matches and looked sharp behind the wickets.

“I want every young player to play but unfortunately we can only pick 15,” Ganguly, who is Delhi’s Director of Cricket, told reporters on Pant’s India selection.

“The (more) equipped, the better one’s play... I feel Pant is definitely in that bracket. And I am sure he will go to the West Indies.”

Ganguly said Pant’s ability to hit “big sixes” makes him stand out and advised the Indian players to “just play without fear”.

Delhi head coach Ponting said he was sure Indian selectors would choose Pant for the T20’s showpiece tournament beginning June 1 in the West Indies and the United States.

“I think his batting is getting better and better by the game,” Ponting said, calling Pant the “heart and soul” of the franchise.

“I think he has started to get a bit more trust and belief in his body as well. His keeping skills behind the stumps have been really good,” he added.