Ricky Ponting backs Rishabh Pant, says he’s Dhoni’s deputy in World Cup: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has backed India wicketkeeper-batsman Risabh Pant after he faced heat over the poor performance behind the stumps in the fourth One-day International (ODI) in Mohali. Pointing said that Pant is a better option for India in the upcoming World Cup and he does not see anyone better than him as a deputy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Two-time World Cup winning captain maintained that if Pant wins a couple of games for Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League 2019, then his poor performance would be forgotten.

Former batsman and cricketing legend said that Pant was lucky enough that sloppy stumping happened in the last few days of the recently concluded five-match series, adding that it would have been difficult to play all games under such pressure and deliver.

After Dhoni was rested in the last two games, Pant got an opportunity to showcase his talent ahead of the World Cup. However, he missed crucial chances behind the stumps. The crowd had resorted to Dhoni Dhoni chants. According to reports, Dhoni is likely to retire after the World Cup.

It is pertinent to mention that India is yet to announce the 15-member squad for the World Cup 2019. India would play the first match of the tournament against South Africa on June 05.

The Indian Premier League edition 2019 would start from March 23. The World Cup would begin on May 30 with England and South Africa locking the horns in London. opening match would be played between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Banglore. Delhi Capitals would start its campaign against Mumbai Indians on March 24.

Two-time Champions Trophy winner, Ponting had earlier praised Pant, saying he is another Adam Gilchrist after he scored unbeaten 159 in the fourth Test on Australia soil. With this unbeaten knock, Pant became the first Indian wicketkeeper-batsman to score a ton in Australia. In his brilliant inning, he hit 15 fours and one six.

He also surpassed MS Dhoni’s record to score maximum runs in a Test inning as wicketkeeper-batsman. The former India skipper had scored 148 against Pakistan in 2006.

Pant has played nine, five ODI and 15 T20I matches for the country. In Tests, he has an impressive batting average of 49.71. Delhi boy scored two tons and two fifties in the longest format of cricket. Wicketkeeper-batsman has also scored fastest Ranji Trophy century in just 48 balls.

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