Coming back into the cricket arena after such a gruesome car accident has proved truly inspiring, especially through Rishabh Pant. In the months when Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting Ponting, who worked intensively with Pant during his tormenting rehabilitation, was uncertain if Pant would ever be able to play again.

But somehow, Pant’s indomitable spirit and extraordinary work ethic triumphed over every obstacle. Now, fit as a fiddle and at his best, Ponting is confident that Pant will have a great influence on the T20 World Cup.

Pant’s journey back onto the field has been simply marvelous. A year earlier, Ponting had admitted having serious doubts about whether Pant would ever take the field again. As a result of the physical and psychological damage inflicted by the accident, Pant had been left walking with crutches and there were doubts about his career trajectory.

World Cup

Nevertheless, Pant’s unwavering commitment to recovering stood out. The rehabilitation he went through convinced everyone about his dedication to this sport. Theseus Ponting attributes both factors to the player himself working hard and therefore overcoming difficult circumstances, as well as that one from the Delhi Capitals franchise, more specifically Patrick Farhart, a physiotherapist made him come up from this type of situation very easily indeed.

It was Pant’s explosive batting that never really mattered much, but the issue of his keeping ability remained unanswered. Ponting admitted to fears that he may not be able to sit for long hours after the injuries.

Nevertheless, the critics were proved wrong about these concerns by Pant. He came back into form with the bat and also did very well with the gloves to share the fourth-highest wicket-taking position among the keepers in the IPL season. Given these performances across all three departments, he earned a deserved place in India’s T20 World Cup team.

“When I was over there, I was asked what I thought about him,” Ponting said. “He had been selected for the Indian team, and basically I said that he would be one of the first players picked, and sure enough he was.”

Ponting, who has worked closely with Pant as the Delhi Capitals coach, is glad to see him back on the international stage. “Ah, great to see him back out there playing,” Ponting noted. “I have loved every bit of working with him… But it’s been an incredible turnaround, and hopefully, he will have a big impact in this tournament.”

Pant will indeed be under pressure but he has been there in IPL, playing at high stakes and therefore his experience would be more than useful. His striking rate and ability to play well in a crunch are exactly what India needs in the T20 format. 

Further, his better ability to keep wickets adds another dimension to his game. From the above analysis, it is evident that if Pant can replicate his IPL performance at the World Cup, he may single-handedly determine the fate of the Indian cricket team in the tournament—winning or going home without the trophy. The cricket fraternity will be eagerly waiting to continue watching Rishabh Pant’s thrilling comeback drama.