IPL 2022: Ricky Ponting is like family, everyone looks up to him – Rishabh Pant

Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant said on Monday he is looking forward to the new Indian Premier League (IPL) season and it was nice to meet up with head coach Ricky Ponting again, saying that meeting with the former Australian captain makes him feel like he’s meeting a family member.

Rishabh Pant, who will lead the Capitals for the second straight season, said Ricky Ponting brings energy to the field and the young players on the side look up to the legendary ex-cricketer.

With Ponting at the helm, the Delhi Capitals have become one of the most consistent sides in the IPL, reaching the play-off final in 2020 after topping the table in 2021.

“It’s always special when I meet him. It’s like meeting a family member. Whenever he comes onto the field, he brings that energy out of everyone. Everyone looks up to him. Everyone expects him to do something will say different. That is he will attract everyone. So everyone is looking positive after seeing Ricky in action,” Pant told the Delhi Capitals after his first training session with the team.

Notably, the Delhi Capitals have undergone a transformation with the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Marcus Stoinis, Kagiso Rabada and R Ashwin moving away ahead of the new 10-team season. However, the Capitals did smart deals during the IPL 2022 auction, bringing in exciting names including David Warner, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi, Rovman Powell, Mustafizur Rahman, Mitchell Marsh and India’s U19 world champions captain Yash Dhull, among others.

FEELS LIKE A NEW TEAM

Pant said the Delhi Capitals squad feels fresh and new and the leadership group is working to create an environment similar to what has served them well in the recent past.

“As a team we discuss the environment we should create as a team. It actually feels like a new team. I’ve been watching the guys that have come in. Everyone seems to be in a good mood, they’re ready to take care of each other and help others.

“We’re having a really good training session. Hopefully we can transfer that to the game situation,” added Pant.

Pant emphasized that the feeling of playing in front of home fans is unparalleled, adding: “I am very happy to return to India. The feeling of a home audience is completely different. We enjoy the conditions here.”

The IPL, which is a 10-team league this year, returns to India after the last two seasons have been played away. The Delhi Capitals will open their campaign against the Mumbai Indians on March 27, a day after the opening game between the Chennai Super Kings and the Kolkata Knight Riders.

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