Former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra has backed young Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant and has said that he should be retained as the skipper of the franchise for the next season. Nehra further stated that Pant is the future of the team and the close games in the playoffs will teach him a lot.
Delhi Capitals topped the league stage of the IPL 2021 with 20 points under the leadership of Rishabh Pant. But they were knocked out of the tournament with two losses against Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders in the playoffs. Pant looked devastated after the loss against Kolkata on Wednesday and was seen being consoled by head coach Ricky Ponting. During the post match interview as well, Pant found it hard to talk.
Post the high-intensity match, Pant has also got backings from a lot of former stars of the game. One of them was Ashish Nehra, who said Pant did well as captain despite some tactical errors. He also added that not everyone can be MS Dhoni, who won the T20 World Cup 2007 in his maiden outing as India captain.
“Pant should be retained as DC captain for next season. The more he plays, the better he will get. There is no doubt about that. The sooner he learns, the better for him and the franchise. Keeping aside a few tactical mistakes that he made, he was good as captain. Everyone cannot be a MS Dhoni, who came in and won the T20 World Cup directly in 2007. Give Pant some time to improve," said Nehra.
Coming into the playoffs stage of the IPL 2021, Delhi Capitals first lost against Chennai Super Kings in the Qualifier 1 in a closely fought contest by 4 wickets. Their next defeat and the last fixture of the IPL 2021 was against Kolkata Knight Riders in Qualifier 2. In their last league game against RCB, DC lost only after a sensational last-ball six from Srikar Bharat. Highlighting all the three aforementioned matches, Nehra stated that Pant will get a lot to learn from them.
“If you observe DC’s performance under him in the last three games, they lost to RCB in the last over and went down to CSK in another tight contest. Against KKR, they didn’t win but they stayed in the game even though it seemed a lost cause. As a captain, these close games teach you a lot. Hopefully, Pant is retained as DC captain next season because he needs to be given some time to settle in,” he opined.