Kolkata: Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting is not worried about Rishabh Pant's inconsistency and just wants the dashing wicketkeeper batsman to play with complete freedom.
Once the left-hander gets going, he becomes a nightmare for the bowlers but the 21-year-old often gets criticised for playing rash shots.
"I am not going to curb the way he plays. I am not going to tell him to slow down and settle down because I know if he plays his best he wins games for us," Ponting said on the eve of their return leg match against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens.
"I want him to go out there with pure freedom and with no other thought in the back of his head other than trying to hit the ball for six."
Pant smashed a 27-ball 78 against Mumbai Indians in their opening game of IPL 2019 but since then he's been struggling for runs but the Aussie great hoped he would come good at the back end of the tournament.
"You don't want to take that away from him but what we want from him is, he has to understand that we need him batting in the last four overs of every game we play.
"So far the difference has been in some of the close games that we have played, our best batsmen haven't been in at the back end of the innings and that's what we need and certainly what we expect from our better players.
"We are less than halfway through the tournament and I am sure he will win another three-four for us as we go along."
With three losses from six matches, Ponting said it's the batting that has let the team down.
"We feel like we've got a really rounded attack and the bowling so far for has been pretty good right through the tournament. It's been our batters who have let us down a couple of times and they're very aware of of what to expect and they are very aware of what the team needs them to do as well.
"We haven't been brilliant yet, but I think we've got a group going forward, they can play some brilliant cricket and it's really exciting to be around this around this time at the moment. It's about putting a team together that's got the right balance of youth and experience. We feel that we've got it in our team."
Ponting also spoke very highly of their young South African pace gun Kagiso Rabada who is currently leading the wicket-taking chart with 11 wickets to his name.
"KG is an exceptionally determined man. He's very intelligent. He's got great skills, bowling over 150 kilometers a few times. I mean that's why you pay the big money for these overseas players," he said, citing examples of Rabada dismissals of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in their previous match in Bangalore.
Delhi young captain Shreyas Iyer may be surrounded by greats like Ponting and adviser Sourav Ganguly but the Aussie World Cup winner said the team belongs to the skipper.
"It's 100% Shreyas Iyer's team. It's not the coaches team. He's the captain of our team and as you know, with captains of any team, once the game starts, the captain's the coach, and so it's my job and the rest of the coach's job to make sure we're making his job as easy as possible," he added....