IPL 2021: Rishabh Pant has to play with freedom against KKR, says Brian Lara

Rishabh Pant has been in great touch in recent times, delivering a fantastic performance against Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

Rishabh Pant in a file photo. (Image: BCCI/IPL)

Legendary cricketer Brian Lara believes that Delhi Capitals (DC) captain Rishabh Pant should play without any inhibitions and be aggressive in Qualifier 2 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Lara added that Pant should not let leadership and the responsibility of being the Delhi-based franchise’s skipper, come in the way with regard to his approach to the game. The DC skipper has been one of the franchise’s top performers in the ongoing edition. Pant has smashed 413 runs at a strike rate of 129.06, making his presence felt with quality gameplay. He looked in great touch during the Qualifier 1 against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), accumulating 51 runs from 35 balls.

“My advice to Rishabh Pant is to play with freedom, have that air of arrogance and confidence – that he does when he’s at his best like he did in that last game against CSK, those one-handed sixes. He’s absolutely crazy, the skills that he’s got, and for me, the advice would be to go out and have that confidence,” said Lara on Star Sports.

“Don’t allow the situations and the leadership role dictate how you play. You go out and play with freedom – take the game on. If you feel that you can target a bowler, then you fully commit to it and take him on – because he is a match-winner. He can take the game away from the opposition very quickly – and everyone wants to see that, the team wants to see that and him as a leader wants to see that as well,” he added.

“I think we can win the IPL: Ricky Ponting”

DC head coach Ricky Ponting is confident about the team going on to win the ongoing edition, with a triumph in Qualifier 2 enabling them to reach a second consecutive final.

“I’ve been in Delhi for three years. First-year I was here, we finished last. Two years ago, we finished third and last year we finished second. I think we can win the IPL, as simple as that. You know, I might go well on record saying that because that’s what I am here for. That’s what the players are here for,” said Ponting in a video uploaded by Delhi Capitals on social media.

“This is a different Delhi than it was two years ago. And the reason that it is, is because of what all you guys have brought to this franchise. We adhere to those four words we have said – Attitude, Effort, Commitment and Care, will be better. Every great team I’ve been around, that I’ve coached or I’ve played in have shown genuine care for one another. The sign of a great team is not about one or two players, it’s about the eleven players on the field and they all chip in to do what they need to when the team needs them to do it the most,” he added.

It will be interesting to see how the Delhi-based franchise performs against KKR.

Sportslumo Desk

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