It has been a rather tumultuous period for young Rishabh Pant, he was awarded the 5 crore retainer contract, then drafted into the ODI side as the wicket-keeper, struggled behind the stumps in Mohali, and then could not respond to the pressure in Delhi. There are question marks over his position in the side even for the World Cup and this IPL could well be the season which makes him a serious contender for the slot as the backup wicket-keeper.
"I think it's actually a big job for me and the coaches when he [Pant] comes in, to make him forget what's happened in the last few days," Pointing told the Times of India ahead of the IPL season.
"He's probably lucky it happened in the last couple of games. It would have been hard to play all five games under that kind of pressure. Now he's back in a competition where he has dominated in the past. If he can win a couple of games for us then everything will be forgotten. I can't see anyone better than him as a second wicketkeeper in that Indian World Cup squad," he further added.
Role of Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order
The former Australian captain further said that having Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order will have a major impact on the way the side plays and can also allow the side to play a majority of the foreign players.
"You have to make sure you get the guys you know a lot about, then slot them into certain roles," Ponting said. "This year we've got Shikhar Dhawan. We needed that really good Indian top-order batsman who averages about 450 runs a season for four-five years," Ponting said.
"That allows us to play a majority of foreign bowlers. The biggest challenge is to set down a culture: how you will train and prepare. It's hard to do that when most of the overseas players arrive late because of international commitments," he added.
So, who should India play in the World Cup as the secondary wicket-keeper? MS Dhoni remains the number 1 choice, but should Pant be the backup option? Former Australian spinner Shane Warne believes India should play both in the side.
"I believe that Rishabh can play in the World Cup. They (Dhoni and Pant) can both play together in the XI. Dhoni is the keeper and Rishabh bats. I don't think you have to say its Rishabh or Dhoni," Warne said.