Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting expects Rishabh Pant to further blossom as a player after being handed over the captaincy of the IPL franchise for the upcoming season. Pant has been named DC skipper in the absence of Shreyas Iyer who has been ruled out of IPL 2021 after dislocating his shoulder during international assignment.

On Tuesday, DC announced the 23-year-old Pant will lead the team that made the IPL final last year for the first time in its history. While Ponting did term Iyer missing out as ‘unfortunate’, he has high hopes from the youngster.

“Unfortunate that Shreyas will miss the tournament, but looking forward to seeing @RishabhPant17 grab his opportunity. It’s well deserved for his recent performances and he’s coming in with a lot of confidence. I’m convinced captaincy will make him an even better player,” Ponting tweeted on Wednesday morning.

Pant is in the midst of an excellent phase of his professional career that has seen him churning out match-winning performances in Australia and against England at home across formats with the bat and his glovework has been impressive as well.

Congratulatory messages continue to come his way with former India batsman Suresh Raina predicting Pant will succeed as a leader too. “Heartiest congratulations to @RishabhPant17 on being named the captain of @DelhiCapitals for this season. I am sure he will be a talismanic leader and will be donning this new cap with pride,” Raina tweeted.

Even Iyer wished Pant well. “When I sustained the shoulder injury, and Delhi Capitals needed a leader for this edition of the IPL, I had no doubt that Rishabh would be the best man for the job. He has all my good wishes to make amazing things happen with our absolutely incredible team. I’m going to miss the team tremendously, and will be cheering for them throughout,” he was quoted as by DC in a statement.