Pant is the skipper of the Delhi Capitals team which is coached by Ponting.
“The skill that Rishabh Pant has, take away his leadership, at 24-years-old to do what he’s been able to do in the infancy of his cricketing career…the things he has been able to achieve has been incredible,” Watson said during Delhi Capitals’ virtual press conference to announce collaboration with Royal Stag for the upcoming IPL season.
“It feels like he’s been around for a long time. He can only continue to get better and learn from his experiences,” said the DC assistant coach.
“For him to get an opportunity to be a leader and under Ricky (Ponting), who was one of the best captains I played with. Ricky has the ability to lead a team and get the best from people around him. Rishabh certainly has a great person around him,” he added.
Pant is often compared to former India captain MS Dhoni but Watson feels both are very different people and cricketers.
“Media and public in general want to compare apple with apple but every individual has their own skill set, their own ability and in a perfect world we could compare Rishabh with MS Dhoni but both are very different people and cricketers, who have incredible skill.
“Rishabh is a leader who is very cool, calm and collected as well as what I have experienced with the other person — MS Dhoni.”
Watson warned everyone to draw comparisons between Pant and Dhoni at their own peril.
“In the end, all Rishabh can do is become the best version of himself. The public and media can continue to compare him to the great MS Dhoni at their own peril.
“But all that matters for Rishabh and DC is that he brings the best version of himself as a player and leader.”
🎶 𝘿𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙞 𝙠𝙤 𝙠𝙖𝙧𝙖𝙖𝙧 𝙖𝙖𝙮𝙖 🔥#YehHaiNayiDilli #IPL2022 @RishabhPant17 https://t.co/thTbpJb9X8
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) 1647793699000
Looking forward to working with Pant, Shaw and Shardul
With an exciting set of local and overseas players in the Capitals’ squad Watson is looking forward to working with Pant, opener Prithvi Shaw and all-rounder Shardul Thakur.
“Looking forward to getting to know Pant, finding out what exactly makes him tick and finding out how I can help him in any way possible.
“Prithvi Shaw is someone I find very fascinating. The talent this young guy has is spectacular. He has incredible skill.
“Another guy I’m looking forward to working with is Shardul Thakur,” he added.
Watson shared the dressing room with Thakur during his time in Chennai Super Kings.
“I worked with him (Thakur) in CSK. He’s an extremely skilful cricketer and is continuing to get better. We are seeing his skill with the ball and quite a few glimpses with the bat as well. He is a genuine all-rounder in all formats, especially T20.”
Watson feels the Capitals can win their maiden title this season as they have been able to gather a strong squad.
“The one thing that stands out for me is the squad. It is certainly one of the strongest with overseas and Indian players,” he said.
“DC have been close to winning the title and I feel they have what it takes to cross the line. There are not too many holes in the squad let alone the team.”
Back to where he belongs 💙@RishabhPant17’s first day of training and he’s already in the zone 🤩#YehHaiNayiDilli… https://t.co/Gpy6F9jkE7
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) 1647768816000
Depth of Indian talent is outrageous
Asked about the addition of two new teams in Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans, Watson said, “When two new teams come in, it sort of dilutes the players a little bit. Teams need to find two more players to fill the void.
“The depth in Indian cricket is outrageous. If there had been 10 teams in IPL 1, 2 or 3 the talent pool would have been stretched thin but now the depth in Indian cricket alone means you have seven world class players as the local Indian player and the overseas players complement them.”
The former Australian all-rounder feels the team which gets its combination correct in the beginning will have a good chance of winning the title.
“It will take half a season for the teams to find out their combinations and the team that gets it the quickest that’s the team that will get the momentum going and have a shot at the title.”