Ponting backs Pant in IPL, fans start queueing up in Chennai
Ponting backs Pant to come good
“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. “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.”
Ponting also said that having Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the batting order would allow them to play a majority of foreign bowlers.
“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. 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.”
Varun Chakravarthy joins Kings XI Punjab camp after regaining fitness
After being ruled out of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Tamil Nadu mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy is fit again and has joined the Kings XI Punjab camp.
Varun had injured his shoulder while playing for his club Vijay CC in a first division game. He was subsequently ruled out of Tamil Nadu’s squad for the group stage of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and was in with a chance to return for the Super League stage but Tamil Nadu failed to qualify because of their net run rate.
A spinner with seven different variations, Varun was bought by Kings XI for INR 8.4 crore (USD 1.17 million approx) at the auction.
Fans start queueing up in Chennai
At the other end of the country, ticket sales have opened in Chennai for this year’s tournament opener between defending champions Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore on March 23. Super Kings had finished the league stage second last season before beating Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first qualifier as well as the final.
With a week left for the opening match, fans have started queuing up already and how.