Mumbai: Legendary West Indian batsman Brian Lara believes young wicketkeeper-batman Rishabh Pant has improved a lot in the last few months and will do a good job in leading Delhi Capitals in the ongoing IPL.
The 23-year-old Pant was appointed as the Delhi Capitals skipper following the injury to regular captain Shreyas Iyer, which forced him out of the tournament.
Pant, a hard-hitting batsman, is in the form of his life and has emerged as a match-winner for India in the series against Australia and England.
"Around 6 months of international cricket for him (Pant) one against Australia and here against England. Now he (Pant) is responsible for the captaincy because of injury," Lara, who holds the record for highest individual score in Test cricket, said on Star Sports' Select Dugout show.
"Plus, he doesn't have the services of (Anrich) Nortje, (Kagiso) Rabada, and Axar Patel. So, they are asking a lot of him.
"I think he has got a team that will support him which is most important. He has grown in the last 4 months and I think he will do a good job."
DC had missed the services of Rabada and Nortje in the opening game as they were serving the mandatory quarantine, while Axar is recovering from COVID-19.
However, despite missing key players, Pant led Delhi Capitals to a winning start to their IPL campaign, defeating Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings in their opening match.
The game also saw the return of Suresh Raina and former India pacer Ajit Agarkar said the return of the experienced batsman will hold CSK in good stead after struggling last season.
"We saw their struggle when he (Raina) wasn't there last season; he has been prolific for the 13 seasons of IPL. The one thing he brings in is a lot of experience," said Agarkar.
"It's such a high-pressure tournament and you need the experience as you go deeper in the tournament -plus, his runs. They (CSK) will be hoping that he still has the form that was there before."
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Warner and fellow Australians involved in the IPL flew to Maldives after the tournament was suspended last month and entry for travellers from India was banned at home.
While the Indian squad is training by playing intra-squad matches after completing their quarantine period, New Zealand trumped England 1-0 in a two-match series in the run-up to the World Test Championship final.
The two teams are being led by Virat Kohli and KL Rahul with all the first team batsmen packed in one side and the regular bowlers on the other, with reserves like Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha and Hanuma Vihari.