NEW DELHI, March 19: Ricky Ponting on Tuesday unequivocally backed Rishabh Pant for the number four slot in India�s World Cup line-up and even saw him as one capable of winning the tournament.
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly marked the young wicketkeeper-batsman as one for the future, calling him a �huge asset�.
With little over two months to go for the World Cup and the number four batsman yet to be decided, it could now boil down to performance in the Indian Premier League, according to Ganguly.
But Ponting, a two-time World Cup winning Australian captain, left nothing to doubt when discussions turned to Pant.
�The first thing I would do is pick him in that Indian squad for the World Cup, I would play him as a batter, I would play him at number four. He is the sort of guy, with that kind of talent, he can win you a World Cup, he has just got that x-factor,� Ponting said.
Ganguly added, �Anybody who wants to succeed in shorter formats of the game he has to go up, we have seen the best in world do that. If you send Rishabh at number four, he will score runs for you because he is so talented, he has got so much time to play.
�In his short career he has been remarkable for India and once he starts getting opportunity consistently, he will be a top player.�
Pant had a terrific start to his Test career, becoming the first Indian wicketkeeper to score centuries in England and Australia, but there is a perception that he hasn�t showed the temperament or tasted as much success in the shorter formats. � PTI