Delhi Capitals’ head coach, Ricky Ponting, has heaped praise on Abishek Porel, highlighting his stellar performances and predicting a bright future for the talented left-hand batter. Porel, who has seamlessly adapted to various roles during IPL 2024, is set to take on the wicketkeeping duties against Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) in the absence of the suspended Rishabh Pant.

Ponting’s admiration for Porel stems from the player’s impressive contributions throughout the season, particularly in the absence of Pant, for whom he was signed as a replacement in 2023. With 267 runs in ten innings at a strike rate of 157.98, Porel’s impact has been undeniable. His journey in IPL 2024 began with a blistering knock of 32 off just ten balls against Punjab Kings, batting at No. 9 as an Impact Player. Since then, he has ascended to the top order, culminating in a scintillating half-century of 65 runs off 36 balls against Rajasthan Royals.

Ponting’s observations on Porel’s growth underscore the player’s adaptability and maturity in navigating different roles within the team. From a late-order aggressor to an opening batsman, Porel has demonstrated a keen understanding of the demands of IPL cricket. Ponting’s glowing endorsement of Porel’s abilities is further accentuated by the expectation that he will excel in his role as wicketkeeper against RCB.

Despite Porel’s relatively modest aggregate of 267 runs compared to Pant’s 413, his impact has been substantial, reflected in his tally of 31 fours, the joint-most for DC alongside Pant. This season has been a revelation for Porel, who had previously played only four games in the tournament, all in 2023. His retention by DC underscores the franchise’s confidence in his potential and ability to deliver on the big stage.

As Porel prepares to don the wicketkeeping gloves and showcase his prowess against RCB, Ponting’s words serve as a testament to the burgeoning talent and promising future of this young cricketer. With each game, Porel’s stature in IPL cricket continues to rise, offering a glimpse into what lies ahead for this exciting prospect in the world of cricket.

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By Isha Pannu

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