“It [usage of Impact Player] depends if you bat or bowl first,” Ponting said at an event in New Delhi. “So at the toss, we will be putting in a bowling-first team and a batting-first team. And obviously if you bat first, you’re probably going to sub in a batter. Or if you bat first and lose an early wicket, you might want to bring in a batter straight on top of that. So there are a number of different ways to use it.
“It actually almost negates the role of allrounders in the game now. So unless they’re absolutely world-class and they’re getting picked either as a batsman or as a bowler, not sort of a bits and pieces guy, then I don’t think you’ll see many, many teams this year actually use the guy that might bat at seven and maybe bowling over or two. Because you don’t need those guys anymore.”
“He’s had three or four months off in Australia; he’s recovered from an ankle surgery that he had, I think back in November,” Ponting said. “He hasn’t bowled in the games yet, but he’s been bowling for the last five or six weeks. So by the time he gets here with us, his role in our team will be to bowl some overs as well. He knows that and understands that.
“And I think we saw in this one-day series [against India] how destructive he can be [at the top of the order]. But we also saw on a couple of occasions last year for DC [Delhi Capitals] at the No. 3 slot he played some match-winning roles there as well. So he’s a really important player for us. World-class international allrounders are not easy to come across and not easy to find. So are hoping that he has his best IPL season till date as well.”
In addition, they have also called up four uncapped Indian wicketkeepers – Luvnith Sisodia, Sheldon Jackson, Abishek Porel and Vivek Singh – to their training camp. It’s likely one of them will be signed as a replacement shortly. All said, Ponting believes it will take multiple players to fill the hole Pant has left behind.
(With Inputs from ESPN)
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